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Skylanterns light up Zambo skies on Earth Hour 2012


Hundreds of skylanterns were released in batches to the skies of Zamboanga City at Paseo del Mar on Saturday (March 31) marking the city’s participation to the world-wide observance of Earth Hour 2012.

Every major city in the world, includingthose in the Philippines, shut down power for an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 in theafternoon on March 31 in the global effort to raise awareness about climatechange.

“Switching off power for an hour may not savethe planet, if the intention was merely to save power,” Jovi, an advocate ofEarth Hour said. He said many are skeptical about this idea, including him, butstill believes that skepticism is still part of the debate and “this createdawareness.”
Jovi brought his family at Paseo del Mar aspart of their Saturdays night outing. He said that Saturday was special becausehis family, especially his 2 children ages seven and fourteen, will get to experienceEarth Hour observance. “I guess this is the first time Zamboanga will use skylanterns as part of the observance.”

“I have little faith on how the organizerswould use the event to spread awareness and really awaken people on the urgencyof doing concrete response to save the planet,” he said, saying that releasinginto the atmosphere another carbon-emitting lantern is somehow strange andconfusing for him.

More so, he said “there goes the garbageproduced out of the event, the plastic packaging of the lanterns, the lanternsthemselves that will eventually go back to earth as trash somewhere.”

For a staunchadvocate of Earth Hour, Jovi said he was a bit confused. “I guess by way of thelanterns, the city government wanted to keep the people and the crowd togetherfor that hour. The lanterns are visually delightful but how they impacted onthe crowd to do something to save the planet is not certain.”

Students and young people were also in the crowd. Most of them were excited to participate especially in lighting the lanterns. In conversations with some students, many of them are sufficiently aware of the observance saying that switching-off power for anhour is a conscious effort to save electricity.

“For me lightingand releasing the sky lantern into the sky is a symbol of hope,” Sandy, astudent of a local school here said. “It is my voice raised to the skies telling those who would see my lantern from a far that I need my home, my earthfor my future.”

For what it’sworth, Jovi believes sky lanterns can still bring the message and stir debate.He said that what is important is for organizers to be challenged with more meaningful and impacting observance of Earth Hour in the coming years.

Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and held onthe last Saturday of March annually, encouraging households and businesses toturn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about theneed to take action on climate change. The event, conceived by WWF and TheSydney Morning Herald, first took place in 2007, when 2.2 million residentsof Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.

Since then, Earth Hour hasgrown to become what environmental group WWF organizers say is the world’slargest demonstration of support for action on carbon pollution. WWF noted thatthe main goal of Earth Hour is to create awareness around climate change issuesand "to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change ourplanet for the better" and not about the specific energy reductions madeduring the hour being all that's required. PIA-9 ZBST

by Rene V. Carbayas

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0 #6 Sky Lanterns 2012-04-21 15:46
This is what I love to see people embracing sky lanterns in a positive way with a real purpose and meaning behind them. They really look amazing when several at a time go up, or for that matter, hundreds at a time.
0 #5 Red curry 2012-04-12 16:49
Enfinity solar was very much interested in putting up a solar plant here, the reason why it fell apart was because mayor Lobregat insisted that they put up their plant in Ecozone at a price 7x what they are selling now. Enfinity had already said they could not put up a solar plant next to a coal plant because of sediment problem, they would have to clean their panels daily. Unfortunately, this mayor we have has an 'all or nothing' attitude, so Enfinity left.... so with the major big malls (SM, Robinson's, Gaisano).

Why would mayor Lobregat insist to have things his way? Enfinity solar as a company investing in Zamboanga has a right to build a plant according to their specifications and needs.

BTW, I'm also for coal power plant, but not in our watershed area. Zamboanga will need to tap into the Ayala watershed in the future for our dwindling supply of water.
+1 #4 mario 2012-04-09 19:49
Why wait for the changed in leadership to invest in zamboanga city? are businessman practcing partisan politics now? I dont think it makes any difference who is in power. The bottom line is the goal of business is to make money. and following your assumption that solar company is waiting for the changed in leadership, The only reason why solar company businessman does not want to invest in zamboanga is because they could not make a good deal at the expense of tax payer. so, basically the mayor is protecting the interest of the people. We should thank the mayor for that......
-2 #3 Akbayan de Zamboanga 2012-04-09 08:51
AKBAYAN : Clean Coal Technology is a cosmetic term coined by the dirty coal industry to hide it's ugly realities.

These so called CCTs failed even in first world countries. It has failed miserably in eliminating poisonous carbon emission. In fact, Conal admitted that their mitigation measure to control poisonous carbon is to plant trees to serve as carbon sink.

The acceptable technology is carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) but their is no plant in the world operating in commercial scale and the cost of putting one is very high.

There are several solar power investors but they will come when Zamboanga City will have a new leadership.
0 #2 Mario 2012-04-08 22:34
The local administration is just trying to avail of what is currently available alternative source of energy to meet the energy deficit in Zamboanga city, CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY. But, they mostly prefer solar alternative source of energy. In fact solar alternative source of energy was their first choice unfortunately the deal they had with infinity corporation for one reason or the other did not materialized. Basically, what's available in the table is CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY. What would you proposed then alternative source of energy to resolved the imminent energy crises aside from solar, considering the fact that there is no solar energy company interested to invest in Zamboanga city? Candle light? You need to be practical and compromised. As long as it's CCT and compliance with Energy and environmental commission so be it.... Don't get me wrong I'm totally for the protection of human health and the environment that's why CCT not otherwise....
-3 #1 Akbayan de Zamboanga 2012-04-08 16:11
AKBAYAN : Earth Hour serves as a reminder of our commitment to stop polluting the earth with poisonous carbon dioxide. To do this, we must stop burning coal and reject toxic coal fired power plant.

The likes of Lobregat and VP Elago must be condemned for supporting the poisonous coal power plant. They are hypocrites in celebrating Earth Hour.... Shameless!

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