I wandered down to the harbour to see what happened when "Earth Hour" kicked in.
It was kind of a fizzer, really.
Most office buildings had already turned off most of their lighting before 7:30, so there wasn't a sudden dimming of lights, which somewhat diminished the effect. Also, the street lighting stayed on so, locally, there was not much difference.
That said, most office buildings did actually turn of their illuminated signs. Notable exceptions were Mulpha in the city and Samsung in North Sydney.
Presumably the marketing geniuses at Samsung will use the publicity generated by their defiant bucking of the consensus to put a green spin on their own lighting products. On the other hand, perhaps I should credit them for a lack of hypocrisy. How many corporations are actually willing to back up this gesture by permanently switching off all non-essential lighting. Not many, I bet.
The most convincing realisation of the sentiment I observed was the Harlequin Hotel. They dimmed their house lights so that patrons had to find their way around in the glow of large flat screen TVs.
Given the unlikely chain of coincidences that seem to keep cropping up in this blog, what's the bet that those flat screen TVs were manufactured by, um, Samsung?
Update: Mmmm...it would seem Samsung can't be cleared of hypocrisy - apparently they were quite willing to sign up to Earth Hour. Just not committed enough to actually switch off their lights. Oops.