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Earth Hour: Lights Out for One Hour This Saturday Night

March 27th, 2009 (09:51 am)

current mood: tired

Are you taking part in Earth Hour? Tomorrow night, Saturday, March 28, turn off your lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to save energy and show support for the planet. Here's a link to the website --  www.earthhour.org/ -- if you want to learn more. Of course, this is mostly a symbolic gesture; one hour a year on the final Saturday in March won't save the planet, even if a billion people worldwide were to sign on. (In fact, a billion is the goal.) But symbols are important, and calling attention to the issue can't be a bad thing.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and has spread far and wide since then. This year, going dark for an hour will be the Golden Gate Bridge, the pyramids in Giza, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis, the Petronas Towers, and, here in Alexandria, our own Masonic Memorial.

I'm finding some confusion about exactly what we're supposed to turn off at home. A few e-mails I've received about it say to shut off all "lights and nonessential appliances." But most of the Earth Hour instructions say just to switch off the lights. In fact, the official www.earthhour.org/ website mentions only lights, and actually suggests that we get on our computers during the hour in question and blog or twitter about the experience. (Is the computer an "essential appliance"? Talk among yourselves.) Ultimately, it's probably not important how far you choose to go; just get into the act. At our house, we'll probably settle for just turning off the lights.