The Real Fireworks Are Up There

Are we afraid of enlightenment?

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Photo by Klemen Vrankar.

Is Covid-19 then a consequence of the Chinese not exploding away enough firecrackers before the start of this year?

“We want to send a message of hope, happiness and positivity into the world because that is the spirit of Dubai,” said Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar, the company behind Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure and building in the world, referring to their NYE plans. Earlier this summer, a Covid-19 stricken world watched the nuclear explosion reminiscent cloud of smoke bellowing from the city of Beirut’s port, and the source was dozens of bags of fireworks. So what is it about explosives that can inspire “hope, happiness and positivity”?

Earlier this summer, however, a Covid-19 stricken world watched the nuclear explosion reminiscent cloud of smoke bellowing from the city of Beirut’s port, and the source? Dozens of bags of fireworks. So what is it about explosives that can inspire “hope, happiness and positivity”?

Restrictions have similarly been placed on the sale and use of fireworks in India, where airborne particles from the fireworks used to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, have been found to deplete lung defences far more than pollution from traffic sources. The festival’s fireworks were also reported to cause pollution that is “far worse than Beijing on a bad day” and particle pollution in the air has been found to eventually deposit on the ground and get washed into lakes and rivers.

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Photo by Thomas Drouault.

Could it be that we too have become confused into seeking out light sources which can kill us?

Research published recently in the journal “Lighting Research & Technology,” identifies artificial light from advertisements, floodlights, lit buildings, facade lighting, parking lots and sports stadia as a source of light pollution, which can affect our health and sleep, and can disrupt the light-dark cycle that migrating birds, insects and other animals are tuned into. Artificial lights confuse insects and lure them to death. Could it be that we too have become confused into seeking out light sources which can kill us?

What we might be missing out on is the opportunity to feel vulnerable, to develop our night vision, to self reflect, and to feel the connection we have with the universe through the unadulterated night sky.

In March 2019, at an entrepreneurship conference in which Alabbar was a speaker, I had stood myself up from among the audience and voiced a question to him which was unlike the other questions being asked; I was not seeking his expertise. I asked him what Emaar was doing to address its environmental impact and complained that some of the company’s employees were not taking our efforts to meet and look into what can be done seriously. The employees I was referring to at the time are no longer with the company, and I hope that next NYE I will not have to hide.

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