Last June 21, in an annual environmental event they call Lights Out London, the capital of the United Kingdom turned off all electricity for an hour, between 9 to 10 p.m., "saving roughly 750 MWh of electricity in just one hour -- enough to run 3,000 televisions for a year."
I found the whole thing both impressive and strangely ho-hum. What comes immediately to mind is that it's a great initiative for greening the earth, in a world still waking up to the challenge and reality of global warming -- and being an environmental activist, anything like this is okay in my book. But at the same time, it amuses me as something that smacks of First World conceit. Thing is, in these industrialized countries, a tiny blackout can be cause for panic and alarm. In my tiny corner of the Third World, we have Lights Out Dumaguete every fucking Sunday for the past five years, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not to save electricity, but "for maintenance," according to the lackeys at the local energy company. That's soft-speak for bad infrastructure, really. Bastards.