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Friday, March 25, 2011

One hour of darkness can help the world see the light

"One hour of darkness can help the world see the light (awarenss on climate change)
This one hour or 60 minutes are called 'earth hour'

The Earth Hour 2011 is March 26, Saturday from 8.30 to 9.30pm and during this hour lights will switch off around the globe.

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

So far this is the largest environmental campaign in the history of our planet.

A record 131 countries and territories are registered to take part in Earth Hour this Saturday at 8:30 local time, and many global organizations will join the hundreds of millions that are expected to take part.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign and has grown into a grassroots initiative with participants across the globe. Ann Arbor joined the effort in 2008 as one of 371 cities in 35 countries to participate in Earth Hour.                      

Purpose of Earth Hour:

The principal of Earth Hour is that small actions taken by a large number of individuals can have a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions. If these actions can be backed by larger scale government actions, the impact could be tremendous.

For example, standby power on televisions, microwave ovens and the like causes 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the UK Government's chief scientific adviser Sir David King.

Speaking in Sydney, Sir David said:

"We have become so prolific in our use of energy that it is going to be relatively easy for us to reduce energy usage, save money and reduce emissions."

"People talk about what tackling climate change would do to your GDP growth but if you grab all of the low-hanging fruit that is available on energy efficiency you are going to manage that at no cost. In fact, it is a cost saving."

Studies carried out by Earth Hour organizers WWF show energy efficiency represents between 35 and 40 percent of the solution. The studies show that improving the levels of insulation in houses is by far the cheapest way to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“It is only through the collective action of business, organizations, individuals, communities and governments that we will be able to affect change on the scale required to address the environmental challenges we face,” said Andy Ridley, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Earth Hour.

“Climate change is the greatest human induced crisis facing our world today. It is totally indiscriminate of race, culture, class, nationality or religious belief. It affects every living organism on the planet – including all of us,” Archbishop Emeritus Tutu said.

“Through the symbolic act of switching off our lights for one hour on Saturday 26 March from 8.30 – 9.30pm we will collectively send our clarion call for change around the globe. ‘Please, political leaders and captains of industry, we implore you. Take action against climate change NOW.’”

Hundreds of millions of people in 133 countries and territories across the globe are expected to switch off their lights at 8:30pm local time tomorrow, Saturday 26 March.
In a series of video messages posted to YouTube, world leaders have pledged their support for the world’s largest voluntary environmental action.

Useful links:
* Earth
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