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Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held annually, encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights, for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on a specific day towards the end of March, as a symbol of commitment to the planet. It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Occasionally, in years when Holy Saturday falls on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour is moved a week early rather than its usual date.
In 2004, confronted with scientific findings, WWF Australia met with advertising agency Leo Burnett Sydney to “discuss ideas for engaging Australians on the issue of climate change”. The idea of a large scale switch off was coined and developed in 2006, originally under the working title “The Big Flick”. WWF Australia presented their concept to Fairfax Media who, along with Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, agreed to back the event. The 2007 Earth Hour was held on March 31 in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.
In October 2007 San Francisco ran its own “Lights Out” program inspired by the Sydney Earth Hour. After their successful event in October, the organizers decided to rally behind the Earth Hour being planned for March 2008.
Earth Hour does not purport to be an energy/carbon reduction exercise, it is a symbolic action. Therefore, we do not engage in the measurement of energy/carbon reduction levels for the hour itself. Earth Hour is an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for their ecological footprint and engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solutions to our environmental challenges. Participation in Earth Hour symbolizes a commitment to change beyond the hour.
Earth Hour Celebration
Every year, at 8:30 pm on the last Saturday of March, millions of people across the world join in raising awareness of the issues facing our planet. Started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now one of the world’s largest grassroots movements for the environment.
Each year, Earth Hour engages millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories, switching off their lights to show support for our planet. But Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off – it has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action.
Earth Hour is open-source and everyone, anyone, is welcome to take part and help amplify our mission to unite people to protect our planet.
Some of the Critics of Earth Hour
• It is vital to make solar and other new technology cheaper than fossil fuels quickly so we can turn off carbon energy sources for a lot longer than one hour and keep the planet running.
• it is an “ineffective feel-good event” that makes people feel they are doing something for the environment, while in reality the amount of carbon emissions reduced by the earth hour is negligible.
• the reduction in power consumption during Earth Hour itself is relatively insignificant.
• Earth Hour’s focus on individual behaviour, when a small number of fossil fuel companies have emitted the vast majority of man-made carbon emissions.
• the spike in demand for electricity at the end of Earth Hour puts strain on the electrical grid, and causes an increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
• Earth Hour for “playing into the hands of (the critics of environmentalists),” as darkness is symbolic of fear and decay. ”
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