Earth hour irony and how Dubai could make a difference

Yesterday was Earth Hour – a worldwide event organized by World Wide Fund for Nature held annually encouraging households to turn off non-essential lights for one whole hour to raise awareness about the need to take action regarding climate change.

Did you take part?

Last night from 8:30-9:30 pm was Earth Hour here in Dubai and I almost forgot about Earth Hour last night but it really didn’t matter – by 8:30 pm, we are always in bed anyway, our lights already turned off. Last night was no exception.

I checked Twitter/Facebook at 8:45 to see lots and lots of tweets/status updates about Earth Hour. With the lack of electronic things to entertain, people are turning on to their smart phones to tweet or update Facebook. Some might have even used their computers, which really takes the meaning out of  “energy conservation”. The flood of tweets, Facebook statuses and emails about Earth Hour shows the irony of this all because –

With every email, every tweet, every appeal watched on YouTube or “liked” on Facebook, environmentalists are stoking the very problem they want to resolve.

Each time we network, we emit carbon dioxide (CO2) through the fossil fuels which are burned to power our computers and the servers and databanks that store or relay our message.

But how did Dubai spend last night’s Earth Hour? The city’s prominent landmarks  Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab went dark as some buildings and probably a few household. Not so impressive because our dark room is still bright from our neighbor’s lights. I see it has not reached a lot of people, or they just thought it was just a hype.

The social media scene have been active and alive with tweets about it days before. There had been a call for action to do something very Dubai, always an excess of something: to turn off the lights not for one, but for two hours. I wonder how many can bear to ‘over-indulge’ the darkness.

Sadly, after an hour of energy conservation, energy binging is back, especially in this side of the world. If you have been here or lived here and visited the malls or the offices or got on a public transport you will know what I mean: the unnecessary lights, the ridiculous aircon settings everywhere (even when it’s cold in the winter outside).

I wish Dubai would do better about this whole climate change awareness issue by  starting to take action at least with aircondition settings*…EVERYDAY. Make every hour Earth Hour, everyday.

Image credit: Gulf News


In Japan, they have a Cool Biz campaign to help reduce electric consumption by limiting use of air conditioning. Aircon settings there during the summer months until September is 28C.

Sure it’s not cool at all, we feel hot inside our offices but Dubai’s aircon setting of 20C or lower is senseless.


  1. Unfortunately, I completely forgot it was Earth Hour yesterday O.o The good thing is that was about the time I was still helping my boyfriend move into his new place, so we really didn’t use a lot of electricity rearranging his room and putting everything where it needed to go. Hopefully that counts for something! Lol



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