Did Burien Celebrate “Earth Hour”? Not So Much…
by Jim Branson
Having heard about Earth Hour on the news, (it was the lead story on Google News all day), I shut off all the lights and headed out for a walk with my dogs. I expected to see a few like-minded people out enjoying the festival of darkness to save the planet. I wondered what others were doing to celebrate Earth Hour, and I speculated that there might be a spike in births recorded in hospitals around the world on December 28th.
Instead, I found the streets were empty and lights blazed in almost every home as people sat in front of their TVs. Even yards that had prominently displayed political signs for pro-environment candidates had floodlights blazing. Fewer than one home in ten appeared dark, and some of those may have been vacant. One guy, the one with the immaculate lawn that he waters all summer and mows even in the dead of winter, had all the lights in his home on, and he also had a full-size truck running in the driveway with its headlights on, aimed out into the neighborhood. I’m not sure if this was his personal statement against Earth Hour, or just his standard practice.
The dogs and I walked through Olde Burien, and I expected a few of those shops, run by people who, one would hope, tend to pay attention to what’s going on in the world, to be participating in this global event. I thought some might even use it to promote business, inviting people to enjoy a candlelight dinner, perhaps. Not only were the open businesses fully lit, but most of the closed business had their lights blazing. They seem to leave them on all night, every night. The shops of Olde Burien even had extra lights strung along the tops of the buildings. All those lights make it a cheery place, I suppose.
The real kicker was the new Town Square. It is completely vacant right now, but lights shone from every floor of the residential building. The City Hall and Library building glowed so brightly it was hard to look at. I needed sunglasses to walk by it. These lights also stay on twenty-four hours a day, even at 9:26 on a Saturday night when no one is working. Participation in Earth Hour wouldn’t necessarily save the planet or even slow global warming, but it was a chance to raise awareness and show solidarity with our fellow earthlings as we recognize that our actions make a difference.
The city of Burien, its citizens, businesses, and government, seem to be sending a different message to Planet Earth:
“We hope you die a slow and horrible death, you stupid planet.”
Way to go, Burien.
Here are some photos of how other places around the world celebrated Earth Hour:
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Branson is a longtime area resident and environmental activist. On a personal note, when “Earth Hour” rolled around at 8:30pm Saturday night, we actually turned off all the lights in our home and sat in the dark. It was not only peaceful, but it felt…different. Mostly because when we stepped out on our porch and looked around, we noticed that ours was the only “dark” house on the block. Sure, some think this is a silly exercise. And some think global warming is a bunch of hooey. We wonder if any of our Readers participated? If you did, what did you do? And if you didn’t…why not? Please Comment below…]