Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Lights Out Along the Thames

As we travelled back from London along the Thames on Saturday evening after The Wave Climate Rally, looking through the coach windows I was struck by just how many lights were blazing away in the city's buildings. The blocks of flats and the shops in the streets were one thing. The towering buildings of the new financial district in Canary Wharf were something else. "End Times in Atlantis," I thought to myself.

I was born in London and lived here for years, but I haven't been since joining the Transition movement. This morning we entered the city from the eastern outskirts passing the bleak landfill sites with their flocks of seagulls, the huge food distribution centres and (further in) the American-styled Canary Wharf towers. I felt like I was revisiting a scene I'd only read about. Or heard about. Or dreamt about. I felt a kind of shock, the sort that comes when you see something you haven't really seen before. Right in front of your face.

The discussions we've been having and the actions we've been taking in TN2 and the Transition Circles have centred on personal reduction of fossil fuel use and therefore our carbon and ecological footprints. What I was looking through the window at was obviously not home consumption, but that of banks, businesses and shops. All that energy to keep those lights on!

So in this week of the Copenhagen Climate talks, it was great to see Maria and Mark of TN's Buildings and Energy group on the BBC's Politics Show East on Sunday walking through Norwich city centre at night carrying out a light audit of shops and offices. And to hear about the Night Light scheme they are starting up to encourage businesses in the city to turn their lights off at night. You can see the show over the next few days here:

PS Both Transition Norwich and Sustainable Bungay feature in this programme dedicated to the Copenhagen Climate talks. The section on Transition Towns starts at around 36 mins.

PPS Message to LORNA from London who was waiting for friends near Big Ben on her bike (for two hours!). The pic I took of you came out really well and if you'd like it do leave a comment here with email and I'll send it. Best, Mark

Lights in the coach and lights outside

Returning home to East Anglia after The Wave Climate March

Photos by Mark Watson

No comments:

Post a Comment