Sunday, March 7, 2010

Counting Down to Earth Hour

Here’s hoping you will find yourself in the
dark on March 27, 2010 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Three years ago in Sydney, Australia, 2.2 million residents and 2,100 businesses turned off the lights in the very first Earth Hour, and by this action made a bold statement about their concern for climate change.

The people of Sydney set an example that has inspired the rest of the world.

The movement is now a global one, and participation has swelled. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents. Earth Hour is the largest climate event in history.

Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch.  These iconic landmarks from the United States joined with others around the world that went dark for Earth Hour, sending a powerful, visual message demanding action on climate change:
•  Empire State Building
•  Brooklyn Bridge
•  Broadway Theater Marquees
•  Las Vegas Strip
•  United Nations Headquarters
•  Golden Gate Bridge
•  Seattle’s Space Needle
•  Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple
•  Gateway Arch in St. Louis

This year, perhaps, landmarks in your city will be on the list.

WWF (the World Wildlife Fund) is the official sponsor of the event. Go to the Earth Hour website, check out the tools, and see who in your community has already joined the movement. There is still time for you to to lobby for participation by your city government, and to commit your organization, faith community, or place of business to participation in the event. The site has videos of Earth Hour 2009, ideas for events, and all the tools and press releases you might need for spreading the word.

I notice that in New Haven, IKEA has signed on, meaning their familiar presence, adjacent to I-95, will lie in darkness for one hour on Saturday night, March 27. People will notice, and, one would hope, be interested enough to find out why.

WWF has set a goal of over one billion people voting with their light switches on March 27.

Will you be among them?

Many Christians choose to give up something during this season of Lent. Why not consider giving up electricity for one hour on a Saturday night?

If you plan it right, you might even find yourself having some fun in the warm glow of candlelight. Not a bad way to make a statement.

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