Earth Hour 2008 is happening on Saturday, March 29 from 8pm to 9pm. It is an event to raise awareness about conserving electricity. To participate, individuals, business and cities all around the world are invited to switch off non-essential lighting and electronic equipment for an hour at this specific time and date.
The idea was first adopted in Sydney last year and resulted in a pretty spectacular event with the lights shutting out on several landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as Sydney Opera House. This year, it’s become a global event.
So far, another 24 cities from around the world have also signed up to turn the lights out on their respective landmarks including notably the San Francisco Golden Gate bridge. That should be a rather spectacular sight.
There was some controversy however about the impact this event has if any on energy consumption. In Sydney, there was a reported energy usage decrease of about 10% however skeptics estimate a realistic savings of only about 6%. That’s the equivalent only removing a handful of cars off the roads per year. In their defense, I believe the importance of the event is in the other 364 days (365 for a leap year). At worst, it won’t have an effect so it doesn’t hurt to try.