Saturday, June 27, 2009

Leave Interrupted...Earth Hour

I am on leave from June 20 to June 30.


On June 22nd, I had to go to office for a quick meeting in the evening. Once I was there, a colleague asked me "If you are on leave, what makes you come here? I thought for a second and replied, "I love the free Internet connection and the AC in office is really nice, so I came over". Obviously she was distracted, everyone had a good laugh and she walked away saying "have fun". Best part is, everyone thought I am joking but I was serious.

To make an equipment work, we need electricity...but that ain't there. Make no mistake, it is not shortage of power or power theft in transmission or inability of the country to produce power that is demanded by the masses. It is just that India's intelligentsia in New Delhi has taken to Earth Hour very, very seriously.

Earth Hour : Households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for 1 hour every year for just one day.

We are Indians, we will do it left, right, center, above, below and better than anyone else can. The day after Earth Hour, you have to look out for our 'enthusiastic -yet -will-remain-immature' media for chest beating. 'Indians have done it and the capital city is leading by example. Delhi's power demand fell by 1000MW. The “phenomenal” dip is attributed to the Earth Hour observed by Delhi on Saturday evening and lower temperatures caused by rainfall. Forget the rainfall...that is not happening, so it is all about we coming together for saving the planet we love. There are two things that united India...Cricket and there is a proud third addition. Yes 'Earth Hour' everyday for you, me and the generation that is going to follow'.


Considering there are variety of reasons that affect power consumption (stage of economic development, climatic conditions etc.) I was searching for some sort of neutral ground. 'Average per capita power consumption' fit the bill.

US, China, Canada, Russia, Japan, Germany consume more power than India. I can make peace with myself for all the other countries but Canada was a big surprise...I was baffled. To cut the long story average Canadian consumes 38 times the power an average Indian consumes. In other words, a country of around 35 million population is consuming more power than a country of 1.2 billion population!

The power cuts here have nothing to do with citizens of the first world but at the same time, there can be absolutely no excuse for excessive consumption on the part of our Canadian/first world friends.

Do you feel like participating in Earth hour when you have power cuts throughout the year, just so that media can pick on what extraordinary thing India is doing on that one particular hour? I seriously don't. Here is what I am going to do....on March 27, 2010 between 9 PM - 10 PM I am going to turn 'ON' all the non-essential lights at home. I will call it 'UNEARTH Hour'.

Care to join? Membership is free. I will close this club once the developed world decides to curb their excessive consumption and does an Earth Hour 'act' at least once every quarter.