I am writing in response to the article “Why Hongkongers should turn down lights for Earth Hour” (Post Magazine, March 13). The author argues that the government should stop “pandering after tourism”, and respect the Earth Hour due to the health effects of light pollution.
I agree with the author. The government is reluctant to introduce light pollution legislation and has relaxed regulation on Earth Hour participation. It follows that a relaxed attitude from the government could result in a lax attitude from citizens.
How do you get seven million people to turn their lights off? Oftentimes, people have a “good reason” for keeping them on, despite climate change, our carbon footprint and impending doom.
A change in the government’s mindset would be a good start. Given reports of a downturn in Hong Kong’s economy, the government could pursue policies that encourage businesses to become more environmentally friendly, with a combination of subsidies for purchasing greener lighting. They could also invest in an advertising campaign to promote Earth Hour, and tighten regulation. Finally, investing in strategies, such as greener technology to power signs could help.
We need to enjoy and embrace the darkness. If there’s a response from the public during Earth Hour, it could motivate the government to act further.
Conserving energy needs to come from both sides; the public needs to show that they are ready for change, and the government needs to act on it, both by influencing citizens and by taking tangible action to mitigate the consequences of light pollution. Despite all the recent bad news, action on saving energy could put the administration in a good light.