35 countries, 26 major cities, 370 towns and literally tens of millions of people… What do they all have in common?
They’re all switching off their lights for one hour at 8:00 pm local time in a now staggering global event known as Earth Hour. From around the world, Universe Today readers made a huge impact.
For all of you who took the time to sign up for Earth Hour, I not only thank you for your participation, but have deeply enjoyed watching our effort expand over the last week. We literally melted down the server on our personal UT Earth Hour site with our responses! What a tremendous effort on all our parts.
In a matter of hours, and quite probably by the time you read this, the lights will begin to go down as Earth Hour descends. As darkness falls in Australia, city landmarks from Parliament House in Canberra to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Melbourne’s Federation Square and the WACA ground in Perth will power down for an hour. Landmarks, cities and communities around the world will go dark – one by one – as Earth Hour reaches each time zone.
Says Earth Hour’s executive director Andy Ridley:
“Earth Hour is about everyone and every organisation, from individuals to 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. It’s staggering to see so much support from across the globe.”
Can you picture yourself high above the Earth as city after city and home after home turn off the lights not long after the terminator of night has passed? As darkness washes around the globe, our voices will be heard – as well as seen – for anyone who cares to look.
If you won’t participate in Earth Hour simply because you don’t think it will make a change, then do so for astronomers who are celebrating the beginning of National Dark-Sky Week. How will it reduce light pollution, given that it only lasts a week and not everyone will participate? The main goal of NDSW is to raise awareness about the harmful effects of light pollution. It just isn’t possible for all of the light pollution in the world to disappear, but together we can. make difference, just like Earth Hour, and inspire us all to preserve the beauty of the night sky.
One thing is for certain, Earth Hour is huge news. And all of us here at Universe Today can be very proud that we are part of it.