Today from 8.30PM, people across the world will be switching off their lights to save energy. Egypt, on the other hand...
Earth Hour is the world wide movement symbolising the fight against climate change that began in 2007 in Sydney. Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) the annual event encourages individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March. Earth Hour 2015 will take place between 8:30 and 9:30 PM on Saturday 28th March. We would love to see a city wide black out during this period here in Cairo; in fact among all the cities in the world, we should be especially committed to reversing the effects of electricity consumption considering our unnecessary waste and constant government enforced black-outs. In 2010 the government decided to turn off the lights on the Sphinx for Earth Hour, which we're pretty sure is nonsense because the lights of the Sphinx are only ever really on for the Sound and Light Show. Here are five ways the city needs to check itself before it wrecks itself...
You see them everywhere, the massive skinned advertising monstrosities, stripped of their former diabetes-inducing stylised product photography, leaving hundreds and hundreds of halogen lights there, still on. These billboards are like the Hummer of the electricity world; atrocious to the environment. It's bad enough they have to light up a thousand and one pointless capatalist messages, creating an eye sore on our skyline, it's even worse that they're glowing for no reason at all.
A significant feature of Cairo's topography is the huge abundance of exterior air conditioning units lining every building chugging away. Spoiled, we use ACs liberally as soon as the temperature creeps up just a couple of centigrade. How about we just open a window... or sleep naked.
If we wanted a tacky colour light show forced on us, we'd go to Bamboo night club. We're not sure who decided one day to turn the Cairo Tower into an EDM stage show but at least Cairenes have something to look at it out the window when the power is cut in their homes.
Anywhere in the western world restaurants and shops have defined opened and closing hours. Aside from labour laws, one of the reasons for this is energy conservation. With most establishments in Cairo open way past midnight, there's a huge energy waste. You do not need that 3 AM Big Mac either, maybe by defining closing times like most countries to late afternoon our eating habits will get better too.