Turn out the lights? Not everyone's on board Earth Hour

The waters of Sydney Harbor plunged into darkness (except for the guy operating a flood light in the background) at 8:30pm local time, with the iconic Opera House and Harbor Bridge killing their lights for an hour in a global call for action on climate change.

Turn out the lights, the party's over...

Not just a badly performed song by Dandy Don Meredith at the end of Monday Night Football games, but turning out the lights has a different meaning today. It means you are -- literally -- supposed to turn out your lights.

It's called Earth Hour - an annual international event to raise awareness of climate change. Sponsored by the WWF, the organization asks that everyone in the world to turn off their lights for one hour, beginning at 8:30 p.m. local time.

Sure there'd be much greater participation if it was held at high noon local time. But it's supposed to be a challenge. This is all about drawing attention to the issue.

Monitor environmental blogger O'Carroll discussed the point of Earth Hour in depth earlier this week. Click here to read that article.


Organizers say there's a lot of support for the event with participation in all 24 time zones and at least 88 countries have signed on.

It's already been observed in the land down under (where women glow and men plunder).

"At 8.30pm, as Sydney's skyline dimmed to silhouette, ferries on the harbour sounded their horns. Across the city and suburbs, in homes, hotels, bars and restaurants, in parks and fields, on the beach and in the bush, people gathered by candlelight, torchlight and starlight," reports Terry Smyth of the Sydney Morning Herald.

"As the hour approached, many counted down the seconds, then, when the world blinked out, they cheered and gasped as they would at New Year's Eve fireworks. The floodlights snapped off on the Harbour Bridge, Anzac Bridge, Opera House and other landmarks, and lights went out in public buildings, commercial towers and apartment blocks throughout the city."


Why do it?

"The primary reason we do it is because we want people to think, even if it is for an hour, what they can do to lower their carbon footprint, and ideally take that beyond the hour," Earth Hour executive director windsorstar.com/Travel/Australia+turns+lights+Earth+Hour/1439666/story.html">Andy Ridley told reporters at Sydney's Bondi Beach.


Not everyone's in favor of Earth Hour.

A group calling themselves the Carbon Sense Coalition says it should be called "Blackout Night" and be held outdoors on the shortest and coldest day of the year. Why? Good practice.

"Spending just one night in the cold and the dark, with no hot coffee or beef on the barbecue, using no light, heat or vehicle energy from coal, gas, petrol or diesel, and without protection from metal or concrete structures, would be good practice for the blackouts and shortages to come if world rationing of carbon products and carbon energy is achieved," said the founder of the coalition.
Keep 'em on

Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto announced he was organizing a counter protest for those who "are against global-warming hysteria, high taxes, socialized medicine and a weak foreign policy."

"Show how you feel about the issues by turning



In the Twitterverse, most people seem to be supportive.

Tyckle: Tonight at 8:30pm, earth hour begins. http://www.earthhour.org Whatever I'll be doing then, I'll be doing it by candlelight.

HotYoga: Looking forward to a lovely calming Earth Hour. Enjoy everyone!

No thanks

Although there are plenty of dissenters as well.

Ogad2001:For "Earth Hour" tonight, I'm going to go to a local hospital and unplug all those wasteful respirators burning up precious electricity.

jr650212: Not falling for the "Earth Hour" BS - Leaving all lights on all night in protest.


Hey, we'll never protest you.  So follow us on Twitter.

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