Earth Hour 2010

Where will you be when the lights go out? Earth Hour 2010 will take place on Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 pm local time. Even though it will spark a tirade of controversy just asking folks to turn off their lights for one hour, let’s see who would rather fight than turn off a switch. In 2009 hundreds of millions of people around the world showed their support and Earth Hour 2010 will continue to be a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community. A call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future. Do you have what it takes to make such a simple gesture?

Then let’s rock the house…

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. A year later Earth Hour had become such a global force that more than 50 million people in 35 countries showed their support by switch off for a simple 60 minutes. Icons stood in dark silence as Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all did their part as symbols of hope for the future.

Can you still use your imagination? Can you? Then imagine Earth Hour from space…

This year China’s Forbidden City heads up a list of some of the world’s most iconic landmarks that have confirmed their participation in Earth Hour – including The Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. They will be joined by Italy’s Trevi Fountain in Rome and Leaning Tower of Pisa, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, India Gate and Red Fort in Delhi, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Bosphorous Bridge in Istanbul, Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg, and Independence Angel in Mexico City. They join a comprehensive list of the world’s great man-made marvels and natural wonders, including the Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate, Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Empire State Building, London Eye, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue, Sydney Opera House and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which will plunge into darkness for Earth Hour

Before you say “Why bother?” or “My contribution won’t make a difference.”, then think on this… Earth Hour has truly managed to raise our awareness of climate change issues. But there’s more to it than switching off your lights for one hour once a year. It’s all about giving people a voice on the future of our planet and working together. Even if you’d rather fight than flick the switch… you are participating. Whether you are an individual, a business, a school or a city, you can show your support for Earth Hour by turning off your lights at 8.30 pm on March 27 wherever you are on the planet. No one is saying you can’t use your computer or watch television. Bake a pizza and eat it by candlelight with your family! All it takes is the guts to show you understand and care enough to take action.

Do you have what it takes to flip the switch?

35 Replies to “Earth Hour 2010”

  1. Thanks for the reminder! I wonder if the ISS crew will be able to see cities go dark on Saturday…

  2. Time for telling people about climate change with campaigns like this is gone. Everybody knows about it. Now is the time to do things that really make a difference on a very large scale.

    It may make a few people feel better about themselves, but could mislead some (especially children) that by doing this they are helping the problem when this is literally just a drop in the ocean.

  3. I don’t have any lights to switch off — is there another way I can show my support for Earth Hour?

  4. Going without an electric light for one hour?! How will those “Electric Universe” people cope? 😉

  5. @ Ivan:


    Sadly, the weather turns ugly right now where I am, and it’s going to stay ugly for a couple of days ahead. So, even if the lights go off, I will not enjoy the clear sky.

    When I went to Switzerland last week and went up to that “lonely” valley, damn, it was waaaay to bright in there. But just a small dark spot was enough to the night sky like I could never see it from where I live! It was awesome! I need darkness, and clear skies!

    So long!

  6. I agree with ubuntu, too little too late, and also a major disruption to the national power grids.

  7. The intention is good, but such a sudden and major disruption can be catastrophic to the power grids worldwide. We should not be playing with this.

  8. I doubt there will be any disruption to power grids. Street lights will remain on in most cities, and lighting accounts for only a small part of the baseload. On the other hand, if it was turn off your heater or TV for an hour… 😉

  9. Another feel good action for the emotionally enabled, who have bought lock, stock and barrel into the religion of “Pseudo-Environmentalism” a/k/a/ Pantheism.. In the world of reality, symbolism over substance just doesn’t cut it.

  10. @ Spoodle58 and joseluis7696,

    In the U.K. (and I presume everywhere else), electricity transmission control managers at the National Grid are well aware of the news and currents events, such as major football (soccer) matches on TV, that they plan for these wild variations in electricity supply demands — like when people all rush to switch on electric kettles, etc., during half-time or after the end of the match.

  11. The sentiments behind this idea are well-meaning, and I’ll do my bit as I don’t want to be a hypocrit. However, it is a total waste of time.

    Until we develop an economic system that does not rely on continued growth of both population and use of resources, then we are on a hiding to nothing. The population is forecast to be 9 billion by 2050…. how unpleasant will this be for our children?

    In addition to switching lights off, it may make more sense to nationalise electricity companies, that currently experience a severe conflict of interest.

    What is more important to a commercial company, selling more product (i.e. electricity in this case) and increasing profits for shareholders, or disregarding the shareholders and spending resources on protecting the environment?

    I’m sure if I was a CEO I’d go for the former, and actively encourage local authorities to erect as wasteful as possible street lights at every conceivable location. If that failed you could always play the ‘crime card’, or sweeten a few Government officials.

    Sorry to be so sceptical… or should that be cynical?

  12. Personally, I’ll be at a mate’s house with plenty of other friends overlooking Sydney city. We’re going to drink plenty of beer, fire up the candles when Earth Hour comes on, and watch the entrancing site of a major cities lights largely shut down, with the commensurate increase in the beauty of the night sky.

    Earth Hour to me is a beautiful thing – a small and pristine window where we reduce light pollution and encourage people to look up and ponder something deeper than Grey’s Anatomy – an astronomers wet dream.

  13. LOL! at least one person actually got the point of the article!

    just take a look at yourselves….

    look at you fight change! if you fight against something as simple as turning off a light switch for an hour – making every excuse under the sun to defend your point of view – then what would happen if you were really asked to do something that would work on a global level?

    pass me a beer, astrofiend… 😉

  14. wait till june 1st for national flush your toilet day to flush the sewer’s clean

  15. Change is good and we still remain positive that we can make the change, but the reality is that those who can make the change are not listening. These days there are climate sceptics and legislator are are willing to do absolutely nothing!
    IMO Earth Hour is merely to raise awareness – even though nearly everyone on the planet knows about the issue of climate change. The nuts and bolts of it is really symbolism and nothing else. Sure it might be good for astronomers looking at the sky – but that is not why we’re doing it.
    Partying or not, we don’t need gimmicks, we need action. Frankly, we would be better off writing to our legislators, with the lights on, during that hour, saying we vote you out unless you make changes to your policies.
    Just flipping a light switch and just hoping something might change is well in fantasy land.
    Tammy said; “just take a look at yourselves….”
    I have, I don’t like it.

  16. I’ve totlly changed my mind on this story. I am now embarrassed that Australians started this thing in 2007. Many of the federal government in Australia are climate sceptics, who seem to have not a care in the world about changing anything!
    Electricity bills have risen enormously, seemingly profiteering by the corporations, but none of the monies are going into more efficient energy usage or greener alternatives.
    Ban Earth Hour 2011!

  17. It would be simply hypocritical to just turn off your lights, and only for an hour. If you truely care about climate change go all the way. Throw the main breaker, kill all the electricity in your house and do it for as long as you can stand it. Go for a couple of days if you can. Mitigating climate change will require a lot more than just turning off the lights for an hour. How many people will turn off their lights and sit in the dark watching TV while the electric heater runs? It’s simply foolish. If your going to do it, do it right.

  18. Since there will be so much extra electricity available while everyone else has their lights out I will determine if I can run the dishwasher, microwave, toaster, vacuum cleaner, washing machine and dryer, and two hair dryers at the same time without tripping the main circuit breaker.

  19. I think it is wrong to criticize this sort of thing as too little too late. I think this is exactly the sort of thing that we need to strengthen peoples ideas of the identity of the world population as a whole. What if (and I know how everyone hates ‘what if’s’) this is the sort of thing that inspires a whole new generation of children to think about global climate issues? Even a little bit? Even if only for a few hours of their life? I know that is more time than I had previously spent thinking about it, and I am sure that I am not alone it that. If it does even the tiniest bit of good, I think it is a seed that is as important as sweeping global change, which we all know does not come quickly, or easily. If over the last few years fifty million people have spent one hour considering the importance and impact of global climate issues, then that is fifty million more man hours than were spent on it before this program started. I don’t see how that is too little of anything.

  20. Tammy Plottner: “… making every excuse under the sun to defend your point of view …”

    Several people here did not make … er … “every” excuse, and several people gave reasons Reasons are not excuses, are they?

    Well, and what will I do on Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 pm local time? Probably: working at my computer developing software, or looking television, or preparing something to eat, or eating, or reading a newspaper. Anyway, I will have some lights on, and I will *not* turn them off.

    The reason? For me there are no reasons for turning off the light — and that is enough.

    What you said in your article — “to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible”, “raise our awareness of climate change issues”, “giving people a voice on the future”, “show you understand and care” — well, please, refrain from babbling such disgusting stuff.

    Get away from propaganda, and get back to astronomy, space exploration, astrophysics, etc.

  21. If the effect of turning out just the home lights is not disruptive enough for the power utilities, they will not demand actions on the governments to prevent the 2011earth hour. Decision level officers will not care a dime for such an action.

    If plain people want to show their power and somehow influence politicians decisions, they should blow somewhere it hurts.

    Otherwise the sacrifice of living in darkness for a full hour will be useless.

    This will only reset our bad consciences to go on polluting in peace, without any other practical result. In this sense, it could be highly negative.

    Also, lots of money have been spent in advertising this action worldwide, money that may be could have been used better and more effectively.

  22. thumbs up to NWentland ! you’ve encapsulated part of what i was trying to say (and this is why i write technical pieces and not emotional – i just can’t quite express what i “feel”.)

    proving that we can do something globally as brothers and sisters of the human race – without “authorities” telling us whether we can or cannot – takes guts. it’s not a yuppie thing. it’s not symbolism. it’s not even “stylish”.

    dudes? it’s a tea party and we’re headed for boston.

  23. Tammy Plotner: “… technical pieces and not emotional – i just can’t quite express what i “feel””

    See my comment above including quotes from your article, and take “let’s rock the house”, and “symbols of hope for the future”, and now “brothers and sisters of the human race” — I nearly couldn’t believe: “brothers and sisters of the human race”, how old are you? thirteen? –, “it’s not a yuppie thing”, “it’s not symbolism”, “it’s not even “stylish””, “it’s a tea party and we’re headed for boston.” By the way, you are attacking a lot of strawmen here.

    And the images full of emotions, the most disgusting thing being the little girl with the candle and the finger on the switch and the look from below.

    Stating that you write “technical pieces and not emotional”, and that you “just can’t quite express” what you feel, is, with all due respect, not what I would call the truth. You really should stop messing around with your readers here.

    Seriously: You should stop writing articles on UniverseToday for several months, and you should only come back if you can show to the editor that you are able and willing to write mostly technical pieces again.

    This to the editor:
    From the comment policy: “Don’t advertise your stuff, or promote your personal theories. We’ll delete any comments that break these policies.”
    What’s about authors of articles advertising their stuff and promoting their personal theories?

  24. Sorry Tammy, your response here sounds just a bit bitter. We were invited for comment here, and sorry, but while you sentiment supports this idea, others like me, humbly disagree.
    Clearly from you latest response you just see this as some kind of protest action against “authorities.” For me, all you have done is to turn this idea into some more irrelevant trendy hippy love fest!

    It does absolutely nothing to solve the problem of climate change.

  25. Duncan Ivry Says:
    March 26th, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Hey Irvy – why don’t YOU piss off for a month or two, and only come back when you understand what a massive wanker you are?

    Universe Today owes you nothing. If you don’t like the tone and style of the articles on here, there is a simple solution – don’t read the articles here and bugger off. If you don’t like the ‘non-technical, non astronomy’ articles, then why are you clicking into an article with a heading that gives informs you immediately that it is almost certainly non-technical and not related to astronomy? Could it be that you are a sock-sniffer of the highest order?

    The sheer arrogance of somebody coming onto a website and demanding that they change their content is mindblowing. I guess you could start your own blog, but I presume that you already realise that readership would be limited to yourself. But that would be great – you could go around high-fiving yourself for being such an arrogant, sock-sniffing wanker!

  26. @Astrofiend:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s incredible how self important some of these commenters are. When I finally get to Sydney, I need to look you up and buy you an ale or two or three….

  27. thanks, mates…

    i wish i were 13 and didn’t live on wheels again. i wish i could look at a picture of a child and think of it as disgusting emotionalism – instead of a grandchild who for one hour felt important, no matter how true of false the effort may be. i wish i’d learn to take a lesson from others who also contribute here and not read or participate in comments as they invariably lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings. i wish i really didn’t care about the people that i write for – but i do. i read other people’s websites and links – just as i try to respect their opinions and de-fuse volatile comments with humor that never seems to work.

    about 10 minutes here until lights out. and while they are, i’ll continue to work on my laptop and make my living by writing about astronomy. Duncan Ivry’s response will smart for awhile, but i’ll be around a lot longer than will he.

    and if i ever make it to sydney? the first round is on me…

  28. It was great. A couple of people up my street got their homes broken into – no doubt celebrating away at some hippy-like love fest. and even one elderly lady was physically attacked and shaken up when they broke into her backdoor of her house. Nice.

    Good to see human nature in act when they see an opportunity.

  29. @ Astrofiend

    “Universe Today owes you nothing.”
    Wrong! Universe Today is on the Web for it’s readers, and, like any good publication, it owes it’s readers something.

    “If you don’t like the tone and style of the articles on here, there is a simple solution – don’t read the articles here and bugger off.”
    Not on the point! Not “articles” in the polemic plural, but only *one* article. And the simple solution is not the appropriate one. Not going away, but expressing my opinion, just as others do — *that* is appropriate.

    “If you don’t like the ‘non-technical, non astronomy’ articles”
    Not on the point! I did *not* say that.

    “The sheer arrogance … demanding that they change their content”
    See my first point above. A reader demanding a publication to change it’s content a little bit — and this is what I did: little bit, i.e. in the case of this earth day article and the authors “special” content and style — is one of the completely normal reactions a reader can show — at least it is in other respected publications.

    I will not continue this discussion with you. Have a good day.

  30. Tammy Plotner: “… i wish i could look at a picture of a child and think of it as disgusting emotionalism …”

    Please, think one more time about it, because, this is not what I said: just simply “a picture of a child” and then “disgusting emotionalism”. No!

    What I critizise (among other things), is — I hope, I explain it better now — that you, in order to support your campaign, exploit the emotions that child in that image usually activates in the observer. You do it again: “a grandchild who for one hour felt important”. This is *the* important ingredient: exploitation of emotions.

    “Duncan Ivry’s response will smart for awhile, but i’ll be around a lot longer than will he.”

    What do you think, your article and further comments do to me and, as far as I can see, some other readers? Do you still not recognize, what you have done? Do you really think, I, as a long time, loyal reader, can put it away like nothing, if there is such a campaign in the excellent Universe Today?

    And, by the way, is it relevant how long somebody is “around”? I invite you to tower above my 11,5 years of reading Universe Today plus many years to come 🙂

    “… comments as they invariably lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings … humor that never seems to work”

    I did not know, that your experience with comments to your articles (the plural looks correct, I think) is so negative for you. This is really very sad.

    You will get this wrong again, I’m rather sure, but: Don’t pose like an oh so poor victim, but learn how to take those things. Or, if you can’t, then — some will again see this as arrogance — don’t write articles which are published to an audience, where “such a” reaction is possible (it would not be possible in some closed shops).

  31. @Duncan Ivry:

    It seems your strength lies in meaningless criticism of the articles offered here. Perhaps you should take Astrofiend’s suggestion and “bugger off” for a bit. I find Tami’s articles fun and informative. Not everything offered on this site must be strictly scientific and technical in nature. If you’re so bothered by the content, look to another site for your enjoyment. Pointed attacks really have no place here IMHO. If you are indeed a loyal and longtime reader of UT, you should know that some of us who have come here more recently don’t appreciate your arrogant and heavy handed approach. Get over yourself mate!

  32. William928: “meaningless criticism of the articles offered here”

    Again the plural “articles”. It’s one — *one* — article I critizise, and I explained in details why — ergo: not meaningless. Not Tammy Plotner, not astrofiend, not you took this reasons, but supposed “quotes”, things I never said, and talked against them, as if I had really said them.

    “Not everything offered on this site must be strictly scientific and technical in nature.”
    I never requested this or something similar, and, again, I only criticise *one* article, not the site.

    “If you’re so bothered by the content …”
    I’m not bothered by the content of the *site*.

    “your arrogant and heavy handed approach”
    It’s only about one article — *one* –, so what fantasy are you talking about? This appoach: Trying to exploit the emotions of the readers in order to find support for a political campaign, and lying about what someone does, and messing around — this is really bad. Now the author gets away with her eval practise, taking no responsibility, and I’m the eval guy — that’s life 😉

    Look, your accusations have nothing to do with me, but with what you have in your mind about me — two different persons. So, please, come down to the facts!

    Is it the official policy of Universe Today, that people coming to the site are only allowed reading, and making affirmative comments, but not criticising? No, it’s not — Universe Today is part of the free world and not a totalitarian one. You and others should get accustomed to it. And learn to read without fantasizing!

    To come to an end: It’s only *one* article, and I will not “bugger off”, because I’m very interested in the Universe and all this, and because I like Universe Today. I will continue reading, sometimes commenting, most of the time positive, sometimes negative, and I don’t care about the opinions of certain people.

    And, by the way, I … am … not … your … mate.

    Will not be continued.

  33. Will not be continued eh? Then why do you keep coming back to check for responses? Piss weak Ivry.

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