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The lights are on, but...

Simon Patkin is not giving up his one-man campaign against Lights Out (from the SCMP):

It is very disappointing that Wellcome, ParknShop, Mannings and Ikea have agreed to support the Lights Out campaign. (Retail chains turn on to lights-off campaign, July 10). I believe this to be representative of a so-called "pragmatic approach" to green groups in general.

Instead of appeasing green groups and fulfilling their desire to plunge Hong Kong into darkness for three minutes, businesses should take a principled approach. They should defend the idea that man must reshape his environment to survive.

They should also identify this Lights Out campaign as part of what can be seen as a larger, systematic attack on modern society by environmentalists.  For example, green groups have previously targeted plastic bag manufacturers, shark fin restaurants, property developers and electricity suppliers.

It's time for businesses to realise that any support for green groups is corporate suicide. They should not only actively band together to oppose Lights Out, but should also stop funding green groups entirely; especially those green groups that threaten their business. Where possible, these businesses should also refuse to deal with any organisation that helps the Lights Out campaigners.

Hong Kong needs progress, not regression to thrive and prosper. Lights Out is one giant leap backwards.

Simon Patkin, Causeway Bay

I can see that pragmatism would not appeal to Simon, but large corporations do not commit suicide by listening to their customers and adapting the way they do business.  Quite the contrary, in fact.

On Saturday, Alastair Robins from Lights Out challenged Simon on one of his favourite phrases

I must ask him to clarify what exactly he means when he states that supporters of the Lights Out Hong Kong 888 campaign should instead, "defend the idea that man must reshape his environment in order to survive".

Does he perhaps mean reshaping the land by dynamite fishing or slope clearance? Or perhaps he is a firm supporter of filling in the harbour so that no one may drown?

I rather fear that he does, Alastair.


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Patters's written English has improved significantly since the SCuM Post started editing it. Is this an example of the SCuM Post reshaping our environment, or of them preventing Patters from reshaping it.


Even if it was corporate suicide (which it patently is not), I'd have though that preferable to actual suicide, especially by a method as unpleasant and drawn-out as respiratory illness. If S.P. is so set against the idea, I might just join in the protest myself. The danger is that no-one would notice the lights going out if it's a smoggy night.


I've always thought that Little Curly Simon would enjoy Pave The Earth!.

Fai Mao

My problem with this protest is that it doesn't help anything. Turning off lights for three minutes might make us feel good but will not reduce the pollution levels because the power plants will not shut down, the cars and busses will still have their motors running and the wind will still blow more in from China.

Thus, it is a waiste of time. It does send a message to the government, the power companies but it is the wrong message. The message it sends is that we are powerless and they don't have to change.

Rather than spending so much time organizing this thing why not help elect a legco member that will force CLP and Hong Kong Electric to bring their emission control up to (or is that down to?) international standards. Currently the power plants here have absolutely no pollution control devices installed. None, zipp, open smoke stacks.

This isn't rocket science. We know where the air pollution comes from and we know what will need to happen to make it better. This will not help reduce pollution.

Try advocating this.
Have legco freeze the stock of CLP and HK Electric. Give them 18 months to bring their plants up to North American or Western European standards for emission levels or the companies will be confisated by the government and resold to someone who will bring them up to standard. Inform them that they have made huge profits at the expense of the health of HK citizens they must do this without an increase in charges. We don't need a government position white paper. We don't need to study the situation. We need to simply require the two power companies to clean up their emissions. Second refuse to purchase power from polluting plants in China.

But, then what do I know. I'm just a mean, crotchty librarian. I am also not generally considered to be an environmentialist. But the situation here is one of a utility that is owned by overseas investors who do not have to beather the smog they produce. Starting a campaign to elect someone who would confiscate the assets and sell them to a more socially responsible owner would rattle the cage a bit. Three minutes in the dark will be a waiste of time.

Excuse the typos

Fai Mao


The point of a protest is not to do something, it is to embarrass a government into doing something, and thus it is hardly useless. Electing a LegCo member and expecting him/her to do something, now *that* would be useless.

Bruce Callahan

Fancy seeing this turds name pop up on peoples blogs. I used to teach English with him back in 91 and we hated his guys. He would follow us out to the pubs when we clearly indicated that we did not want him around. On one occasion we actually hid under the tables at Ned Kelly's to avoid him but he sat around and waited for an hour.

Someone recently spotted him selling jewelery at flea markets in melb. He is now the owner of lindasworkshop.com


Ah yes: Simon Patkin on Facebook is a fan of Linda's workshop.


Just noticed his FB page and he's now meddling with US politics. What a goddamn loser.

Tom Crunch

This guy was one of my WORST memories of the early '90s. He used to work at a language center with me and the teachers and the female students were very wary of him.

His brother was another nutjob who worked at RTHK or Metro. I saw him at the Star Ferry a few days ago holding anti Donald Trump banners..

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