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Earth Hour

March 27, 2010

earth hour toronto

That’s downtown Toronto from my balcony at 8:50pm, by which time Earth Hour was in full swing. Apparently, enthusiasm for Earth Hour is waning, and a lot more lights stayed on this year – but on the other hand, the horrible billboards at Yonge and Dundas turned off, and that’s the only thing I really care about*.

Yeah, Earth Hour is kinda useless; it’s purely symbolic, with no practical value – and even the symbolism is questionable when parts of the city are lit up like a Christmas tree. Still, I turned my lights off; it’s become an Earth Hour tradition for me to listen to an awesome CD in the dark. This year it was my favourite classical CD, Bach’s Violin Concerto’s BWV 1041-1043, plus Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso for good measure, performed by David and Igor Oistrakh.

Of course, my CD player consumes power, and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be running it during Earth Hour – I would hope that indescribably beautiful music is an acceptable use of electricity. And since I can’t describe it, I’ll have to let YouTube fill in:

Speaking of lights at night… earlier this week we had some record warm temperatures, and of course I spent most of the time indoors. I did manage to drag myself outside last Monday night, armed with my Galileoscope. It is what it is; not a powerful scope, but with all the light pollution in Toronto, there’s only a handful of objects that are visible in the sky. Saturn has been pretty bright in the south, and I had a clear view of the rings.

I can only imagine how Galileo felt when he first spotted the rings around Saturn; in my case, it was something like “hey, that sucker has rings around it” and not much else. Still, it never gets old; there’s always a feeling of excitement when a tiny dot in the sky turns out to be more than just a dot.

* The billboards are bright enough that I can actually see my shadow on the bedroom wall when the lights are out. Right now, they are lit up again, promoting The Bridge. What the fuck is The Bridge?

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