1.00 pm, Sunday, 18 January 2008, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
It is a beautiful bright sunny Sunday afternoon, the store is obviously closed, and the shutters are down. Yet all seven (7) exterior lamps are burning brightly, here is a photograph captured with my camera phone.
Did the owner forget? or believe it would not make a big difference? Did someone consider the extra coal that would be burnt at the power station and its resultant pollution to keep those lights on?
This raises the thorny issue, the true cost of power, can we continue to overlook the generation externalities? The social cost of pollution created by power generation in Hong Kong is presently estimated to be in the order of HK$ 6 billon (US$ 740 million) per year, but that cost is not priced into the consumers energy charge, its paid by the tax payers. The Hong Kong Government verbally advocates a polluters pay policy, however the reality is very different, often relying on the tax payer to foot the bill.