My initial take on the night? A disappointment. But I’m waiting to hear back about the decrease in energy consumption from the people who can tell me this sort of information before I completely lose hope in the movement.
The first disappointment of the day (albeit a personal one) came from my brother deciding to stay home at the last minute. My parents and I got down to Nathan Phillips Square just in time to get some free hot chocolate, find a spot where we wouldn’t be trampled on, and where we could hear well enough. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see anything because all the prime spots had been taken by people who had probably been there since 5:00 p.m. But it didn’t matter, there was quite a good buzz around the place and we were content enough with being able to hear well. Then came the second disappointment of the day when I realised that I had left my digital camera at home, and that Dad hadn’t packed the flash for his 35mm SLR. (You may have noticed the lack of photographs in this post.) Crap!
Close to 8:00 p.m., they started the 10 second countdown… but the excitement didn’t last long. Nothing happened when we reached the elusive climax. The BMO building didn’t even turn off all their lights even after they started to (a few minutes after our countdown). But what was most disappointing was how many lights we saw lit on the drive home. We saw far too many unnecessary lights on for Earth Hour; billboard lights, neon signs at closed stores, bright fluorescent lights at close stores, classroom lights at Ryerson, the list would go on… but I’m going to stop there. Strikes three and four!
We only stayed for Nelly Furtado, and the Philosopher Kings because I didn’t have any particular interest in the other artists and we were all pretty cold. Nelly performed Turn off the Light, said a few words and quickly passed the torch to the Philosopher Kings. They sang three of my favourite songs and a few minutes after the next act started, we decided to head home to beat traffic.
It didn’t move me as much as I was hoping it would, but always the one to hope against hope I just know in my gut that I’m just not seeing the difference that has been made because I never took notice before of just how many lights are always on in this city. Just because it didn’t fit the picture in my mind of how Earth Hour is going to look, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful – after all, you can’t expect things to change overnight.
On a side note, I had a great time with my parents so I’m really glad we did this and I’m glad we’re going to go out and watch Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hear’s a Who tomorrow.
Anyway, I’m going to leave off here for now… thanks to everyone for their supportive words about work. My elaborative post is coming, I just want a few days to mull over things and really get my thoughts together.
How was your Earth Hour experience?