If there’s anything I can’t swallow more than lamb, it is grand gestures or GGs. Especially GGs touted as social responsibility.
Take Earth Hour where Singapore was supposed to switch off all lights for a hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm last night. And yes, many of the usual big guzzlers took part. Though most of us hoi polloi like moi said “nyet” and didn’t switch off or switch on more lights than we would normally at 8.30pm on a Saturday night at home.
As for those big guzzlers who did, I wonder whatever for, other than to win brownie points with people who besides advertising themselves as “green” also have some influence on how and what the world views Singapore.
I’m completely cynical about the advocates and their followers. Take the advocates for instance: how much extra carbon did they emit with the campaign –thru their travels to persuade, their messages inundating the airwaves and not forgetting the exact song and dance of the people going to the places where the big switch off is most visible, to see and be seen. Those groupies took transport right? Didn’t walk from home to the waterfront, I’m sure..
Also, did anyone tote up the amount of power used when the switches were thrown on after the blackout hour is up? Is it nothing at all and hence the shutdown did really save one full hour of power? Or did all this powering off and on lead to extra consumption and the end savings were marginal?
Whatever the case, I think the whole exercise is hypocritical especially for those who advocated and won support for all the buildings on Singapore’s waterfront to be lit up — spending tens of millions in the process, for designs, lighting equipment and what not — and are now participating in the big Switch Off.
How can one hour compensate for 4,379 hours (assuming that lights on outside the buildings are on 12 hours per day) of power consumed per year?
Now don’t get me started on those crusading against the use of plastic bags!!