The world switches the lights out
by Alan Harten
March 30, 2009
Many well-known landmarks around the world were in darkness for an hour on Saturday.
The lights were turned off in observance of Earth Hour from 8.30 to 9.30pm, to emphasise the urgent need for action on global warming.
In London, the Houses of Parliament, Nelson’s Column, Big Ben, City Hall, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery and the National Theatre were dark.
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Edinburgh castle, the Forth rail bridge, the Clifton suspension bridge, and the Belfast Wheel also switched off.
Elsewhere, the Golden Gate Bridge, the pyramids at Giza, Sydney Opera House, the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower were some of the places that took part.
The worldwide switch off was co-ordinated by WWF, campaigners for the environment.
WWF anticipated hundreds of millions of people around the globe turning off their lights for an hour, giving a message to world leaders that action to save the planet from warming is imperative.
Earth Hour started in the Chatham Islands in New Zealand and then went around the earth to finish in Honolulu, Hawaii.
London, Paris, Moscow, Sydney, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Dubai, Las Vegas, Singapore, and many others went dark for the Earth Hour local time.
This is the single largest event to show public concern about increasing temperatures.
WWF anticipated that 2,800 cities and towns around the world would observe the Hour.
In Britain it was the same day as the change to British Summer Time.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among many world leaders supporting Earth Hour.
Ed Miliband, climate change secretary said that Earth Hour would be an important gesture to our endangered world.
He said that action by the people such as this gives a clear message to negotiators meeting in Copenhagen this December that a constructive world carbon agreement must be finalised.
We all now understand how important the energy we consume is and this goes in the right direction for a change in people’s lifestyles, he added.
In Britain, more than 1,200 schools were involved before Earth Hour.
Pupils were taught about the problems of global warming.
Colin Butfield, in charge of campaigns for WWF, said he hoped that children would harass parents to switch off the lights.
Women’s Institute members were also encouraged to observe the Hour at home.
Nearly 400 British companies were expected to take part.
G20 protesters told finance businesses that they would turn off power supplies themselves unless the companies switched their lights off.
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