Imagine iconic structures like the Sears Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge in darkness. During Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8 pm, cities across the globe will be powering down for one hour. Lights and unnecessary electrical items will be turned off from San Francisco to Bangkok. 24 cities, thousands of businesses and millions of people are expected to participate. Will the world take notice?
“If we see the same participation levels around the globe that we did in Sydney, then we can anticipate more than 30 million people involved,” said Andy Ridley, Earth Hour’s executive director.
During Earth Hour 2007, Sydney saw a 10.2% drop in electricity use during the hour when 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses participated. Although impressive, the point is not to have millions of people save energy by sitting in darkness or huddling around candles. The goal of the event is to raise global awareness about climate change and solutions.
Do events such as these raise awareness and inspire behavioral change? They do at least create attention and demonstrate coordinated global action. Some people get motivated for change by gloomy scientific reports about melting ice caps, while others respond more to artistic expressions. Since all hands are needed on deck, a variety of approaches are valuable.
To learn more about Earth Hour, tell a friend, or sign-up, visit their website at earthhour.org. The event takes place from 8 pm-9 pm local time, regardless of the location.