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Earth, I'm leaving the light on

Ten years ago, I felt compelled to write a piece for a local newspaper. Today, I cannot trust any local newspaper to publish anything I write, but I feel compelled to write anyway. As somebody who likes to care, I could care less about turning the light off tonight and here are four reasons why.

8:43pm, 30 March 2019 - American University in Dubai's B Building (Business School).

1. I am afraid of the dark

If you are looking to burn candles and have yourself a romantic evening while doing your part to "save Mother Earth," remember that paraffin fumes have been found to cause tumors in the kidneys and liver of lab animals.

2. The light switch is too far

If you are feeling too smug about turning off the light, please tell me what will you be up to during that earth-loving hour? Will you be thinking about your carbon footprint in darkness or will you be Wi-Fi powering your way through charged devices, expending online streaming energy. Is your fridge on? That 5W LED light bulb did not deserve to be punished.

3. Why me?

If you are paid to work, you are most likely working remotely now, but back in the day, not very long ago, when (if) there was a workplace you could go to, were the lights on during the day time? Did you even notice? If you did notice, did you complain?

4. An hour is too long

We are all in this together, you say. Yes, we are all in awe of glossy glass skyscrapers and we sure would not mind if their iconic facade lights take one for the team. If we assume that otherwise they would be operating from sunset to dawn, an average of 8 hours x 366 days, we would be in it together for 0.034% of 2020.

As somebody who has invested her energy over the past couple of years into reaching out to decision makers and inconveniencing corporations and businesses about their negative environmental impact, I feel like a load has been taken off my shoulders this month. Fear has prompted the cancellation of both the Emirates Nature WWF + DEWA Earth Hour "celebration" and the Dubai World Cup as well as the early closure of Global Village. We are all grounded now.


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