With all this talk from politicians about the environment, it seems to me that they're ignoring one issue that sticks out like a sore thumb - nighttime lighting in the city. And I'm not just talking about Toronto - cities all over the globe are guilty of doing this. Is there really a practical reason to having the lights on at night in an empty office building? Apart from the lights at the top of the building that should be flashing to avoid airplane collisions, there is really no reason to leave these lights on at night. To add insult to injury, this year, some freaking genius decided that it would be really cool if they lit up the CN Tower at night. What the hell?
Other lighting offenders include stores, billboards, and the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival.
Regarding stores and nighttime lights, some might claim that leaving the lights on in a store is a theft-deterrent. I'll buy that to some degree. But the way that some of these stores leave their lights on at night, you'd think they were still open for business.
As for billboards, don't even get me started. It's bad enough that we're constantly bombarded with ads everywhere we go, be it on foot, by car, or in cyberspace. But to make things worse, good 'ole traditional giant poster billboard up are no longer good enough for advertisers. Nope, we must make them bigger, flashier, and electrically-powered. As if we're not distracted enough when we drive, advertisers have this need to make driving more hazardous by adding giant billboards with 5-second movie clips. Even as a pedestrian these flashing behemoths follow you. Just walk along downtown Toronto along Dundas Square at night to see what I mean. And to make matters worse, the new commercial building going up in that area is being set up for some prime billboard space.
And finally, the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival. What a freaking waste of electricity. So basically people are flocking to this thing to see a bunch of lights on. If I wanted to see a light on, I'd go home and stare at a light bulb.
It's so nice to hear that our governments are "concerned" about the environment. Or so they tell us. If they're so concerned, why don't they just pass laws which promote blackened skylines at night? Why don't they say no to putting up electric billboards? Why don't they say no to stupid wastes of electricity like the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival? This would certainly lessen the demand for electricity and then we could really shut down more of those coal power plants in Ontario that we always hear about in the news. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon. If we keep this up, we'll run down the planet, and then we'll be in the dark for sure.