Friday, April 1, 2011

Earth Hour...harmful power surge after?

A week ago, Planet Earth celebrated "Earth Hour," putting off electricity, mostly lights, from 8.30PM to 9.30PM. From all accounts over the news, the event was a success. From Australia (where's it's said the first-ever Earth Hour celebration began) to all over the world, the news videos showed famous landmarks and not-so-famous ones darkening with the putting off of their numerous lights. Malls, departments stores, billboards, houses--all joined in. And people in almost every country were shown lighting up candles and doing some merry-making in the background as their surroundings became so dark. I was happy that many complied as I'm all for taking care of our one and only Earth.

But what I saw on the news videos of what happened after the ending of Earth Hour got me into thinking--how much electricity or energy is generated right after 9.30PM, that is, when all previously darkened lights are simultaneously put on to resume "normal" life for everybody. Is there a power surge right after Earth Hour like, for example, when a big mall resumes its normal operations by opening all its bright outdoor lights and indoor lights. In the Philippines, for instance, malls usually close at 10.00PM, and some malls and even restaurants/bars even close even later during weekends. So these establishments have to open again their bright lights after Earth Hour to make their patrons aware that they are back in business (though they really didn't close shop during Earth Hour).

I hope the Earth Hour organizers can make a study on if, indeed, there's a power surge right after Earth Hour, and if this power surge (anywhere in the world) is too much such that it could undermine the benefits gained during the celebration of Earth Hour. And if adjustments are needed to make Earth Hour even more relevant and power-saving, I hope these adjustments can be made in Earth Hour 2012.

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