Saturday, 24 March 2018

Earth Hour 2018


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Earth Hour was first celebrated in Singapore in 2009
The Singapore skyline a tad dimmer from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on 24 Mar 2018

Lights off to preserve the planet's environment

The world's most famous landmarks are plunged into darkness for one hour every year.

The global Earth Hour campaign raises awareness about the impacts of climate change. It started in Australia in 2007 and is now observed by participants in 187 countries, according to organisers.

Here are some major sites across the globe that dimmed their lights on Saturday 24 March 2018:

Sydney, Australia - Harbour Bridge and Opera House

Beijing, China - National Stadium (the "Bird's Nest")

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Petronas Towers

Taipei, Taiwan - Taipei 101

Singapore - Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay

New Delhi, India - India Gate

Moscow, Russia - Christ the Saviour Cathedral

Rome, Italy - Colosseum

Athens, Greece - Parthenon temple

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Earth Hour is the global event inspiring millions to take action for our world.  In the UK this year, we’re encouraging everyone to sign up for Earth Hour by making a promise for the planet.

Earth Hour is also about marking the moment in a symbolic way. Hundreds of millions of people across the world, and nearly nine million in the UK will all switch off their lights on Saturday 24 March 2018 at 8:30pm to show their support for a better world and make their promise to do more to protect it.

This year, we want you to make a simple change to your everyday life, such as carrying a reusable coffee cup, switching to a green energy supplier, or washing your clothes at 30 degrees or lower.

Deceptive language ruins Earth Hour
The demand for energy must be tempered with the impact on the planet

With Earth Hour being held around the world between 8:30 and 9:30 pm local time on Saturday, we are going to hear a lot about reducing ‘carbon pollution,’ ‘carbon emissions,’ and our supposed ‘carbon footprint.’

But this makes no sense. What we really need is Energy Hour

Carbon is a solid, naturally occurring, non-toxic element found in all living things. It forms thousands of compounds, much more than any other element. Medicines, trees, oil, and even our bodies are made of carbon compounds.

How to explain Earth Hour to kids

Chicago will show its dark side on Saturday, and that’s a good thing. At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, The Willis Tower, Navy Pier's Centennial Wheel, the Hancock Center, the Chicago Board of Trade, Northwestern University and other buildings around the city will turn off the lights for one hour as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour.

They are flipping the switch to show support for taking action to fight climate change and protect nature.

This is the twelfth year Earth Hour has taken place and landmarks across the country are participating, including the Empire State Building, the Superdome and the Space Needle. (You can find a full list of participants here)

Why I should turn my lights off for Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is an annual event, organised by WWF

It may seem like a small change, but if billions of us commit to turning our lights out for an hour it can make a big difference.

According to WWF Thailand, Bangkok's electricity usage reduced by 73.34 megawatts during the hour - saving 41.6 tonnes of carbon monoxide from being produced.

In Christchurch, New Zealand, the city saw a 13 per cent drop in electricity demand during the hour.

So why not turn off the lights and eat your dinner by candlelight for just one evening?

Lights switched off for Earth Hour to raise awareness on climate change

Earth Hour lasts for just 60 minutes and its power is purely symbolic. But beginning at 8:30 p.m. local time, in countries around the world, people are switching off the lights in a global call for international unity on the importance of climate change.

Since beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in, from turning off the porch lights to letting the Opera House go dark.

Those 60 minutes are "an opportunity to adopt a shifting of the consumption culture, and behavior change towards sustainability," Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement.

Help Our Planet By Going Dark For Earth Hour

Earth Hour was first observed in Sydney on March 31, 2007, when at the urging of the nonprofit, 2 million households and 2,100 businesses turned off all lights and non-essential devices for an hour. In doing so, they helped save 10% of the electricity, the equivalent of carbon dioxide emitted by 48,000 cars, consumed by the city's residents in a regular evening hour. The environmental impact of the one-hour event inspired people worldwide to join the movement. In 2008, 50 million people in over 5,000 cities observed Earth Hour and the numbers have only grown since. In 2017, tens of millions of people, from an unprecedented 187 countries and territories, participated and over 3,100 monuments and landmarks switched off their lights.

The WWF says the worldwide participation demonstrates people's desire to do their share to reverse climate change. For those that want to make a difference beyond the hour, the organization suggests simple lifestyle changes. These include air-drying dishes, unplugging all devices when not in use, walking or bicycling to work, and washing clothes in cold water.

Not sure what to do without your phone, tablet, and television for a whole hour? WWF suggests organizing a candlelight dinner for your family or, even better, a picnic under the stars. If that sounds “lame” how about a late night hike or bike ride? Those that want to make it an Earth “Night” could plan a camping trip complete with an old-fashioned bonfire and yummy s'mores! Ready to take the Earth Hour challenge? Sign up at and commit to “switching on your social power” to help spread the word. Climate change can be reversed if we all do our part!

Is Earth Hour just a distraction?

Darkness isn’t something that we see a lot of anymore. Maybe that sounds silly. Of course, the sun still sets every evening, and the blue sky fades to black; but between the houses, the street lamps, the shops and the structures, our city – our whole planet – is still kept very much in the light.

For most of us, our world has been illuminated for as long as long as we can remember, it’s a modern convenience that we often take for granted. Yet few of us stop to think about the dark behind the light. The reality is that electricity is responsible for almost every light we see and that generating electricity is one of the most environmentally detrimental processes that exists. Most electricity is formed by burning coal and this is perhaps the biggest contributor to climate change. Nearly four grams of CO2 are produced for every gram of carbon burnt (and coal can contain as much as 60 to 80 per cent carbon). The short story is, our current rate of electricity usage is killing our planet.

It’s why, in 2007, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia came up with the idea of a ‘Lights Out’ event. Its purpose was to spread the word across Australia of the gravity of global warming, and to push the message that turning off non-essential electrical items can have a substantial impact. Fast forward 11 years, and this annual event is now called ‘Earth Hour’ and is the largest grassroots movement in support of the environment. In 2017, nearly nine million people got involved from 187 different countries.

Do your part this Earth Hour

Being a South-African, you most probably know the term “load shedding” as everyone experienced that a few years ago. Living in Polokwane, you might also be used to frequent electricity problems. Therefore, to be at least one hour without electricity is not that unusual. Since we are very dependent on electricity, for charging our cell phones, watching television, or surfing the internet, we often find that we have nothing to do when the electricity is down. Although being in the dark is not ideal, it is also not the end of the world.

Once a year, for one hour, everyone on earth are expected to switch of their electricity and experience life without power, at night. This is called Earth Hour and this year it falls on Saturday, 24 March.

The first ever Earth Hour was held on 31 March 2006 in Sydney, Australia. San Francisco was the next major city to run a program related to saving power in October 2007. By 2008, 35 countries in the world were participating on all seven continents. Between 20:30 and 21:30, hundreds of cities in these 35 countries turned of their lights.  In 2016, the number of countries participating grew to 170.


A new report released today by BC Hydro finds most British Columbians still think Earth Hour is important despite four years of declining participation.

The report entitled “Lights out: Why Earth Hour is dimming in B.C.” found British Columbians reduced their electricity use during Earth Hour – an annual global event hosted by the World Wildlife Fund that encourages turning off the lights for an hour to raise awareness around combatting climate change – by just 0.3 percent in 2017, or 15 percent of the savings achieved in 2008.

The decline comes despite 7 in 10 British Columbians surveyed for the report saying they intend to participate in Earth Hour this year. The findings suggest BC Hydro’s largely hydroelectric generation may account for the lack participation in Earth Hour. Electricity generation accounts for only 1 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C.

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