POLITICS – How Hong Kong Would Look With The All Lights Out


Below is an impression of what Hong Kong would look like if it were possible to see the stars over Victoria Harbour (click to enlarge)…

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By Thierry Cohen

A new image below from NASA shows the reality – Hong Kong has the worst light pollution in the world. In the lead up to Earth Hour this Saturday, a three year study has showed that – at night – it is 1,200 times brighter over Tsim Sha Tsui than a normal dark sky. In fact, the only stars you are likely to see around Victoria Harbour are those affixed to the floor along it’s famous avenue.

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Click here for an annotated version from the SCMP.

The worst offender in HK for light pollution is the government-owned Space Museum, which registered as 1,200 times the International Astronomical Union standard….

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via globeholidays.net

Although many lights go out at 11pm, comparatively HK still remains lit up like a Christmas tree 24/7 – even at the Astropark stargazing centre near High Island Reservoir, where brightness is still 20x the standard. Meanwhile, the Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai registered as 130 times the standard. Scientists and doctors agree that light pollution disrupts biological clocks and affects hormone and brain functions.

Below are pictures of the 2012 Earth Hour participating buildings, before and after dimming (click to enlarge)…

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Only a handful of properties are partaking this year and there are still many buildings in HK which fail to even turn off their lights overnight. Many retail premises remain illuminated like a Macanese casino throughout the wee hours, despite pressure from local NGOs.

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via maosuit.com

One has to wonder how many customers of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dunhill and Coach are going to be around at 4am on a week night, and how many of them will be suddenly convinced that their lives are lacking yet another preposterous handbag. (Unless Armani are somehow trying to capture that key ‘drunkard/loony and/or homeless’ demographic, it seems unlikely that their target audience are going to be eyeing up their over-lit billboards.)

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via hongkonghustle.com

An article this week by Project Syndicate suggested that Earth Hour is a tokenistic waste of time and energy. What it perhaps fails to consider is how the annual event sparks debate and achieves its actual intention of raising public awareness, as opposed to directly cutting emissions. We live in the world’s freest economy so any legislation against business is unlikely to appear any time soon. Thus, it is left to us to campaign, fight, protest and complain until state and private entities switch on to switching off.

Earth Hour 2013 promotional video from WWF…

Earth Hour 2012 in action…

Earth Hour is at 8pm this Saturday.