Posts Tagged ‘Earth hour Vancouver’

the night the lights went out

Last week I was at home with the kids searching on the Internet when the power went out.   I live in a major subduction earthquake zone and we are ready for anything, or kind of ready anyway.  Since it was mid day, I figured it was a good time to take the kids for a little walk and go and find some lunch. A quick listen to the portable radio revealed nothing major was underway, so we departed. We walked a couple of  minutes  and noted the power must be off for at least a few blocks. If we lived in the country it may not have felt very different at all. When the power goes out in one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods on the west coast of North America there is a different feeling in the air. The lack of electricity flowing is noticeable, and a wonderful and rare occasion.

A number of years back we had a power outage that lasted many hours in the still of the night. What fun! We could actually see stars in the city! Mid day the only notable difference was the 7/11 was closed, and a few traffic lights were out. Luckily the weather has been mild and most people do have candles and flashlights at the ready. For an hour or two, there was really not a problem.

Coincidentally, we had been out last week with posters from the WWF, no not the world wrestling federation, the World Wildlife Fund. They are gearing up for EARTH HOUR. This is the third year people around the world will turn off their lights at 8:30   for one hour to send a message of solidarity to stop climate change and to raise awareness about environmental protection issues. We have been taking posters around to local stores, community centres and libraries to ask people to join us, to turn off their lights in their shop or at home, to put up a poster and help spread the word. This little bit of activism is easy for us as we live right downtown and have access to many people and places.

I even joined the Earth hour face book group. In case you have not joined a “controversial” group on the Internet, you may not know that there are always naysayers that will  question or belittle your ideas. Earth Hour is no exception. People scoff at the idea of it. What difference will it make? Who cares? Hey there is a HOCKEY game on at the exact time… on and on people always have a reason for not wanting to participate.

So how about a reason to do it? Besides the obvious being a part of something positive. Doing something easy to send a message not only to the power company, but also to our families and neighbours that we are aware we are not alone in our thoughts and actions. How about just shaking things up a bit? Turn off the T.V. and computer, light a fire or some candles, read, play games, tell stories, play your guitar, teach the kids how to play hearts, have a picnic, sit in your backyard and look for stars, walk around the neighbourhood, have a candle lit dinner party. The possibilities are endless. If you happen to be the childless sort you can think of many, MANY, ways to spend an hour in the dark can’t you?

This will be our second year participating and we will do many of the above mentioned activities. We may keep the lights off for even more then an hour, as long as my ten year old doesn’t beat me at hearts too badly in the first hour!

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delicate little plant in need of freedom. Einstein quote at