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Monday, 31 March 2008 06:36

World goes dark for Earth Hour

Written by David Stellmack

Image

WWF promotion for global warming

The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) urged governments, households and businesses to turn off their lights for at least one hour starting at 8 P.M. wherever they were located on March 30th in a campaign to promote world awareness of global climate change. 

The WWF organized the event and called it Earth Hour. The event was a huge success:  floodlit famous buildings, offices, the Roman Coliseum, the Sears Tower in Chicago as well as 200 other buildings downtown, buildings in the City of Atlanta, Georgia,  the CN Tower and hundreds of restaurants in Toronto, and much of San Francisco all turned off their electricity for sixty minutes and illuminated by candlelight.

The voluntary black-out started in New Zealand and Fiji, then spread to Thailand, Philippines, Greece, castles in Sweden and Denmark, London City Hall and Canterbury Cathedral in England, then parts of the Ireland and followed the setting of the sun across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. However, large parts of Europe (France, Germany and Spain) did not have any official participation in Earth Hour. Google, the Internet search engine, blackened its home page in participation and posted a text message encouraging site visitors to turn out their lights.

Large buildings account for about one-third of the carbon emissions that scientists say will boost global average temperatures by between 1.4 and 4.0 degrees Celsius this century, bringing floods and famines and putting millions of lives at risk.

The actual success in darkening the skyline and lights throughout the world may not have been huge, but the public relations campaign to promote awareness of just how much electricity we normally burn without a care has been increasing each year.

Organizers of Earth Hour said that while switching off a light for one hour would have little impact on carbon emissions, the fact that so many people were taking part showed how much interest and concern over the climate crisis had taken hold. And that is the goal: raising personal awareness which may lead millions to modify their usage and result in personal change.

The WWF said they plan a similar event March 28, 2009.

Last modified on Monday, 31 March 2008 10:10

David Stellmack

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