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The great switch off
by Asa Butcher
2007-02-02 09:02:27
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How many lightbulbs does it take to save the world? No joke here – it is a serious question that the Alliance for the Planet is asking its fellow citizens of the world. Today, February 1st, at 1855 GMT, French environmentalists are urging everybody to turn off all lights and gadgets in stand-by mode for just five minutes in a show of solidarity against global warming.

Naturally, operating rooms and street lights are exempt, but everybody else is invited to flick the switch on their fuse box to off and present the Earth with a five-minute respite from the continually energy onslaught. During the self-inflicted power cut take a moment to think about how many appliances and gadgets rely upon electricity in your house, plus count the number of bulbs that illumiate your life everyday – use a torch if it is too dark!

The Alliance for the Planet is an umbrella of about 50 green associations, including the local branches of Greenpeace and WWF, and professional organisations connected with the environment, and they have been motivated by the UN's long-awaited report on the state of global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to declare that climate change is imminent and the consequences dire.

The great switch off is hoped to inspire more citizens to become accountable for the planet’s situation and encourage them to becomes energy conscious. For example, the Energy Saver Lightbulbs on the market is a simple, yet effective method of protecting the environment in ways that would amaze the greatest cynic.

If 100 million people swapped just one ordinary 60-watt bulb for an Energy Saver, then the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people, which also equates to 22 billion lbs of coal not being burnt at power plants. Should that statistic not startle you enough, it also equals 1.3 million cars being taken off the roads, which boggles the mind. Swapping bulbs would also keep 700 million incandescent light bulbs from landfills.

The idea that a single lightbulb can cause so much damage to our planet is bewildering, which doesn’t make them such a bright idea, if you’ll excuse the pun. The idea of a mass power cut is a bright idea and it has already made me get up and turn off the three lights burning alone in the other rooms. I hope that even if you don’t remember to participate on the day, you’ll stop to think before leaving a light on in a room, plus the next time you buy a new lightbulb invest in an environmentally friendly one.

Unfortunately, my only concern of the mass blackout is that some couples may take advantage of the dark and we’ll witness a Baby Boom in nine months, which won’t do the Earth any favours either.

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Eva2007-02-01 14:33:30
Great initiative. Shows that people as individuals can actually make a difference.

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