Earth Hour celebrated to fight climate change. Plant More Trees. Take up solid waste management. LIGHTS SWITCHED FOR EARTH HOUR AMIDST GAIETY AND FANFARE.

Earth Hour celebrated worldwide.



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Celebration of the much awaited Earth Hour took place all over the world with varying degrees of enthusiasm. It was a call for drawing the attention of the world towards vital phenomena like climate change.
It was an international effort that involved people of all walks of life. The number of people, organizations and countries involved was unprecedented. The call, this time around, was to turn off as many lights as possible. Businesses, individuals, associations and industries participated with much enthusiasm leading to a good response. At the stroke of an appointed hour, participants turned down the lights and other electrical gadgets in 170 countries.
It was a call to all to take appropriate action against climate change. Almost all the famous and large establishments dimmed their lights at the appointed hour on Saturday.
They include:
• The United Nations headquarters in New York,
• The Eiffel Tower in Paris,
• The Empire State Building,
• Sydney’s Opera House,
• The Acropolis in Athens, and
• The Kremlin in Moscow,

That’s not all; almost all other monuments, government buildings and public structures around the world dimmed their lights simultaneously. Thus, the Earth Hour celebrations worldwide supported the efforts for fighting climate change.
Local scenario
The scene in the Philippines was a mixed bag; Luzon did not really hit it off in celebration mode. The low key affair contrasted with celebrations in other parts of the nation.
High enthusiasm was noticed in the Mindanao region and the Visayas; a large number of people. Due to this, the power plants displayed higher working during the Earth Hour this year. It was much higher than the performance that they displayed in the Earth Hour during last year.
Moreover, the Filipino Power grid witnessed a minor fall of 165 MW on Saturday in the maximum load. The decrease thus amounted to only a 4% reduction in the National Power Grid as compared to a reduction of 172 MW in the Earth Hour of last year.
The reason was the weak attendance in Luzon as per Felix William Fuentebella, Undersecretary Energy. He compared the load during the Earth Hour with the normal level and stated that the load was 77 MW lower than on normal days.
The recorded load in 2015 for the Earth Hour was at 136 MW. But, the recorded reduction of the load in the Visayas grid was at 44 MW lower than normal. This was an improvement over a load reduction of 29.8 MW seen in 2016 during the Earth Hour switch off. The same figure was 34.6 MW during 2015.
However, the year2011 created a record for the reduction of load during the Earth Hour shut downs. A reduction of 87 MW resulted during the Earth Hour in 2011.
Fuentebella informed that every MW is capable of powering 1000 households. The top performers in reducing the load in the Philippines were the Mindanao region with 44 MW. The surprising thing about this performance is that it is a seven-fold increase in the amount of load reduced.
The figure for the entire Mindanao region for last year’s switch offs was 6 MW.
Fun and Frolic
A novel display was put up by the participants at a mall in Cauyan City in Isabela province, 500 of them got together to form the figure 60. They also formed a plus sign using neon lights to represent the Earth Hour that they were campaigning for.
Thus, the people who care for the environment and global warming switched off the lights between 08:30 PM to 09:30 PM. The Mayor of Cauayan Bernard Faustino who was also one of the campaigners stated this.
In this regard, city environment officer Alejo Lamsen, mentioned that Cauayan residents can do their bit to impact climate change favorably. They could plant more trees to assist the environment while indulging in solid waste management.
This would go a long way in reducing the derogatory effects on the environment and impact climate change.
Civic groups, local officials, residents and volunteers in Cabanatuan City utilized two malls to observe Earth hour. Celebrations were also held in Baguio City where residents donned panda masks made up of paper and indulged in dancing and singing.
These festivities gave the feeling of a festive occasion in all cities and regions of the Philippines.
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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Monday, March 27, 2017