Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where will you be, what will you do -- when the lights go out?

I guess we all wonder what events and "protests" like Earth Day and Earth Hour ultimately achieve. Ultimately it is about public education.

When I taught high school many years ago I started out trying to turn every student on to science. That remained my goal for as long as I taught, but I soon learned that getting though to even one of them was extremely gratifying and might -- just might -- have a profound impact on the world. (GW)

World prepares for big switch-off

Christian Science Monitor
March 28, 2009

Millions of people worldwide are being urged to switch off lights for an hour, in what is described as the biggest climate change protest ever attempted.

The initiative, Earth Hour, was begun in Sydney two years ago by green campaigners keen to cut energy use.

Correspondents say the aim is to create a huge wave of public pressure to influence a meeting in Copenhagen later this year to seek a new climate treaty.

Critics describe the event as a symbolic and meaningless gesture.

The switch-off is expected to take place in more than 3,400 towns and cities across 88 countries, at 2030 in each local time zone.

Earth Hour was launched in 2007 as a solo event in Sydney, Australia (photo), with more than two million people involved. Last year's event claimed the participation of 370 cities.

Locations taking part this time include Sydney's Opera House, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing and the Egyptian Pyramids.

Fast-food giant MacDonald's has pledged to dim its "golden arches" at 500 locations, while celebrities such as actress Cate Blanchett and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have promised support.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon backed the initiative in a video posted this month on the event's YouTube channel.

"Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message," he said. "They want action on climate change."

People are invited to provide blogs and short video clips on how they spend their time.


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