Independence Days – Earth Hour and My Week in Washington DC

Sydney Harbour Before Earth Hour

Last night I flew back home to San Diego from Washington DC. In the process I missed Earth Hour. Instead of turning off my lights to show solidarity with a very worthwhile movement, I was undertaking one of my worst environmental impacts…..flying. *sigh*

This morning I decided to have a look at the Earth Hour website to see how it all went. I was very pleasantly surprised to find some fantastic ‘before and after’ shots from around the world. I am flabbergasted to see the huge difference that was made to the skylines of some of the most famous cities in the world. There must have been a lot of people behind this and that gives me hope. Now we just need to convince people to lower their electricity use every day of the year rather than for one hour. Baby steps I guess.

Sydney Harbour During Earth Hour

I really enjoyed my week in Washington DC. I caught up with a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while and attended some very interesting briefings. Let’s just say that is appears that the U.S. Govt is well aware of Peak Oil and the potential ramifications of the impending reduction in oil supply, even though nothing is being said to the public about this issue. Interesting times ahead.

I also attended a Ball in DC with the Australian Ambassador to the U.S., Kim Beazley. He’s very well-known in Australia so it was great to actually meet him. He had some very interesting stories to tell.

Yesterday I got to tour the White House, which was another fantastic experience. It is absolutely beautiful inside, with gorgeously decorated rooms complete with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the White House lawn. I imagine that when it was built the White House would have been so impressive…in fact it’s still impressive in this day and age. It was also a beautiful sunny day in DC and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. All in all it was a great week, but it’s also good to be home.

Photo by: jdanvers

As far as my Independence Days update, I don’t have all that much to share this week for obvious reasons.


Grow some food

  • Looks like I’ll be spending much of today in the garden. I’ve already been weeding this morning and pulling out some of the collards which have gone to seed in my absence.
  • Our fava beans have finally started producing some pods. I’d given up on them, but it seems the pollinators have been busy recently.
  • Our snow peas are really productive now as well. Looks like snow peas are on the menu most nights this week.
  • Some of the beets are ready. I hadn’t checked them closely in a while so I was surprised to find how big they were. I think I’ll pickle a few of the biggest ones and then we might roast some of the smaller, more tasty beets.


    1. @dixiebelle – Unfortunately no. I either missed it I couldn’t access it during the tour I was on. Most likely the latter. Would have been great to see.

  1. Hi Mia, you do move in some interesting circles 🙂

    Your intro about Earth Hour got me thinking and I wrote a post about Earth Hour on my blog.

    Personally I am not much of a fan of Earth Hour and things like it as I feel that we are long past the point where this kind of “awareness raising” can really make a difference to the trajectory that our society is on.

    I am instead, all for encouraging people to follow your example of preparing themselves and their families.

    1. @LS. Thanks for your post on Earth Hour. You make some very good points and I tend to agree with you on most of them. We are past the point of ‘turning the lights off for an hour and we are saved’, but here’s what I think. People come to the awareness of what needs to done in their own time. Yes, we wish everyone would see the predicament for what it is right now, but in reality there will still be people in 20 years time wondering what on Earth happened.

      Turning off the lights for an hour seems like a token effort, but if people wander into a city where the lights have suddenly gone out, they might wonder why. They might hear about Earth Hour. They might want to know more. They might then learn of Peak Oil and Peak Civilisation. But it has to start somewhere and people that at least have their interest spiked are easier to talk to about the bigger issues.

      I have to think about my own journey to understanding. It happened slowly, then all at once, much like J.H. Kunstler predicts industrialised civilisation will collapse.

      People discover these issues in a variety of ways and I think the more exposure to any of them, more likely we are to reach that Tipping Point where our predicament becomes self-evident.

      I used to think we could redirect civilisation and avoid the worst of it. I don’t think like that anymore. We are heading for hard times as a species. I now just try to prepare my friends, family and anyone who’ll listen and try to enjoy the best parts of our world while I can.

      1. Mia, all too sad but true 😦 Keep up the good work. I think that blogs like yours are one of the best tools to help the people who _are_ ready to listen.

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