Judging from the media releases, Singapore’s Earth Hour event was a major success. Over 2000 people were estimated to have congregated at Esplanade Park where official festivities took place. I was one of them.
I did not join in the obstentious display of public support. While I support (emotionally) others who took part, my personal view is that any public display is there to raise awareness. This objective has been met judging from Earth Hour in the news. In fact, while over 25,000 individuals signed up formally in Singapore, many thousands more were estimated to have taken part without having the chance to formally register for the campaign. These were the silent heroes.
What is the real objective of Earth Hour 2009? You can read about using the light switch as your vote.
For Earth Hour, I did my part by not staying at home (lights off automatically) and taking public transport (like I always do). Even my camera pledged her support by going out on me – the battery went flat.
Most of the photos below were taken using my colleague’s camera. I brought him out to experience Earth Hour in Singapore.
I was at Esplanade Park not for the candlelight picnic and concert by WWF, Nadya Hutagalung and Gold 90.5FM DJs. I was there expressly to “soak myself in total darkness” and to take before and after shots of the city skyline.
City skyline at 20:14 hours:
City skyline at 20:42 hours. Taken with a different camera. Maybank and Fullerton Hotel supported Earth Hour enthusiastically:
If you were as naive as me, you would no doubt be disappointed.
Not quite Earth Hour for some of them. The main “culprits” were the construction sites. The future Integrated Resort was basked in construction glory. Picture shows construction at or near The Sail:
On hindsight and after conversation with a friend, I surmised a reason could be the workers are paid hourly wages. Management willing but workers not, the paycheck comes before the candle. It was easier for Shenton Way to support Earth Hour which fell on a Saturday this year.
I did not pay attention to the concert, but the panda sure caught my attention. It so happened my colleague came from China and the panda is as iconic to their country as the Merlion is to ours. Imagine seeing our Merlion on stage in another country.
Not a kung-fu panda, just the mascot for WWF:
I can’t resist taking a photo of the plush toy. I think my colleague quipped about the panda looking ugly (哎哟，好难看). Or did he say cute (可爱)?
During Earth Hour, many supporters lighted their candles. I read they were beeswax candles and such candles reduce rather than add to pollution. Lit candles are often used to express solidarity. As lights were switched off, it was akin to killing two birds with one stone.
The light in the darkness. Using the light switch (and beeswax candles) as your vote:
Candlelight picnic at Esplanade Park taken along Esplanade Dr. There was a countdown to Earth Hour on stage:
I observed the Flyer was in darkness. I read that Orchard Road too joined in the pledge of darkness, but to what extent I’m not sure. If you were there, perhaps you can drop me a note in the comments.
Our dinner at Tony Roma’s subsequently was not in darkness. Not for these people at Starbucks though.
Drinking your coffee in darkness. Starbucks outlet at City Link Mall:
Earth Hour is over, but you can still make your vote count at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December. You can add your Earth Hour photo to Earth Hour’s flickr group (Earth Hour 2009 Global) and tag it with your city and country. Or you can, like me, write a blog post about the event and tag it with earthhour or voteearth and your location.