'Earth Hour' to Plunge Millions Into Darkness
'Earth Hour' to plunge millions into darkness
By Madeleine Coorey Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:57pm PDT
SYDNEY (AFP) - Twenty-six major cities around the world are expected to turn off the lights on major landmarks, plunging millions of people into darkness to raise awareness about global warming, organisers said.
'Earth Hour' founder Andy Ridley said 371 cities, towns or local governments from Australia to Canada and even Fiji had signed up for the 60-minute shutdown at 0900 GMT on March 29.
"There are definitely 26 (cities) that we think, if it all goes to plan, we are going to see a major event of lights going off," he told AFP.
Cities officially signed on include Chicago and San Francisco, Dublin, Manila, Bangkok, Copenhagen and Toronto, all of which will switch off lights on major landmarks and encourage businesses and homeowners to follow suit.
Ridley said it was also likely that other major European cities such as Rome and London, and the South Korean capital Seoul, although not officially taking part, would turn off lights on some attractions or landmarks.
The initiative began in Sydney last year and has become a global event, sweeping across 35 countries this year.
From 8:00 pm local time in Sydney, the energy-saving campaign will see harbourside icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House bathed only in moonlight, restaurant diners eat by candlelight and city skyscrapers turn off their neon signs.
Organisers hope the initiative will encourage people to be more aware of their energy usage, knowing that producing electricity pollutes the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels which are contributing to global warming.
But they are also aware that it will be just a small step in solving the problem of rising temperatures around the globe.
"Switching the lights off for an hour is not going to make a dent in global emissions," organiser Charles Stevens, of the environmental group WWF, told AFP.
"But what it does do is it is a great catalyst for much bigger changes. It engages people in the processes of becoming more energy efficient."
Stevens said the initiative encouraged businesses to be more careful with their electricity use while at the same time sending "a fairly powerful message to governments that people are demanding action."
Some 2.2 million people participated in last year's 'Earth Hour' in Sydney, cutting the central business district's energy usage by more than 10 percent.
While no cities from China or India are involved this year, Stevens said it was hoped that the movement would expand in 2009, which he said would be a particularly significant year given that it is the deadline for United Nations talks to determine future action on climate change after the Kyoto Protocol.
Ridley, who began 'Earth Hour' last year while working with WWF Australia, said the initiative was about individuals and global companies joining together to own a shared problem -- climate change.
"Governments and businesses are joining individuals, religious groups, schools and communities in this terrific movement that's all about making a change for the better," he said.
"It's staggering to see so much support from across the globe in just our second year and we're hoping that this will continue to grow year after year."
Cities officially involved in 'Earth Hour' include Aalborg, Aarhus, Adelaide, Atlanta, Bangkok, Brisbane, Canberra, Chicago, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Darwin, Dublin, Hobart, Manila, Melbourne, Montreal, Odense, Ottawa, Perth, Phoenix, San Francisco, Suva, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Vancouver.
Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse.
I'm sure all the muggers/robbers/theives-in-general are eagerly anticipating this government-sponsored thug-fest.
I wholeheartedly support the idea that we should consciously make ourselves more energy efficient. I hate all the way a lot of people go about doing it, though. I'm working on a TV show right now for discovery about living eco-friendly/green. The idea is nice but it turns into an ineffective hippy-fest far too often.
I'm participating... But........... not to save energy.
My "other" job requires nice clear dark skies. No lights mean I get to see more detail in objects like this...
I'm a member of the Astronomical Society and a Member of The International Dark Sky Association. As far as I'm concerned, we need to cut down on the amount of lights for other reasons.... There's a whole universe that no one can see anymore because of useless and wasteful lights. It's called Light Pollution.
Last edited by js; 03-29-2008 at 03:36 AM.
"bing bang boom! hair out...hamburger time" - William Murderface
I have no problem with conserving energy as long as it's not with the thought because we, as man, are destroying the planet with man made global warming because I am not convinced that we are the problem. I live thirty miles from glacier National Park and here all the time about the Glaciers melting because of man made global warming. The problem I have with that is that at one time 2/3 of the US was covered with ice. Did man cause that to melt? Nope. It's a natural cycle that's been going on long before the evil Americans were around.
Ok Tony, calm down. One, two, three, four....
Yeah it can. and every company (mine included) is jumping on the "green" bandwagon in the past year. Yes there have been more around for longer but.....
Originally Posted by PanaDP
Anyways, Would like to here more about the show.
I'm probably the biggest "tree hugger" type out of my circle of friends. I see nothing wrong with encouraging energy conservation. I'm not worried about Global Warming or killing small fluffy animals. I just don't like waste!
I insulated my house because a cold draft makes me feel like money is floating out the windows. I have a big giant pickup truck that guzzles gas, but I only use it when I need to haul big heavy messy stuff, otherwise I use my little Hyundai (30+ mpg!). And I have no problem buying used stuff instead of new. It bugs me to think about people who have a long commute driving alone in a car/truck that gets crappy milage.
I understand that its our "Right" to consume as many resources as we can afford to, just as it is my "Right" to in a crowded elevator if the urge strikes. That doesn't mean its the right thing to do.
Just remember, every time we buy and use more of something than we have to, we're sending another fist full of $$$ over to Saudi Arabia (remember 9/11!) and communist China!
--Rant over - sorry.
I think your approach is just being a smart consumer. Heck, we all feel the crunch at the pump when we fill up and driving a more efficient car is just common since. Boy, I know that to well. My Explorer gets about 17 miles a gallon. OUCH! Though I love that olí truck Iíve been thinking of getting something else. Sounds like a good time to talk to the wife about a motorcycle again. You know, good gas milage. hint hint
Originally Posted by kev74
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