Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour, Sofia 2011


I must admit that we knew it was coming up at 2030 on Saturday, 26th. March, 2011.

Last year, we observed the Earth Hour by putting out all the apartment lights and sitting at home with a single candle and no TV.

This year, we were awaiting the imminent arrival of take-away pizza, and forgot all about it.

So what!

I’m sorry, but (once again) this strikes me as a worthy but ultimately useless attempt to “change the world” by tokenism. As a local Bulgarian commentator mentioned, it would have meant something if the electricity providers had shut everything down (as they did last week, several times, unexpectedly – Bulgarians are, unfortunately, used to living with these frequent impositions). But, to shut off the lights in government and public buildings (at 2030 during the weekend?) is a pathetic gesture.

How much saved?

The Bulgarian energy company CEZ apparently estimated that the self-imposed shut-down in Sofia, the capital city with up to 2 mn inhabitants, resulted in a saving of 44 MWH,  equivalent to 745 domestic lights – well, that’s how one local source reported the situation: “The 44 MGW equal [sic] the hourly consumption of 735 light bulbs.”[1]. Wow! That should do it, then – despite the elementary physics maths required here!

The better news was that it seems the figures were more like: “over 44 MW, equivalent to 735,000 bulbs” – which certainly seems more plausible, and – hopefully – credible [2].


Surely – crappy “churnalism” aside, and as I have already mentioned on the subject of International Women’s Day – we need to get it firmly into our heads and hearts that we should be doing this all the time – whether conserving as much electricty and other energy sources as possible, or protecting and promoting women’s rights, non-stop and not just making a quick gesture before going back to our old habits.

(P’sst: By the way, anyone still got some old 100-watt bulbs they want to sell, given recent EU directives?)

Source [1]: SNA

Source [2]: FOCUS


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