Brunei joins Earth Hour for the first time

In 2004 Brunei ranked 6th in the world for Carbon Dioxide Emission per capita. Brunei also ranked 3rd for largest passenger vehicles per 1,000 population ratio at almost 550. In addition, the United Nations Development Programme Annual Human Development Report last year listed Brunei to have a considerably high per capita consumption of energy, which was 8,842 kilowatt-hours of electricity per person. Thus, it was deemed most appropriate when Brunei decided to participate during the Earth Hour last March 28. It was Brunei's first time to join the event.

During the Friday sermon that was delivered prior to Earth Hour, the imam talked about the ecology and the need to protect it. In Brunei all the Friday sermons are the same in all masajid. Brunei Resources blogged about the sermon:

The Imam at the Kilanas Mosque struggled to read today's sermon. It must have been written in jawi and full on modern words. Today's sermon was about the ecology. I think many in the mosque must have raised eyebrows today when they left the mosque. It is not often to hear about the ecology being mentioned in Friday's sermon. But nevertheless, it is indeed interesting to hear about the ecology and the environment. We all have to be aware of the need to save the ecology and the environment.

A number of bloggers shared their enthusiasm on Brunei's participation in Earth Hour, and urged others to play their part. Aryati munirah expressed the significance of taking part in the cause:

…alone we might not leave an impact over all the pollution and global warming etc. but as a whole, I’m sure we could freaking well change, at least, something.

aish. i dont understand…how some people are so ignorant about these things. junyan was complaining to me that ‘our hometown’ …was brightly lit! the whole time! :( *sighs* people, do your part…

Unfortunately, some of the popular areas around Brunei such as Gadong and Bandar Seri Begawan were seen to be brightly lit as mentioned by Haady:

Earth Hour Day is today so we went to Gadong to see what's up. We went there around 6pm and waited for 2 hours! Nothing happened. Gadong wasn't even dark as expected! A little maybe but it was not enough! So we went to check out Bandar. Bandar too didn't blackout. But there is one cafe which supported the Earth Hour Day. It's Coffeebean! I am so proud of Coffeebean for contributing in the event. Fathul said he's proud to work at Coffeebean! Hahaha. I think Brunei is not that supportive. Come on! It is just for an hour. Why is that so hard?

Coffee Bean in Bandar Seri Begawa. Photo from Haady

Coffee Bean in Bandar Seri Begawa. Photo from Haady

Teo jokingly suggested that the Electrical Services should cut off everybody's electricity supply for an hour, but was afraid that this would enrage the community:

We in Brunei, maybe a tiny country, but we can show the world that we can do something. Then, mayb the perception that people of Brunei live on pokok will be banished. Many have seen ads of this program on astro channels, but inda tahu what is that. Some are suggesting that inda payah voluntary participation, tutup aje karan 1hr, tapi ini bakal mengundang kemarahan!

We in Brunei, maybe a tiny country, but we can show the world that we can do something. Then maybe, the perception that people of Brunei live on trees will be banished. Many have seen ads of the global movement [Earth Hour] on Astro channels [TV channels provided by a Malaysian satellite TV provider], but do not know what it is. Some are suggesting that there need not be any voluntary participation. Just switch off the electricity supply for 1 hour, but this would probably make people mad!

Save earth was bothered on how one of the leading hotels in Brunei was unaware of the environmental effects of burning 4000 candles. In a forum, the blogger wrote:

Recently our country took part in the annual international earth hour event and there is one thing in particular that bothers me…Does burning 4000 candles for the event at the empire hotel actually help our earth?

burning just 1 candle especially ones made from paraffin wax actually do more harm by producing 10 times more greenhouse emission compared to turning on electrical lights. Imagine burning 4000 of these candles?

if we think that turning off the lights and lighting up thousands of candles will help change the climate, well think again. we actually do more harm.

Put science, rationality and education first. The actual idea of the earth hour event is to turn off the lights thus saving electrical energy in the process. Also, it is unnecessary to turn Earth hour into a trendy political event.

The Earth hour’s organizer actually advised not to burn candles for the event for the sake of the climate. Hopefully our country realize this the next time we participate.

Empire Hotel on Earth Day. Taken from MrPatchiomie

Empire Hotel on Earth Day. Taken from MrPatchiomie

Brunei Resources gathered that amongst other things, one of the main aims of Earth Hour is to spread awareness on the importance of energy saving and caring for Earth: 

From what I have read, the one hour switch off does not exactly save energy. But it is to raise awareness about the need for everyone to be aware of just how much we used up energy. 

According to August 13th, awareness definitely reached her young ones:

What can one hour of darkness achieve, cynics ask.

A lot, I say.

At 8.28 pm it was really heartening to see my young babyfruits (nephews and nieces, aged 7 to 16) storm into the kitchen demanding all the lights to be switched off for the hour. Imagine that! Now, that kind of awareness in the young is just priceless.


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