Thursday, August 24, 2006

Light Out Hong Kong and One Million People's Candle Night

The term "NGO" becomes popular in Hong Kong. While more attention is paid to it, more different voices about it are heard. Recently, Greenpeace China was criticized by mainland media as exaggerating the problems of "polluted vegetable" and "genetically modified food". The corporates and governments released research findings and information to refute Greenpeace's accusation. A member of Greenpeace said it was defeated in the media battle. A critic, Tang Hao, said in his article published in Southern City Daily, "Greenpeace is following a radical tradition, showing the style of extravagance and calculating cost and effect. I find them questionable." Fang Zhouzhi criticized Greenpeace China as "anti-scientific" repeatedly. Some Greenpeace supporters argued that this wave of criticism is the collaborative strategy of governments and corporate groups. Indeed, an engaged NGO is usually controversial. It is inevitable. But I really expect responses to these criticism from Greenpeace.

While some people found Greenpeace China too radical, some criticized it as not radical enough.

The "Light Out Hong Kong" campaign on August 8 co-organized by Greenpeace with other environmental groups, targeted power plants. The columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal, Chan Yim, disagreed with its stance. He argued that the biggest source of pollution is the factory owners and governments in the Pearl River Delta. Although Greenpeace was viewed as "radical", it didn't dare to set them as campaign targets. He saw Greenpeace's campaign as a political show without real commitment.

According to Lee Yuk Shing, some Japanese launched the campaign of "One Million People's Candle Night" to encourage people to save energy and reduce exhaust emission. And it also inspires people to reoganize their life, memorializing their deceased friends and families, and rethinking the meaning of life.

They not only won support from people all over the country, but Japan's environmental protection department. They receive positive responses from Korea and other countries. This year, people in Taipei, Keynes (Australia), Pittsberg (US) and Seoul joined their campaign. It becomes more and more influential. Compared to it, "Light Out Hong Kong" is far from successful and fails to gain support from government and the society at large.

Photo: t-mix

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