Of Earth Hour, WWF, ignorance and over-hype by the Penang State Government

Earth Hour. Have you seen me hyping over it? No? Exactly.

I personally feel that it is nothing more than a super sensational issue and almost everyone wants to be part of this cool thing because someone else is doing it.

WWF is fantastic with the marketing of this Earth Hour thingie. Yet, I wonder how on earth an hour without lights will make this world a better place? I am still going to hide in my aircond room, drink a cold drink from the fridge, using the PC and other things that need electricity. And I will also fart and release nitrogen into the air, causing global warming as well.

Well, I wouldn’t want to talk about it initially. But I just flipped through the papers and notice how ignorant WWF along with the Penang State Government are. Especially that Mr. Danny slouching on his chair Law.

A total of 140 children from the preschool of Dalat International and Twinkle Tots Nursery Centre released hundreds of balloons with the colours of the Penang flag.

Rapid Penang together with the Tropical Spice Garden management are also actively participating in the campaign.

“It is crucial that the public come together to take action against climate change and the campaign provides a great platform to do just that,’’ said Rapid Penang creative corporate communications manager Yap Lee Ying in a press statement.

(The Star, Metro North)

Note here – 140 or even more helium balloons released to launch Earth Hour. WTF, don’t they know that they are creating pollution, possibly causing some poor fishes, ignorant turtles, hungry animals to eat those rubber? If they are not related to WWF, I probably will not be bothered to talk about it. But here we are, talking about saving the earth and yet, these fellas here are clueless about what’s good and what’s bad for the environment.

Someone in Singapore also blogged about the balloons released in Singapore to launch Earth Hour.

Can someone tell me why is there a need to release 60 balloons into the air to “signify” the launch of earth hour in Singapore? Yes, I understand that these are biodegradable balloons. But do you know how long it takes to bio-degrade? 1 week? 1 month? 6 month? And while it is bio-degrading, it is considered a pollution? What if the balloon end up in the sea and some marine life mistook it as their prey and eat it? There are known case where infant sperm whales and marine turtles died as a result of swallowing balloons. Some of them are near extinction. It doesn’t matter if the balloons are biodegradable or not. The damages are the same.

I am too lazy to dig out the articles on how releasing balloons is bad for the environment so you can slowly go through some of the links on Google.

I know about this many years ago because during one discussion on a forum for bereaved moms, one mom wanted to release some balloons in memory of her deceased child and a few other moms went berserk talking about the environment. Anyway, I ignore them and still did it. With just four balloons on my son’s death anniversary.

But, it is no excuse for WWF and the so-called ‘champion of the environment’ to not know that releasing 140 balloons is a stupid idea if they want to talk about saving the earth.

Doh…one hour without lights? What’s the big deal?

33 thoughts on “Of Earth Hour, WWF, ignorance and over-hype by the Penang State Government

  1. Wow, they release balloons in Penang to mark Earth Hour too? Seriously, what is wrong with all these Earth Hour organisers? Why all of them like to release balloons so much? What’s the link between Earth Hour and balloons release?

    Side track a little: last Saturday another organisation in Singapore, Marriage Central, released 1000 balloons into the air to signify “Soaring Love”. I heard some of them flew to Johor Baru.

    DK´s last blog post..Adam Savage: My quest for the dodo bird, and other obsessions

  2. DK – LOL, you picked up so fast! Cos these people are ignorant on the real issues affecting the environment, want something glamorous to show off so they have to have big, bright balloons to boast that they are ‘saving the world’.

  3. I read about Hilton Hotel in Kuching is going to do the same thing on Saturday. I really wonder how it is helping the earth? Can an hour of without light can be so significance to the earth or to the human being? Or probably just to a few of them to boast that they care for the earth? I really wonder. *sigh*

  4. I’m never fond of this thing. The releasing of balloons are really very ignorant of them. Besides, I’ll be at a beach resort enjoy my seafood this weekend ;p

    Irene´s last blog post..Pizza & More

  5. Yeah!! I agree with you Lilian! Switching to HFC usage is a better cause. Switching off lights (mostly are energy-saving pendaflours) seems like will reduce global warming, rofl!! Maybe they should make a routine practice for all to exhale a little as possible every hour, reduce CO2 emission mah. Restrain from using the air-conditioner for one hour also much better than that =_=”

  6. I believe the main purpose of this earth hour thingie is to create awareness, not so much of the effect of the actions thereof. Everyone knows there is not going to be much significant effect from that one hour of “lights off”. It is just a symbolic action to round us, human beings, the earth dwellers up to start doing something to save our world. Unfortunately, the approach taken by the parties concerned which is not in line with the cause they fight for make it a mockery. Some of these people go in just for the publicity and not focus on the real issue.
    I may not be literally switching off lights during earth hour but it has certainly served as a strong reminder for me to do my part whenever I can.

  7. You know what we should do instead? Earth Month… where we all switch off our lights for one month… now THAT would make a difference.

    But I agree with Domino, the point of Earth hour is to build up awareness, and switching off your lights is a symbol of that rather than actual energy savings.

    They’re aiming to get 1 billion ‘votes’ to bring to a conference in Copenhagen this year to help push some global warming issues. That’s where the replacement to the Kyoto treaty will be created: http://tinyurl.com/cg8acs

    I’ll support the notion too. Our earth is F’d up as it is… so too is some parts of our country.

    William´s last blog post..Plan A Business In 4 Steps

  8. Well, I think the initial idea is good, to increase awareness and remind people that the earth is sick now.

    But although I intended to join, I also couldn’t stop doubting what ppl would do, when they have these ‘parties’/gathering at this hour. I couldn’t stop wondering what would they do, before and after.

    I can imagine, traveling there would need transport (fuels = energy), maybe some many spotlights to light up the field for that many people – before and after the 60min? Maybe loud music during that 1 hour? Maybe ppl use flash (battery is also energy+creating rubbish)? Etc. Just can’t stop thinking.

    To me, I’d prefer quiet night at home, and use this to educate my kids. Already Ian asked me about this and seem to understand more, why I am so particularly in switching off lights and aircond when not in use (ahem! Actually the real reason is $$$!).

  9. I am part of it as well (actually since last year). However, I never realised the part about releasing balloons. Hope they change their plans.

  10. I agree with Domino & William that this Earth Hour is to create awareness & to achieve 1 billion votes for conference in Copenhagen. More on symbolic gesture.

    What matters most, our daily living must minimise pollution factors such bring own shopping bag when doing shopping, bring own container when tapau food, use eco-friendly products & such, plant more trees & recycle as much as you can. This is the only some that I think many ppl can afford to implement, don’t u think?

    Hanz´s last blog post..EARTH HOUR : Sharing is Caring

  11. They had one last year. You see any changes????? Niamah!!!

    NatGeo are actually not broadcasting for that ONE hour.

  12. Some here noticed and mentioned the campaign is to create awareness, this I totally agree.

    Yes, turn off air-con, car pool, take public transport, use eco-friendly product, don’t burn rubbish, etc etc can achieve better result in saving the environment, but I’m sure they can’t create the awareness as good as we see a major part (if not all) of city turn dark. People will start to ask why want to turn off light for 1 hour especially the younger ones, then we’ll start to explain.

    Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing a lot of DJs keep on repeating about this event but stress very less on the purpose behind. It’s a bit sad when I asked my friends who mentioned about this event why we want to turn of light and they can’t answer. I consider it’s a failure if people don’t understand the purpose and just follow blindly what others will be doing for that one hour.

    Bryan´s last blog post..iPhone Hits Malaysia, A Little Too Late & Why It Would Fail.

  13. Domino & William, you both brought up excellent points. Earth Hour is to educated people like Terence. You’re exactly like the “tidak apa” attitude in our society.

  14. well.. im more worry on what would happen when suddenly at 9.30 pm, whole malaysia switch on aircond , light , tv , radio , fridge etc AT THE SAME TIME. Can the TNB station withstand the huge current draw that happen at the same time… will that cause a total black out ?

    AFF´s last blog post..It is KJ !!!

  15. It takes millions of years for our earth natures to capture the carbon from its atmosphere and safely stored it in its crust as coal, oil & in compound of other minerals. Life flourishes as a result of this balance. Most readers may not know, the nastiest polluter is carbon dioxide. Yes, the nasty gas that we breath out, cos we burn it for energy. CO2 in atmosphere cause green house effect, which prevents the earth to cool itself. The more of this CO2, the larger the effect. We had been burning carbon minerals in increasing amount for the last 2 centuries and the result is scary, if human can still survive in this planet the next half millenium and this is not too far away. I can hear most of you will say: I be dead.

    William Wang´s last blog post..Malaysia EPF Camouflage

  16. J- I wrote something wrong ar?? You know how to read ar? Didn’t they had one of these ‘awareness’ thingy last year? Did it make any difference? Did YOU make a difference?? I did not even condemn the movement.

    Unless you live in a cave or on top of a tree, do not use electricity, wipe your ass with leaves, eat raw food because starting a fire will contribute to global warming, don’t use soap when bathing, don’t use detergent when washing your clothes, don’t drink from the plastic cup at the coffee joints, don’t drive a car, don’t use a condom (Tiu, I can go on forever). Don’t talk to me about awareness lah.

    You do not even know me and my personal contributions to saving the planet.

    And never ever challenge my comments on this blog. Only the author can do so.

  17. i read fr somewhere (not NG) that the cows (fr pang pui, ok) actually cause more global warming than all cars put together. does this mean we hav to turn vegetarian to be environmentally friendly? be realistic!
    coral reef is shrinking, rain forest too…(these 2 remove large amount of CO2). Scientists around the world all agree that the next 10 yrs is crucial, once gone… we go pass the turning point of saving this planet. Darwin said, each day, a species becomes extinct….next time, when my cucu wants to c a bird, he has to go to a museum to c a stuffed one! they can all shout and cry in Copenhagen, if none of the development countries willing to sacrifice, nothing will change!
    so, in order to sleep peacefully, well, i ride a bicycle to work when the weather is clear, recycle household waste, reuse plastic bag. I am just not ready to live in a cave yet!!!

    just do what you can, don go criticise others..

    JT´s last blog post..Fish tank update

  18. I totally agree with what Domino & William mentioned to create awareness. If everyone is selfish, our coming generation living on earth suffers more fm what we ourself have done to harm earth. Its all up to us ppl.

  19. Wow Terence! Clap Clap! You must be so proud of yourself, thanks for all your personal contributions. Mother Earth must be weeping for joy with your contributions and because of you my children can lead a better life. Can’t thank you enough.

    Please don’t behave almighty-ish, you’re probably just a keyboard warrior, bragging on your own little cyberspace that you’ve acomplish this and that. Behaving like an immature kid and throwing below the belt punches just shows your character.

    Even if i don’t know you, just by your virtual presence alone it shows who you are. The only contributions you can give to the planet is when you’re asleep because that is when you stop spewing nonsensical stuff.

  20. Wah…cyber war coming liao. LOL!

    Anyway, I don’t need earth hour. I usually sleep at night without the fan on anyway. The natural breeze is good enough already 😀

    I think a poll on electricity consumption would be interesting for us to see how much an average household burns daily.

    pablopabla´s last blog post..At whose expense?

  21. What about the “candlelight set dinners” that some restaurants are offering? Awareness? Commercialism more likely!

  22. I won’t bother to switch off the lights for that hour. Conservation needs to be done on a daily basis. I am doing my part in whatever ways I can to be more environmental friendly.

    Personally I hate WWF and the way they hire people to market their donation plan. They force people to commit to one whole year. Their sales people constantly harass people who are passing by.

    Honestly, I would have bought something or donated money if they will accept a one-time payment. I am willing to contribute to their coin box even. Why should I commit to monthly payment?

    The more they want to force it on me, the more I won’t give.

    Tehpau´s last blog post..Resume made easy

  23. The gahment want to cover up the current issue, so mai use earth hour as an excuse lor.

    However, switching off the lights for an hour does not help earth if the mentality of ‘saving earth’ is still not there.

    I remembered last years, some chao ah lian and chao ah beng would light up a whole freaking room full of candles to ‘celebrate’ the one hour black out.


    The way WWF market it, are just another way businesses making money. Some might not be smart enough see it, but many do.

    If you really care about the environment, switching off light for an hour a year do not help.

    Instead, cut down the use of plastic bags, if not totally. Tapao food, bring your own container. Aircon? Sure, but if the weather isn’t that warm, why switching on the air con and hide under the blanket?

    There are many other ways to save earth, but many are just unaware of what is going on, rather than the hoo haa… Bakun dam, anyone ?

  24. Aiii!! Apasal release balloons for Earth Hour… For what???!!!

    Anyway, my parents are zealots when it comes to conserving electricity way way way before TNB naik the tariff. Save $$ mah…

    When my parents found out about energy-saving light bulbs, they rushed out to get it. Save $$ and environment, yahoo.

    I did support Earth Hour but after looking at some of the stunts happening at one of the shopping mall – mock “strike” by some students at 1U for Earth Hour sign-up *rolls eyes*, I wonder if it’s just a publicity stunt.

    Nevertheless, remember to turn off the lights when you’re not using it. 🙂

    Angie Tan´s last blog post..Sure Delicious Pasta @ Sure Pizza

  25. i always participate whenver there is an Earth Hour event. it is a good thing that the World Wildlife Fund organized an event like this.

  26. in our place, the weather could turn out to be uncomfortably humid that is why we bought an air conditioner at home to reduce h:**

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