A hallmark of liberalism is its preference for words over action, symbolism over reality. The latest example comes from Sydney, Australia, where people turned out their lights for an hour to “register concern about global warming:”
The Sydney Opera House’s gleaming white-shelled roof was darkened Saturday night along with much of the rest of Australia’s largest city, which switched off the lights to register concern about global warming.
The arch of Sydney’s other iconic structure, the harbor bridge, was also blacked out, along with dozens of skyscrapers and countless homes in the 4 million-strong city, in an hour-long gesture organizers said they hoped would be adopted as an annual event by cities around the world.
Hmm. Turning lights out for an hour a year doesn’t sound like it would do much good. But it could lead to fun parties:
Restaurants throughout the city held candlelit dinners, and families gathered in public places to take part in a countdown to lights out, sending up a cheer as lights started blinking off at 7:30 p.m.
Buildings went dark one by one. Some floors in city skyscrapers remained lit, and security and street lights, those at commercial port operations and at a sports stadium, stayed on.
While downtown was significantly darker than normal, the overall effect, as seen in television footage from overhead helicopters, was that the city’s patchwork of millions of tiny lights had thinned, not disappeared.
The effect seems to have been less than hoped for:
“We were expecting a big difference straight away, but it was just a little bit,” said Sonja Schollen, who took sons Harry and James to a park to watch the skyline, joining dozens of other families. Children waved glo-sticks and sparklers while parents picnicked and sipped wine.
“It was quite sweet, actually, because the kids started chanting `turn them out, turn them out.’ You can see now the city’s a bit dimmer,” she said toward the end of the hour.
These photos show Sydney before and after the blackout:
A good time was had by all, and if not much energy was saved, that’s all right: it’s the thought that counts.
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