Earth Hour

The WWF-organised Earth Hour takes place this Saturday evening. Its mission? To stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Collectively and symbolically, switching off our lights and reducing our energy consumption for one hour is a show of support for the only Earth we have, as well as a clear message to our leaders that climate action is of immense importance to a great many people. Famous landmarks, such as Sydney’s Opera House and Pakistan’s National Mausoleum, usually beautifully and respectfully illuminated, suddenly appear diluted.

So what if it may seem all for show, a token feel-good gesture. Isn’t everything these days? Last year’s event was the biggest yet, with a record 128 regions reaching 1.3 billion people joining the display of unity – the largest voluntary action witnessed, a vote for Earth.

Cast your minds back to the excitement of childhood power cuts. Better still, cast them forward to the unfortunate souls in Japan experiencing the unimaginable following the earthquake and tsunami which caused so much disruption and devastation. An hour to think of them and what they’ve lost. To think about our own wasteful consumption and whether it is worth risking the nuclear catastrophe that now terrifies Fukushima most of all, its reactors swamped with sea water acting as an emergency coolant. To be humbled by the extraordinary bravery of those dedicated workers trying to avert a most disastrous meltdown at nuclear sites crippled by earthquake, exposed to harmful levels of radiation, the effects of which horrify us all.

There are phrases we use all too casually and carelessly. ‘World turned upside down’ is one of them. Yet look at the startling images from Japan; a stark reminder of our fragility. We are all at the mercy of nature whether we care to accept this brutal fact or not. Our world can be turned upside down in minutes. We could lose all that we have spent a lifetime working to achieve and attain; everything and everyone we cherish and hold dear. Loved ones. Pets. Photographs. Children’s creations. Material possessions that can be replaced but only at a cost.

Please reduce your energy consumption on Saturday between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. How difficult, how awfully inconvenient, is it really to flick a few switches, to lose the TV, the video game, the dishwasher or whatever wonderful appliance usually uses power of an evening? It’s not a gimmick, it’s a challenge. It may someday be a rehearsal should you find your world turned upside down. Can we not manage a mere hour without a few relative luxuries? How blissful those little things we take for granted must seem to those now clinging to all that they have left in the schools and galleries acting as makeshift accommodation for the countless displaced Japanese. For those still re-building Christchurch, Veracruz and the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra following their own natural disasters in recent months. For those living in slum towns in Jakarta or Nairobi, or as refugees in Gaza, for no reason other than that they’ve been denied an alternative way of living because the planet couldn’t cope if its every part enjoyed our prosperity and indulgence, so some of us ensure that our fellow human beings have less so that we may have more.

So, yes, we can bear an Earth Hour once a year.

To borrow another passage from the WWF: It’s not hard. It’s not rocket science. It just means that in living, we must stop polluting. And poisoning. And being so outrageously wasteful. If we did that, wouldn’t we all be considerably better off?

Think of this. Afghanistan’s second and impoverished war-torn city, Kandahar, has also contributed aid to Japan. “I know $50,000 is not a lot of money for a country like Japan,” said Mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, “but it is a show of appreciation from the Kandahar people.” People who live on less than two dollars a day. (Japan pledged more than one-third of the total foreign aid meant for Afghanistan over the next five years, by the way.) I feel that’s a good starting point for an hour of contemplative reflection on a quiet Saturday night.

I digress.

If you’re not now thoroughly depressed and devoid of all hope, feel free to lighten (get it?) the mood with some characteristic blog jollity to hopefully return you to a more pleasant state of mind.

If you afford yourself the luxury of music during Earth Hour, for one dimly-lit and possibly chilly hour, what will you listen to – both for fun and in all seriousness? Here are ten, their titles appropriate for such an occasion, listed in humour:

– AC/DC, ‘Back in Black’
– Syd Barrett, ‘Dark Globe’
– Leonard Cohen, ‘Who By Fire’
– Deep Purple, ‘Black Night’
– Neil Diamond, ‘Home Before Dark’
– The Five Satins, ‘In the Still of the Night’
– Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, ‘Blinded By the Light’
– Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘Light One Candle’
– R.E.M., ‘Nightswimming’
– UFO, ‘Lights Out’

If you’d rather be bleak, though, by all means be so.

The chatroom will be open tomorrow from 3pm (UK). All states of mind welcome.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

72 thoughts on “Earth Hour”

  1. Thought-provoking and extremely relevant topic FEd — thanks. Being hopeful on a broader level is challenging when one is bombarded with conflict, poverty, man’s inhumanity to man, etc. – none of which should exist at this level of our so-called evolution as a species. It appears that we still have far to go.

    To commemorate Earth Hour, my playlist for Saturday will include but not be limited to:

    Fields of the Nephilim – Moon Child
    NenehCherry/Youssou N’Dour – 7 Seconds
    James Taylor – Gaia
    Sting – Fragile
    Paul Revere and the Raiders – Indian Reservation
    Midnight Oil – Mountains of Burma
    Paul McCartney & Wings – Mull of Kintyre

    and I will be reminded, as I am every day …

    Louis Armstrong — What a Wonderful World!

    Be well, all!

    1. If I might please add:

      Beautiful – Marillion
      New Beginning – Tracy Chapman

      which were 2 on this morning’s playlist for the commute.

      And then, while Supertramp’s C’est Le Bon was playing, the lyrics from one chorus stuck out:

      “I said, lovers, you’re needed in the garden
      ’cauce there’s a lot of crazy people
      Who’ve forgotten where their heart is
      And they don’t give a damn
      About hurting those flowers and those trees.
      C’est le bon, sailing on and on…”

  2. The more energy we conserve, the less energy we consume. And that would reduce the need for nuclear power plants. Which might mean that the next big earthquake/tsunami (like the one predicted in L.A.) won’t carry the risk of the next nuclear catastrophe (since L.A. has a nuclear plant near both the San Andreas earthquake fault and several densely populated cities).

    My wife and I are planning on building a house on some land we own where we’d save money on taxes compared with where our current house is located; we had decided not to put a windmill there because we can’t afford it. We’ve changed our minds since this nuclear event in Japan, as we have been reminded what the true cost of energy consumption is.

    1. I’ve recently been thinking that there are so many parts of the world where we could be harvesting solar power. We have the knowledge and technology to do it.

      If I was the leader of a country with vast tracts of otherwise unused land, deserts sound ideal to me, I’d use my country’s current wealth to build for the future. Build solar panel fields and sell electricity to the world. I appreciate it may present problems but surely we are clever enough to overcome them. What seems to be lacking is the will. It angers me to see the waste that’s going on. Sooner or later, fossil fuels WILL run out and human population is growing at an exponential rate.

      I’m seeing more new houses being built with solar panels, three cheers. In Britain, even rented homes can have them installed now. AT NO COST. The tenant can have cheap or free electricity and the installation company recovers their costs in the long term by selling excess electric to the national grid! How good does that sound?

      I dare say you’ve considered solar panels Dan? Good luck with the build. It’s exactly what I’d like to do too.

      I wish the industry could find a way of getting the ball rolling by reducing the costs, more people would invest in solar panels, windmills etc. then, costs would come down more and manufacturers would be running very profitable businesses. Sounds like a win win to me.

      ash

    2. My wife and I are planning on building a house on some land we own where we’d save money on taxes compared with where our current house is located; we had decided not to put a windmill there because we can’t afford it. We’ve changed our minds since this nuclear event in Japan, as we have been reminded what the true cost of energy consumption is.

      Hi Dan,

      I completely agree with you.

    3. In reading the reply from ash, I am reminded by a discussion with my son (he was 10 at the time) about Earth Day (which falls 2 days before his birthday). In any event, he believed, very strongly, that we had the resources to tap into the electro magnetic energy of both the aurora borealis and the aurora australis. Needless-to-say I was speechless that a concept like this resided in the thought process of a 10-year old regardless of whether something like that is actually possible or not. I am grateful to learn so much from him everyday!

    4. Where we’re planning to build is forested and windy, close to a large lake. So a small windmill makes more sense than solar panels. We can always invest in solar later on, if the price drops and we choose to cut down some trees.

    5. Here in the USA there is a small company just starting up. They have an intriguing way to make solar and wind energy affordable. They will install either a solar or wind energy system on your property, but they still own the system. They lease it to you. You own the electricity that your system generates, so that you can sell it to the utility company. It is a win-win: this company makes a profit, and you get clean and green energy along with a small check from the utility. The biggest winner here? Earth, of course.

  3. What the Japanese are experiencing since the tsunami and earthquake is my worst nightmare and the people who won’t leave the nuclear plants are true heroes for sacrificing themselves to save others.

    I’ll be switching off and using the hour to think of them.

    I had a tear in my eye reading of Kandahar’s donation to Japan.

  4. If there’s any alien life (pun absolutely intended Fed 😛 ), they know we’re here – look at this.

    I will assemble a deck chair (it’s easy right?) and enjoy the night sky with a drink (see below) a torch, binoculars and a battery operated music player and listen to:

    City of Blinding Lights by U2.

    Darkness by Peter Gabriel.

    ” A dream unthreatened by the morning light could blow this soul right through the roof of the night ” – Learning to Fly, Astronomy Domine and Dark Side of the Moon by our heroes.

    Moondance by Van Morrison.

    Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton.

    Undercover of the Night, Shine a Light and Midnight Rambler by The Rolling Stones.

    In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett.

    One of these Nights, (with a) Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles.

    Wake Up the Nation by Paul Weller.

    ash

  5. I like reading this kind of post – Very much. Interesting, informative, thought-provoking and at the same time, written with a hint of humour. Thank you.

    Following one of your links, I discovered another interesting website Greenkiss – even more interesting to me since it’s in French 😉 – where I learned for example that ‘concerts à la bougie’ (= candlelight concerts?) were organised here to celebrate Earth Hour. Isn’t it a good idea?

    My songs – for fun (or not):

    – Bob Marley, ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’
    – The Rolling Stones, ‘Paint It Black’
    – Robert Plant, ‘Darkness, Darkness’
    – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, ‘Blinded By The Lights’
    – Muse, ‘Supermassive Black Hole’
    – Green Day, ‘2000 Light Years Away’
    – Roger waters, ‘Each Small Candle’
    – Axel Bauer, ‘Eteins La Lumière’

    I look to Japan, I see destruction, desolation, fear; I look to Libya, I see destruction, oppression, fear… but then I look over the rainbow and I see hope and “blue birds fly”… Israel Kamakawiwo Ole. It’s what I’ll listen to during Earth Hour. 🙂

    1. Michèle said,

      I like reading this kind of post – Very much. Interesting, informative, thought-provoking and at the same time, written with a hint of humour. Thank you.

      Agreed. Great piece of writing Fed. 🙂

      I wish I could find the words to say what I feel about the people of Japan. I think somewhere you commented on their stoicism Fed? It’s unbelievable how well they seem to be coping. Over the past few days I’ve come to realise just how well the people had prepared for a large earthquake. The children are taught in school what to do and to stay calm. This attitude is obviously what has helped to give the people strength.

      No one could have prepared for the tsunami though. Seeing the devastation makes you realise the true power of water.

      I wish the people of Japan continued strength.

      ash

  6. I’ll have to treat myself to some candles, to put on my birthday cake on Saturday, to celebrate Earth Hour.

    In the meantime here’s an elongated, almost complete A2Z of suitable tunes to mark this event:

    All Night Long – Rainbow
    Are ‘Friends’ Electric – Gary Numan
    Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Beat The Clock – Sparks
    Black Is Black – Los Bravos
    Candle In The Wind – Elton John
    Come Together – The Beatles
    Dancing In The Moonlight – Thin Lizzy
    Dim All The Lights – Donna Summer
    Daughter of Darkness – Tom Jones
    Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – George Michael & Elton John
    Edge of Darkness – Eric Clapton
    Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
    Fade To Grey – Visage
    Give Me The Night – George Benson
    Harvest For The World – Isley Brothers
    Heaven Help Us All – Stevie Wonder
    Hourglass – Squeeze
    I’ll Meet You At Midnight – Smokie
    I Saw The Light – Todd Rundgren
    In The Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
    Joy To The World – Three Dog Night
    Kill Your Television – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
    Limelight – Alan Parsons Project
    Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield
    Music and Lights – Imagination
    Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth – Sparks
    No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney
    One – U2
    Out Of Time – Chris Farlowe
    Paint It Black – Rolling Stones
    Planet Earth – Duran Duran
    Prime Time – Alan Parsons Project
    Quiet Life – Japan
    Reap The Wild Wind – Ultravox
    Rising Sun – Medecine Head
    Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – Elton John
    Shadows Of The Night – Pat Benatar
    Time Is Tight – Booker T & The MG’s
    Tonight, Tonight, Tonight – Genesis
    Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
    Urgent – Foreigner
    Voices In the Sky – Moody Blues
    Wonderful World, Beautiful People – Jimmy Cliff
    X – ?
    You’re My World – Cilla Black
    Zoom – Fat Larry’s Band

    1. Happy B’day KenF. To complete your amazing list:

      “A thousand years have come and gone
      But time has passed me by
      Stars stopped in the sky
      Frozen in an everlasting view
      Waiting for the world to end
      Weary of the night
      Praying for the light
      Prison of the lost — Xanadu”

      Rush – Xanadu off the Farewell to Kings album

    2. Hats off to you, too, Pavlov and Michèle.

      And what a great choice, by the way, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Heaven Help Us All’ is.

      “Heaven help the child who never had a home,
      Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone,
      Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall,
      Heaven help us all.

      Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day,
      Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away,
      Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl,
      Heaven help us all.”

      A fine version by Ray Charles, complete with gospel choir, here.

    3. Thanks very much, Ash. But I’ll need more than four. 😉

      It’s a classic though isn’t it?

  7. Not only will I support it, I’ll start 50 minutes early. That way I can go hide in the bath with some tea lights; a bottle of wine and a good book with the added bonus being that I won’t have to watch Ant & Dec’s Push The Button on telly either.

    1. Now Lorraine might have a very big bath, but wouldn’t it get a bit crowded? 😛

      Just in case, can I have the end without the taps?

    2. Just in case, can I have the end without the taps?

      You’ll need to check with Ken, he gets first choice seeing as how it’s his birthday.

      Happy Birthday, Ken. 🙂

    3. Thanks for that Lorraine.

      Sorry Tim, it looks like you’ll have to endure the taps.

  8. Can’t help myself:

    The one and only, be all and end all, the ultimate “Shaded Portion of the Lunar Surface” (already given an honorable mention by ash 🙂 and most likely one of the reasons we ended up here in the first place).

    And, advance apologies for any duplication:

    10CC – Shine a Light in the Dark
    Canned Heat – So Sad (talk about advance warning!)
    Gothica – Nothingness
    Dio – Better in the Dark
    Bob Dylan – Not Dark Yet
    Avalon – Light a Candle (I didn’t pick it but the title sounded good!)
    Johnny Cash – Dark as a Dungeon (okay, so it’s a song for coal miners)
    Elton John – It’s Getting Dark in Here
    Barclay James Harvest – Dark Now My Sky (oh gosh, it was eons ago that I last heard it)
    Grave Digger – The Dark of the Sun
    The Alarm – We are the Light
    The Moody Blues – Candle of Life (‘burn it slowly’)
    Janis Ian – Light a Light (a really pretty song)
    Chris Rea – Candles

  9. Ohhhhh: THANK YOU for Braddah Iz, Michèle! You even spelled his name correctly. I’m giving you a virtual hug with ha spirit and mahalo nui loa mon ami!

    I’m moved to tears by these posts.

    I lived in a mostly Japanese part of Hawaii. Tiny condos. The genius of living simply and small. It’s Japanese seafood which I now won’t be able to eat. Gulf of Mexico seafood that I can’t eat (BP oil). The list gets longer and longer!!

    I wish we could all use our collective minds and hearts and consciousness to soothe the restless planet and put the radioactive genie back in the bottle. This is now more crisis than cause. Take a look at a map of nuclear power plant locations around the globe and you won’t sleep well for days. Look for your location: you’d be surprised.

    Nuclear power is. NOT. Clean. Energy.

    The cost is nightmarish. I cried at the sight of Japanese placing their precious lives at risk to save computers. Wine bottles. Nuclear reactors. Human life is far far more precious. And the human cost will be far far more than what’s being estimated.

    As Japan is teaching us, the impossible CAN happen. Remember the unsinkable Titanic?

    I know I’m preaching to the choir. In solidarity I’ll play Braddah IZ, drink sake, meditate on ways to save the planet from ourselves and write haiku in the dark. Saturday night, Floydians looking up and the moon, cosmos and planets while thinking of Japan. I can’t think of anything more powerful.

  10. What a truly inspiring message FEd!!

    “Dark Side of the Moon”: Pink Floyd. “Get Together”: The Youngbloods. “Turn off the Lights”: Teddy Pendergrass. “Light My Fire”: The Doors. “Take Hold of the Flame”: Queensryche. “Walk in the Shadows”: Queensryche. “Fade to Black”: Metallica. “Enter Sandman”: Metallica. “Boom Boom out go the Lights”: Pat Travers. “In the Dark”: Billy Squier. “Flash Light”: Parliament.

    Peace, Love, Everyone. 🙂

  11. I hesitate to contribute to this topic because I really don’t think I have anything positive to say and I don’t want people to hammer my poor bruised thumb.

    You make a good case for observation of the day F’ed. I’m more than happy (well, you know what I mean) to observe Remembrance Day, Holocaust Day, Red Nose Day and reflect on the calamity of war, the monstrosity of hate, the oppression of poverty. In part I do this out of a sense of solidarity with those less fortunate than myself and in the hope that awareness equips us to address or prevent the issue. However, I am also reminded that collectively humanity is defined by its capacity to harm. Individually we can be capable of wonderful things but collectively I’m not so sure.

    To be human is in many ways to live in defiance of nature – we have pitted ourselves against nature in order to satisfy our basic appetites for shelter, food, warmth … we spent a lot of our evolution being pretty effective at harnessing the resources we found, but as we got cleverer (make that more skillfull) we developed the capacity to do real harm to the environment and to destroy ourselves. We are at the phase – just – where we begin to perceive the harm that we can do, but I am as sure as I can be (knowing nothing FOR SURE of course) that it will be our appetites that prevail. Individual enlightenment and awareness (of which this topic is part) will only really weigh when the consequences are immediate and tangible to all.

    It seems to me that we have an enormous capacity for putting aside the remote consequences of what we do … if confronted directly with a situation – extreme poverty for example – we tend to respond. Who would not give food to a starving child if confronted face to face? And we know that there is always a starving child and faced with the enormity of that knowledge and our insignificance we put it to the back of our minds and eat that unnecessary biscuit anyway because we want to, it pleases us. We don’t really even think it satisfies us, but it’s what we do, what we’ve always done, what we will always do.

    Climate change seems a bit like that to me, a vanguard of concerned or enlightened people – or even Nations – will appreciate the impact of the harm that their privileged lifestyles imply and seek to change … and changes will be made … but collectively humanity will continue to consume, destroy, colonise, exploit, fight, cheat just as it has every step of the way.

    If you want a bleak vision of the future, read or watch “The Road” … a flickering flame of humanity set against a world of darkness.

    And no happy ending.

    Oh dear, sorry, it seems I am indeed depressed and devoid of hope on this one. I’ll go out into the sunshine and walk my puppy and listen to something cheery on my iPod … but of course I’ll only be turning a blind eye, won’t I?

    1. Wow tim_c! In a few powerful paragraphs, you have pretty much summed up the collective human condition — we are a rather self- involved and -indulgent lot, aren’t we? “The Road” was an amazing book (the movie making it more tangible) and no, there was no happy ending. However, for me there was a glimmer of hope that life would continue and evolve as it has done since the dawn of time.

      Absolutely no correlation between the two, but your post prompted me to listen to Old and Wise by The Alan Parsons Project – the musical composition seemed to lend itself quite well.

      The mere fact that you’re sharing your thoughts and opinions demonstrates (well to me at least), that you’re hardly turning a ‘blind eye’. So, take the puppy for a walk, chin up and indulge in some good music.

    2. Tim,

      You capture that strange mental paradox well.

      I took a college course in the early 90s from this great man with this great name: Dr. Nova Silvy!

      He taught a special course in wildlife conservation in which he gave days of stats on the state of the planet and humanity. The most profoundly memorable and depressing set of sermons on the state of the planet I’ve ever encountered. He was right on every projection.

      Something we tend to conveniently forget: we are all animals and are not exempt from the rules by which animals live. We just might destroy ourselves, but nature is resilient and another form of life will take over. In that knowledge I’m hopeful.

      The class was so profound I named my then-pet albino bird “Chernobyl”.

    3. NOT a blind eye Tim. 🙂

      Recognising the bad bits means you also recognise the good bits of life. Overall there are more good experiences but we remember bad ones because they were traumatic. This is natures way of teaching us what things are harmful, I think.

      I’ve told myself I should be glad of all of it. I am alive and with hopes and dreams. What is the alternative?

      Tim, you are so right in what you’ve said. I believe though, that there is more good in the world than bad. The bad is reported in the media. The good isn’t. You wonder if it’s a form of control by fear or manipulation. (I’m full of conspiracy theories though. 😕 )

      The last resort in comforting myself with regard to human destruction, is that the planet and life, not necessarily as we know it, will continue. In the meantime it’s wonderful to enjoy all the little pleasures. 🙂

      OK, end of my message of hope. Back to doom and gloom, how about some death metal?

      ash

    4. I’d play:

      Black Angels Death Song – Velvet Underground
      Dark Star – Grateful Dead
      Through the Past Darkly – The Rolling Stones
      Mr Gilmour playing Interstellar (it’s dark out there) Overdrive (circa 1969/70)
      Twilight Time – The Moody Blues
      Twilight Time – Groove Armada
      Twilight Furniture – This Heat
      Defective Grey – The Pretty Things
      Thinking About The Good Times – The Pretty Things
      Doing The Standing Still – The Table
      Rats – Syd Barrett (the ultimate protest against everything and everyone)

      One of my many energy saving initiatives is not to report the broken street light outside our house to the local council.

    5. However, I am also reminded that collectively humanity is defined by its capacity to harm. Individually we can be capable of wonderful things but collectively I’m not so sure.

      Tim,

      Your comment (especially the sentence above) is very interesting and made me think a lot.

      Some years ago, when I was younger and more optimistic than now, I had much faith in people and I felt the masses could actually work together to make things change for the better, also in spite of political and economic powers, usually interested in maintaining the “status quo” and their privileges.

      My vision about this has changed over the years.

      Even though I still think most of those who govern are to blame for their lack of responsibility and dishonesty, I also lost some faith in the masses.

      I agree that individuals can do wonderful things (and the people all together, too), but, unfortunately, this is not enough to make things change. Nothing can be done without participation, but what I see so often around me is a lot of greed and lazy people, whose only desire is to let someone else (whomever they are) decide in their place.

      Probably the “ruling class” has been working for years to make them (and us all, sometimes) become that way, but, for me, they are to blame more than those who govern and this is making me increasingly angry and disappointed.

      I don’t know if I’ve become bleak, but I’m surely more confused than before.

      By the way, I also watched “The Road” and I liked it.

  12. Hi Fed, my hard drive went for a major poo-poo. Hope all is well with everyone. 😉

    1) “‘When the lights go down in the city…”
    — In the City by Journey.

    2) Candle in the Window by CCR.

    3) Dark Side of the Moon, a classic! 😛

  13. To our A to Z hero:

    Here is something for you to enjoy on your Special Day, Ken! 😛

    Big bisous. 🙂

    1. Wow!!! Merci ma belle.

      There is a truly eclectic range on display there. I’m spoilt for choice. 😀

  14. Great post, FEd. I’m sorry I couldn’t read it before now.

    This year I couldn’t join the Earth Hour, because, as it was happening, I was still on the way back from the (huge, but completely ignored by most of our media) national protest in Rome, against water privatization and reintroduction of nuclear power plants.

    It was particularly relieving, for me, to see all those people (300.000, it seems) express their fear and disagreement towards nuke, which is something that, as I already said in the past, really scares me.

    As the Fukushima accident once more demonstrated, nuclear plants are neither safe, nor clean, that’s why I still think renewable energy and reduction of consumption will be the only alternatives, unless something new, probably not affordable for common people, comes out in the immediate future.

    Re-educating the people (and ourselves) to reduce consumptions won’t be easy, but we will just have to do that, when there won’t be alternatives.

    1. Thank you for the links. It was good to read these positive news. 🙂

      It really seems the web is almost the only way we have to know the truth about what happens in the world today.

      Speaking of renewable energy, I finally have a solar battery charger and it works perfectly.

      At least, I could listen to the music without feeling guilty during the Earth Hour… just trying to forget that I was sitting in a train, electrically powered. :/

    2. Well played F’ed …

      Assuming that’s all true (and I’m sure it’s not completely wrong) there seems cause for optimism … I wouldn’t want my dear co-bloggers to think I’m jumping off the cliff just yet (sorry to disappoint those who would indeed like me to do just that 😛 ).

      One thing does seem clear … as energy becomes more expensive, fossil fuels more scarce and nuclear energy more worrying post-Japan, there is surely a big financial prize for genuinely cost effective sustainable energy solutions … and the one thing we can all believe in is the motivational power of money.

    3. Thanks for those links Fed, very good news (for a change).

      Interesting solar power Alessandra. I remember my first solar powered calculator, it must have been thirty years ago. We’ve had the knowledge for years!

      However, I fear Tim may be correct when he speculates that money may be the motivational force that drives the development of energy solutions.

      One of your other links was also very interesting Alessandra, more good news, the seal cull is not well supported because the industry is not making enough money out of it. Hooray!

      ash

    4. However, I fear Tim may be correct when he speculates that money may be the motivational force that drives the development of energy solutions.

      I also think Tim is right, in fact.

  15. Good for you Greenpeace. They’ve caught unnecessary hell over their brave toe to toe anti-whaling campaign, and in the past stood up to the rogue Japanese whaling vessel that is now running supplies up north. They also have members at the Fukushima plant taking samples.

    There was another earthquake last night: 6.5!

    Radioactive iodine is being detected along the East Coast where I live in North America. My mother’s not the only one getting radiation treatment.

    1. It was reported to be in parts of Britain a couple of days ago. It will be/has been carried all around the globe by weather systems. 🙁

      I’m really pleased for Greenpeace nowadays because they are being recognised for the good work they do and are being taken seriously by ordinary people rather than being viewed as anarchists. 🙂

      ash

  16. This news might be not directly connected with the Earth Hour topic, but it certainly says a lot about the complete lack of respect some of the so-called humans have for the other living things.

    Sorry if I’m off topic, but I just had to post it.

    1. How sad. One child attacked by one dog, who is subsequently mown down deliberately, I presume, and 13 others get shot just for being a potential danger and therefore a liability to their owner. Rough justice indeed.

      Is it really any wonder that an animal will attack if it spends most of its life chained, or cooped, up?

      Stories such as this infuriate me.

  17. Sorry Fed and all, I know it’s cheesy, but I gotta’ do it:

    “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” – Pink Floyd
    “Moon Shadow” – Mike Oldfield
    “Lady Midnight” – Leonard Cohen
    “Red Sky at Night” – David Gilmour
    “Nightbird Flying”- Jimi Hendrix
    “Evening Falls” – Enya
    “Good Night Sunshine” – Beatles

    We perhaps need to find some way of making it possible for people in Brazil not to cut down the forests which are after all, our globe’s lungs!

    When you are putting your foot down to overtake that geezer in front, think next time; it took several 100s of millions of years for fossil fuels to form, it only takes us a couple of seconds to burn it!

    The less you have to use your brakes, potentially the less fuel you will burn to get back to where you were, if you follow my drift. We haven’t got much left, and it is getting more and more expensive by the day, so use it wisely.

    Ta ta for now. 😀

  18. I’m lacking in original thought these days 8| so I’ll use the music that’s playing on my playlist at this moment in time as a contribution.

    “If I was the sun way up there
    I’d go with love most everywhere
    I’ll be the moon when the sun goes down
    Just to let you know that I’m still around

    That’s how strong my love is, oh
    That’s how strong my love is,
    That’s how strong my love is, baby, baby,
    That’s how strong my love is.

    I’ll be the weeping willow drowning in my tears
    You can go swimming when you’re here
    I’ll be the rainbow when the sun is gone
    Wrap you in my colors and keep you warm

    That’s how strong my love is, darling,
    That’s how strong my love is, baby,
    That’s how strong my love is, oooh,
    That’s how strong my love is.

    I’ll be the ocean so deep and wide
    I’ll get out the tears whenever you cry,
    I’ll be the breeze after the storm is gone
    To dry your eyes and love you warm

    That’s how strong my love is, baby,
    That’s how strong my love is,
    That’s how strong my love is, darling,
    That’s how strong my love is,

    That’s how strong my love is, so deep in,
    Well, that’s how strong my love is
    So much love, yes so much love, oohh,
    Yes so much love, yes so much love,
    Anything that I can do, I’ll be good for you,
    Any kind of love you want, I’ll be with you….”

    –Otis Redding

    Peace ‘n’ love. 🙂

  19. Followed immediately by this from UB40:

    “Moon and stars sit way up high
    Earth and trees beneath them lie
    The wind blows fragrant lullaby
    To cool the night for you and i
    On the wing the birds fly free
    Leviathan tames angry sea
    The flower waits for honeybee
    The sunrise wakes new life in me.

    And every hour of every day I’m learning more
    The more I learn, the less I know about before
    The less I know, the more I want to look around
    Digging deep for clues on higher ground…

    The fishes swim while rivers run
    Through fields to feast my eyes upon
    Intoxicated drinking from
    The loving cup of burning sun
    In dreams I’ll crave familiar taste
    Of whispered rain on weary face
    Of kisses sweet and warm embrace
    Another time another place

    And every hour of everyday I’m learning more
    The more I learn, the less I know about before
    The less I know, the more I want to look around
    Digging deep for clues on higher ground…”

  20. … and then this from Sting:

    “Chase the dog star
    Over the sea
    Home where my true love is waiting for me
    Rope the south wind
    Canvas the stars
    Harness the moonlight
    So she can safely go
    Round the Cape Horn to Valparaiso

    Red the port light
    Starboard the green
    How will she know of the devils I’ve seen
    Cross in the sky, star of the sea
    Under the moonlight, there she can safely go
    Round the Cape Horn to Valparaiso
    Valparaiso

    And every road I walked would take me down to the sea
    With every broken promise in my sack
    And every love would always send the ship of my heart
    Over the rolling sea

    If I should die
    And water’s my grave
    She’ll never know if I’m damned or I’m saved
    See the ghost fly over the sea
    Under the moonlight, there she can safely go
    Round the Cape Horn to Valparaiso
    Valparaiso
    Valparaiso
    Valparaiso”

    My playlist seems to be in tune with the “Earth Hour” topic. Again, my music does the talking for me. Don’t know what I’d do without it!

    Gabrielle 🙂

  21. Birthday Greetings to Pavlov and Andrew for today. Belated birthday wishes to Nate and Calibwam for yesterday.

    Michèle provided an earlier link to myriad cakes, have your fill and enjoy. 😛

    1. Gosh, there have been a lot of birthdays in March!

      I too would like to wish belated greetings to Nate, Calibwam, Pavlov and Andrew. 🙂

      ash

      1. The same from me; I hope you all enjoyed your day and spent it doing whatever you enjoy best with those you love most.

    2. KenF,

      Thanks so much and I hope that all my fellow March birthday celebrators had a fabulous day this past month.

      And there nothing that compares to the taste of a virtual cake. Hard to describe but it does fill the heart while leaving the stomach quite empty. Very good though when you are watching your calorie intake.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    3. Hope you could blow out all your (square root of 9 X square root of 25) X (27/9) + 2 birthday candles in one breath, Andrew. 😛

      xoxo.

    4. Michèle,

      I did the math and you are correct. Very good, I’m impressed with your memory and thanks for the brandy, very tasty. 😛

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  22. FEd,

    Saw your Twitter post above about Dave Davies article. I did not get a chance to read it but I did hear it being discussed on the radio this morning. Interesting how the two brothers are at an impasse regarding a reunion. Seems that each one passes it off to the other saying it is up to him.

    I hear that they used to put on a great live show but at this rate it seems we will never find out.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  23. Hello Fed. 😀

    I just read something you re-tweeted by George Monbiot. He makes a very good point about what do we replace it with if we shut down all nuclear power plants right now. It would increase our use of and reliance on fossil fuels which will then be depleted that much sooner and would accelerate global warming (given that we are not yet able to substitute renewables to make up the shortfall).

    ash

  24. Sometimes I worry that it’s too late for mother earth. That the banks, the super rich, have laid waste to democracy, marginalized those who see the truth, and that the pursuit of corporate profit will simply be the death of us all and that it’s too late for the human race. Christ, with the current state of the media, the general populace doesn’t really even have a ghost of a chance of understanding how dire the situation is for mother earth right now. One slips into despair at times. Our heads of state are all such greedy whores and amoral scum. But I don’t want to give up hope.

    Waterloo Sunset, the Kinks
    Day in the Life, the Beatles
    Great Gig in the Sky, Pink Floyd
    The End, the Doors

  25. I think our leaders and big business are looking for fuel solutions but we, the people, need to keep an eye on the alternatives they offer us.

    The quote below from this article speaks volumes about human activity causing mass extinctions.

    “You could fit all the surviving members of these 25 species in a single football stadium; that’s how few of them remain on Earth today,”

    These aren’t just (worthless?!) animals, these are human relatives who share common ancestors with us. If their environment is lost, so is the environment of lots of other species.

    How many humans fit in how many football stadiums?

    I don’t think “Biofuel” means “good for the environment”, it means labour is cheaper than the research, development and implementation of better alternatives. I think it’s a quick, get-rich-quick fix.

    ash

  26. I missed the earth hour… But seriously, I myself always conserve and take care of our mother nature. I hope that it’s not just for one hour but also we should take care of our mother nature at least almost everyday… Not just for an hour.

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