Well, im no greenie, but i recycle, i bike or walk to work and back if its not raining, and i pick up stray garbage and put it in the bin.
If I had been home for earth hour I probably would have read a book with a small lamp and shut down everything else.
But this year i heard they had the Balloons Over Waikato thing with something called Night Glow (something with hot air balloons at night?). I didn’t really know much about it, but hot air balloons seemed cool, and they had a big Earth Hour spin going on, so i figured we could turn everything off, park the car at a friends place and catch the free bus to Waikato University and watch the fun before earth hour.
So when we arrived, we all put the wristwatch walkie talkies on the kids (so they don’t get lost, and if they do we can find em easily), and had a look about. They must have had about 100-200 tents and rides and caravans for food etc. We grabbed some hot chips, candy floss, then sat down in front of a stage with dancers and singers and other similar. After sitting for about an hour and having a picnic dinner we strolled about looking at all the expensive rides.
There was a single tent which had a bike that powered an LCD display with some movie we never watched and a light bulb, i rode it for a couple mins and made 2 watts of power (hey i had already cycled 40kms on a tandem with a non-pedalling stoker, and done an hours run today!). The rest were costly rides and food so we gave it a miss, went back and sit down.
Eventually it got dark enough and they cranked up those fossil fuel burning Hot Air Balloons. To the tune of various songs they lit them all up in various sequences making an amazing display. None actually took off at all though. Then we sat through a fireworks display which was pretty awesome. At this point our friends we were with had disappeared to go home with a grumpy child so we headed off also.
As we were making a mad dash to the bus area they started the countdown to earth hour, they made a huge deal about how they were going to make it huge and big! and nobody would see anything from space etc. I kinda chuckled thinking ‘maybe it will offset the 100 or more generators they ran for the rest of the day, they had been there for all the rides and food stalls. or even the 20 hot air balloons burning tons of gases, or the fireworks display ..’.
So they started the countdown … 10 … 9….8… and we started hurrying toward the bus area before the lights all went out ….7 …..6…..5…..4…. ‘quick!’ i yell to my daughter , ‘get your cell phone torch on so we dont stand on anything in the dark, we really want to get the next bus’ …3…..2…..1……nothing …. the lights were still on .. im thinking ‘oh …hmm the carnival rides were all stil going, the sound system still making noises and the guy was speaking … and oh hes pointing out how they had a hot air balloon sitting there lit up for earth hour….
I thought perhaps there was something wrong… was that just the practice countdown? i look back as we still made our way to the bus stop. We got to the bus stop and waited for 20 mins. Still every single light was blazing, all the carnival rides were going, and now they had a full on concert and band on stage as well!
The bus arrived and we spent the rest of ‘Earth Hour’ in a bus spewing out diesel fumes, and then walking the 30 mins back to the car.
I have to thank Hamilton City for the spectacular show, and displays. It was most entertaining. But seriously guys … perhaps you should have just not even pretended you gave a rats about the Earth Hour? Because you sure looked like bloody idiots with no clue at all!
I would have been happy going either way honestly!