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2007 04 02
Sydney Dims Lights, Saves World?

Here is a story that fills me with hope. Maybe we are smart enough to deal with the looming global-warming crisis before it is too late.

World newspapers reported Sydney Australia’s symbolic dimming of its lights. As many as two million city residents and businesses turned their lights off for 30 minutes on Saturday night. World Wildlife Fund spokesperson Andy Ridley said, “It gives you a lot of hope about humanity.”

WWF organized the event but expressed surprise when more than 50% of the city turned off its lights. Overall energy consumption dropped 10.2 percent between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM. As a result of their conservation, 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide was not released into the environment. Organizers expected only half that response.

The WWF hopes that next year it can convince citizens of all the world’s cities to turn their lights off in a sequenced “domino” effect of darkened lights that will circle the globe. Let’s ensure that Canada makes a worthy contribution to the project.

Last week’s news about bee die-offs and predator annihilation had me feeling pessimistic about the future. I think back to the world I enjoyed as a kid and am more and more aware that it is increasingly and systematically being destroyed.

However, as a designer I am dedicated to the idea that considered design decisions can slow our decline—but we have to act soon. Sydney’s symbolic act is, I pray, a turning point representing a critical mass of citizen activism aimed at protecting the environment.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 04/02 at 04:30 AM

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