A Dark Day in Dubai

By Alistair Pope. From https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2015/07-08/powerless-dubai/

This short memoir is about the reality of life without electricity, that dream of the Dark Greens, which I lived in Dubai during the power outage of June 2005. The reports that followed made light of the reality as just a minor inconvenience. That is not what I experienced.

By 2005 Dubai had undergone a decade-long building frenzy and such an expansion of the population that they had outstripped the infrastructure’s electricity-generating capacity—but nobody stopped the developers.

I had been in Dubai for ten days and was due to fly out on a 2 a.m. flight for London. As I had a lazy day to kill, I woke at about 9 a.m. I had woken up, not because it was time to get up but because my hotel room was uncomfortably hot. My sweat was soaking the bed sheets. (I usually sleep with the air-conditioning set to “Igloo”—13°C—as I find that snuggling under a doona in the cold air leads to a better and deeper sleep, but that’s just me.) Clearly we had a problem, so I called reception and was told that the air-conditioner was off due to an electrical fault, but it should be OK in an hour or so. Continue reading “A Dark Day in Dubai”

Earth Fools’ Day

While Western civilisation has enjoyed the benefits of cheap, coal-fired electric power for barely more than a century, much of the Third World still struggles to cope with the capriciousness of an ever-challenging climate.

So what do fools do to celebrate? They turn off the lights.

May I suggest Earth Hour be more appropriately held on the first day of April.

John McRobert,