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Global: Switching off the lights for a sustainable world

Categories: Latin America, Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Environment, Photography

Brazil's most famous landmark, the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Hill, had its lights switched off overlooking a much darker than usual Rio de Janeiro city last Saturday. About 100 other Brazilian cities also switched the lights off from 20:30 to 21:30 during Earth Hour [1]. It was the first time that the country has taken part in the global movement to show support for a more sustainable world.

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Photo by Americo Verme/WWS Brazil [2]

Like Brunei [3] and many other countries, Brazil joined Earth Hour for the first time. Reactions ranged from optimistic and supportive to critical and cynical posts. Guilherme Nascimento Valadares, from Papo de Homem [4] [pt] blog, spent some time monitoring reactions on Twitter and counted over 8,000 posts related to relevant tags between 20:45 on Saturday 29 and 6:00 am on Sunday 30th. He concludes:

Fato peculiar. O mais críticos eram justamente os mais conectados, jovens, hypes, espertos. Me corrijam se estiver errado, mas tenho uma forte impressão de que o retrato da juventude produtiva brasileira de hoje – estou falando da turma que saiu da faculdade e já faz o seu $$$ – é um tremendo bundão, cético, hedonista, indolente, inseguro, maria-vai-com-as-outras.

A peculiar fact: most of the criticism came directly from the most connected, hyped, smart youngsters. Please tell me if I got it wrong, but I am under the impression that this is the portrait of today's Brazilian active youth – I am talking about these guys who have left university, have already made their $$$ – who are tremendous assholes, skeptical, hedonistic, lazy, insecure, sheep people.

Of those who turned the lights off, many Flickr users took pictures [5] to pass the time. See below a selection of photos uploaded under Creative Commons licenses from Brazil, India, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Chile:

3393393277_dda7b4949e [6]

Photo by Alexandre E Silva's [7] – Brazil

“Transmitindo a Hora do Planeta ao vivo pelo Ustream.”

“Live streaming the Earth Hour over Ustream”

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Earth Hour in Bangalore, India – Photo by Earth Hour Global [8]. For a local blogger who reminds us that the country faces a chronic power shortage on a daily basis, observing Earth Hour was a symbol of foolishness. View of My World [9] says:

Bangalore, and large parts of India, have been observing earth hour / earth day / earth night for many many years now. Even this morning there was no power supply to my home between 9 AM – 11 AM.

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Photo by Dani Pontes [10], Brazil

“Nós participamos!!
E aproveitamos pra namorar a luz de velas!! rs”

“We took part! And took the opportunity to kiss and cuddle by candle light”.

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Photo by Luciano Joaquim [11], Brazil

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Give earth a chance… photo by CW Ye [13]- Malaysia

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Photo by Max y Miliano [15], Chile

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Photo by Mondayne [17]. Sydney, Australia.

Earth Hour was both disappointing and pointless in Sydney. They didn't even turn the lights off on the Opera House or Bridge really… just a few lights were shut down. I can't imagine they really saved that much power.

3406157063_b99c59121e [18]

A self portrait by Hsien-Ku [19], Australia.

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Photo by Nathan Hayag, [21] Singapore