I know this isn’t really futuristic or sci-fi, but Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 8:30 – 9:30 is Earth Hour. A full hour in which we are supposed to go without electricity, to encourage us to practice green habits and remember this place we inhabit has limited resources.
Will you be joining?
I plan on being one person who unplugs their home as much as possible (I have wired in security and fire alarms which cannot be shut off). The timing is good for me. I will be writing a scene this weekend in which my hero and heroine are hiding on a small shuttle and must shut down nearly all power so they can avoid detection. I worry about how they will do things. How long would it take for them to get cold? Would they use up the oxygen if they burned a candle or two? This is a great research opportunity. How will they entertain themselves? 😉
On the other hand, when I am not thinking about my characters I wonder what I will do with my kids. They always seem to love it when the power goes out. Maybe it is because I let them light candles (under supervision), or that we are forced to do stuff together, play old fashioned games. My preteen loved the fact that she was caught in the tub last time and got to have candles and a few glow sticks for ambiance. I suppose I can do a little research on what to do with the kids as well – check out this link: http://www.earthhourkids.org/ and see all the cool things they came up with.
There have been a few sci-fi stories about going back in time to before there was electricity or any technological development for that matter. Look up ‘the dying earth’ subgenre of fiction. I think of the 1960’s film version of H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine. Didn’t you ever wonder what they did after the story was complete? There were no more Morlocks and there was no source of food or power. How did George bring those people into the future? Did he even choose to? It’s like that question about what would you take with you if were stranded on a desert island.
I think about the world running out of energy. Sometimes I even imagine that after a while it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I saw an interesting documentary the other night about what would happen if we ran out of oil. It was catastrophic. At least for the first 40 years or so – hundreds of thousands, probably even millions would die for a myriad of reasons. But then, the world would adapt. Those left would come up with other methods than oil to achieve power.
This year the theme of Earth Hour is go beyond the hour. Great idea. I’ve decided, just as I write this, that this summer I will take a step backward, not forward, and go unplugged for an entire day. How long can the kids make it without their DS’s and their computers and Wii? How long can I make it? Can I even write longhand anymore?