March 18, 2009

Earth Hour

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18 March 2009

Earth Hour, it seems, is taking the world by storm!

The event began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned off their lights for an hour. The event has now seen as many as 100 million people from 35 countries take part. It is hoped that Earth Hour this year will be even more popular, and that the switching-off of global landmarks such as the Coca-Cola billboard in Times Square and the Colosseum in Rome would inspire everyone to do the same and take a stand to demand the beginning of crucial conversations about the future of Earth.

The Facebook group alone already has 254 931 members! According to the global site, 1 672 cities, towns and municipalities in 80 countries have committed to switching off: Earth Hour was hoping for 1 000!

South Africa is also determined to be a part of the movement this year, with Earth Hour South Africa encouraging those who sign up to switch off all their lights on Saturday, 28 March at 20:30 for an hour. Those who sign up will also see their name form part of a petition that will be sent to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

Even to me this seems to be a sort of fruitless act - will it really harm the massive corporations making their billions from electricity and oil? Will it really cause everyone to change their behaviour?

Um, I don't think so. I for one will be reaching for that light so that I can read my book (*she admits with guilt*). But symbolically, I think, it will go a long way to prompting some kind of conversation about what the world needs - seeing dark skylines and dead landmarks might at least get people to think, and will also demonstrate a co-ordinated action.

After all, humankind really just needs to unite together for a good cause and humble ourselves to realise what and who we are.

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