I didn’t know so many of our college-mates would even know about Earth Hour, let alone act on it. However, it turned out to be quite the opposite. The students of the Environmental department started a campaign on the DC++ main chat which connects our entire student community. It reached fever pitch yesterday, what with me joining in too, being an administrator of the peer-to-peer network. The message was clear:
Today, 2030-2130 is Earth Hour. If you feel for climate change, join the worldwide revolution against it by switching off your lights during this one hour. Vote Earth.
I’m passionate about protecting our environment, and about our planet as a whole, though I’m more passionate about popularizing renewable energy than combating global warming. Still, the movement against climate change is related to my cause, and when I received the information from none other than my queen of hearts, I was glad to pass it on to my sphere of influence. And though I didn’t expect a warm response to it, for I thought guys were generally insensitive to all this, it was a pleasant surprise when some of my friends copied my alerting status message on Google Talk and put it up as their own.
At 2030 hours IST, I broadcasted the final message for joining Earth Hour via DC++, and switched off my lights. And I was literally shocked when almost everybody else in my wing started switching off the lights of their rooms too. Some rooms were locked with the lights on (which is outrageous anyway), and the occupants were actually called to the wing to unlock their rooms and switch off their lights. I then ran to the adjoining wing and spread the message there. And soon, the lights were out in all the wings but one. Earth Hour was a success in our hostel at least, and hopefully, all of our contemporaries in other parts of India were with us.
Which makes me think: is this switching off of lights a show of support that can convince world leaders about the threat of climate change in Copenhagen later this year? Forgive me for being a sceptic, but I really doubt it. I doubt world leaders have it in then to take radical steps, at least not with the present financial situation already impacting economies. However, there seems to be a sinister force at work here too, the one which wants total dominance of the developed nations. By naming China and India as major contributors in the carbon equation, the movement against climate change can actually crippling our growth, and strangulating us in the process.
Or maybe I’m just being too pessimistic. Because honestly, it was one really unique experience during Earth Hour. For I knew that by switching off my lights, I was joining the entire world in a movement. I do not know how far it went, but it sure felt nice that people on the other side of the Earth were doing the same thing as I was doing, and that for one hour, countless people united and became one: humankind. I hope that it is a sign of better things to come, and I pray that I don’t hope too much.