For the last four years, our household has happily and actively taken part in Earth Hour – making sure all lights are off between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on the last Saturday in March. Until this year, you have been able to see live coverage of Earth hour on Sky News.
I remember one year, they aired a special which showed the lights going off in Sydney, and then Melbourne as well – with so many major landmarks disappearing into the night. Later in the night, as 8.30pm worked its way across the country and then the world, they would show landmarks in other cities having their lights turned off. Watching the coverage on Sky News had become part of the experience of the night.
But – once every four years, the NSW Election coincides with Earth Hour – as the NSW election is held on the last Saturday of March every four years (and presumably either a week later or a week earlier if the last Saturday in March happens to occur during the Easter long weekend).
With Sky News providing “unrivalled” coverage of the NSW Election, there was no planned coverage of Earth Hour. I remember one year, Sky News turned down or off many of their lights, reading the news in the least amount of light possible.
They did show the Harbour Bridge in darkness for total of 3 seconds. David Speers – Sky News’ main political reporter announced that they would show the harbour bridge, then basically said “there it is” before going straight back into the election coverage.
Earth Hour was mentioned a few more times during the night. Green’s leader Bob Brown said they had the lights off at their gathering during Earth Hour.
Yes, the NSW Election is a big deal, but surely Sky News (or even ABC News 24) could have cut from talking about it for just 5 minutes so they show the lights going off in Sydney and other areas? I Wonder how many people tuned over to see if anything from Earth Hour was being aired, only to be disappointed?
This year’s Earth Hour saw a reduction in electricity consumption by 12%. Why do it on just one night – why don’t we always make sure we turn off unnecessary lights every night? Maybe if we started keeping unnecessary lights off – especially in offices – we would not be facing a carbon tax?