Earth Hour 2008: March 29 8pm-9pm

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.

So register your name and support, put a dot on the map. On March 29, switch off some lights and just have some fun in the dark. Share some photos of your event on Flickr (after 9pm of course).

15 insightful thoughts

  1. I try to use lights as little as possible, year round. Why should we be doing this only one day a year? Why not reduce light use year round?

  2. I’m not a fan of this sort of conservation. I turn lights and televisions off as I leave rooms as a matter of course, but I think things like this are wrongheaded. We should not conserve by turning off power to normal, useful things like bridge lighting or average home lighting, or whatever. I don’t want a world where it’s not a good thing to light up a pretty opera house at night. If that’s a problem, build more power plants. If you don’t want some form of impact from those plants, choose their nature accordingly, whether it be coal or nuclear or wind or solar. Frankly, I’d rather tax the electrical grid and make power plant construction more a priority. So, I’ll probably leave more lights and things on during this event. I know it’s just me, but everyone can make a difference!

  3. What a stupid event – it’ll be embraced mostly by hypocrites who don’t give a damn about Earth on a daily basis. A clever device to “purge their souls”, if you ask me

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