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Earth Hour 2019

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 30, 8:30-9:30 PM

Earth Hour is a world wide movement designed to draw attention to human impacts on the planet.  The one hour event takes place annually at the end of March.  For that hour, participating cities will darken, and people are encouraged to turn off all nonessential lights and electronic devices.  The brief sabbatical from lights and electronics provides a chance to reflect on how we use electricity, as well as the direct and indirect impacts of excessive electricity use on the environment.  It also gives those who live in/near participating cities a chance to see the night sky without quite as much light pollution. 

 

Full moon.  Photograph by VR Schmalhofer.

The first Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia, on March 31, 2007, and was advertised as "The Big Flick."  The idea caught on quickly.  One year later, 400 cities in 35 countries participated; in the United States, 36 million Americans (16% of the adult population) took part.  The following year, participation increased to 4159 cities in 88 countries.  Since then, the movement has continued to grow: in 2018, individuals, businesses, organizations, and cities in 188 countries took part; nearly 18,000 landmarks went dark, and over 3.5 billion impressions were shared (hopefully after the event) using #EarthHour, #connect2earth, and related hashtags.

This year's Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 30, from 8:30-9:30 PM local time.  As the lights go dark in a rolling black-out that spans the planet, take some time to contemplate the many benefits of electricity - but also consider the downsides and environmental impacts of excessive consumption . . . . and maybe go out and look at the stars.

 

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