Saturday, March 27, 2010

The World goes dark for Earth Hour

120 countries around the world will turn out the lights for one hour for Earth Hour as a symbol of unity for the planet's future – a tradition that has picked up momentum since starting in Australia in 2007.
Earth Hour started in 2007 with one city in one city turning off its lights – Sydney, Australia. National Geographic shows the difference even one year made in gaining momentum: “In 2007, one city took a stand…In 2008, the movement grew…to 50 million people around the world…In the United States alone, over 36 million turned out and switched off.”
But a blogger for ABC Australia says Earth Hour doesn’t actually do anything and people seem to forget that it’s just symbolic: “The subtleties of the Earth Hour message - that it's not about saving electricity, it's about the symbolism - have been well and truly lost...A global audience of over 50 million people have been led to believe they have to sit in the dark to be green.”
USA Today talked to one critic who says darkness is not the answer, but she says she thinks she knows what is: “Environmental challenges will not be solved by turning off our lights and symbolically hiding in the dark… We should be looking to technology and innovation to help solve environmental problems.”
ABC's Good Morning America says it’s not something people are forced to do, but it’s a way to make a statement: “You can turn your lights off and join people around the world as they say hey, we simply care and that climate change is something we want to make a statement about.”
MSNBC highlights some of the major landmarks around the world that will sit in darkness for the hour: “Some of the iconic buildings around the world scheduled to go dark during Earth Hour include: the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York, the Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and both the National Cathedral and the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C.”
Earth Hour organizers say it’s not about what country you’re from, it’s about what planet you’re from. For ideas on what you can do while sitting in the dark, click on the Blogger Moms link.

Writer: Alyssa Caverley

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