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Earth Hour: Will You Turn Off Your Lights?

At 8:30 p.m. local time in more than 80 countries, an estimated 1 billion people will turn off their lights. Will you be one of them?

Earth hour is almost upon us. Will you be going dark at 8:30 p.m.?

Earth Hour is a global World Wildlife Fund initiative that began in Sydney, Aulstralia in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people all over the world took part in the action, according to Earth Hour's website. In 2009 almost 1 billion people worldwide switched off their lights. By 2011, Earth Hour involved 135 countries with more than 1.8 billion people participating.

In countries and on continents where the hour has already occurred, hundreds of world landmarks from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to the Great Wall of China went dark earlier today.

Earth Hour is held on the last Saturday of March every year, and began as a Sydney-only event in 2007. The Sydney Opera House was dimmed again this year.

The goal is to inspire people to reduce their energy consumption every day, not by sitting in the dark for an hour each night, but by taking simple steps that can have a dramatic effect.

Here are a few examples of how to support Earth Hour year long:

  • Switch to energy-efficient CFL or LED lights instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. Lighting accounts for about 5 percent of residential greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Turn off or unplug computers, televisions, cell-phone chargers, microwave ovens, and other appliances and electrical devices when they’re not in use instead of leaving them on standby.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room or finish work for the day.
  • Encourage your company to shut off lights and unused appliances when no one is working.
  • Heat only the rooms you use regularly.
  • Use less hot water.
marooned in Dbn April 02, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Hey...stop dissin' Robins.
Michelle Dainus April 02, 2012 at 03:27 PM
In response to your question about lighting Ed, it all really has to do with the color temperature of the luminaire, LEDs and CFLs are available in the same color temperature as incandescent luminaires (2,700K - 3,000 K, just look at the packaging of what you are currently using, and make sure it matches it's counter part). You really just have to do your research, and be an educated consumer.
marooned in Dbn April 02, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Scot Beaton. I could have told you about Lutz. I personaly told him around 2005, what I thought about GM policies. The only way he responded to me was mention hypotheticals about whether the price of a cup of Starbucks is really high, or is the price of their product just "perceived" to be that way. Later...after his retirement from GM, he goes on a Sunday TV program and blasts GM's management policies, almost plagiarizing what I told him.
Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. April 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Listing the problems and challenges of new ideas -- efficient lightbulbs, electric cars, wind energy -- is a hardly argument against them. We can shrink back fearfully into our safe (and increasingly expensive an unsustainable) status quo or move forward into new technologies and systems. We'll screw some things up, make some mistakes. We'll also grow, learn and refine the best ideas.
Rob April 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I can agree with that Daryl.
Rob April 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Michelle,your take on this situation from a earlier post? If the government is so concerned with the environment,why do they let this go on? If the government is so worried the environment,why do they allow Nestle`s to pump up to 500,000 gallons of water out of the ground at their Stanwood,Michigan Ice Mountain water plant for literally nothing? You see they want to limit what the citizens use and keep raising rates but give these multi national corporations a free hand to whatever they want.
Michelle Dainus April 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Rob, the reason the government can not get anything done is because congress is divided. The rhetoric has gotten out of hand, and apparently compromising and working together is a dirty word. I will not point fault at any one party, because in my opinion, they are all acting like petulant children. I spent a whole semester researching the current status of the electric grid in the US, and frankly, it scares me. I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am a designer, so it is in my best interest to educate myself on alternate energy systems, because that is simply the way the industry is going. I really wish that you and your peers would research from NON-BIASED sources, like peer-reviewed journals before making ignorant claims, like "the government is out to get us, and limit our water, electricity, etc..." because that does not help the situation. So I encourage you to educate yourself about smart metering (which is a great idea, and a helpful tool when it comes to energy consumption), and other options. The status quo is no longer an option, and we will have to change our energy consumption habits. Why not lead the way, instead of being sheep. I am not out to personally attack anyone, but I do not respond to stupidity. Arguing with an idiot does no good, and turns you into an idiot as well.
marooned in Dbn April 02, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Hey Dainus, way to go to a path of personal arrogance by makeing yourself the arbiter of public intelligence.
Michelle Dainus April 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Marooned, I am not arrogant, but thank you for your opinion, as you know my stance on arguing with idiots (or trolls as the internet savvy kids call it these days).
Rob April 02, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Michelle,the division in Washington is a mirage in many ways.By the end of the day 90% of them play for the same team.That team consists of big corporations and the globalists.Don`t be fooled by the left/right paradigm.They go back and forth but when it`s all said and done the corporations and globalists win and the people lose. Do you really trust the government to do the best thing for the country and it`s people? These endless wars that have done nothing to better the U.S. In fact we are being steered toward`s a police state in the name of protecting us from terrorists. The government let these Wall Street banksters fleece us for trillions and walk away from it.They have looted Social Security have buried us in 16 trillion in debt. They have allowed millions of good paying jobs be outsourced.Jobs that created millions in tax revenue and made the economy churn.In fact,our government has given away the store to China.Communist China at that.All I heard growing up is that the commies were our biggest enemies. Those aren`t conspiracy theories.Those conspiracy facts. If you claim you`re all about learning the truth,you won`t mind investing over a hour of your time and watching this video. The Ultimate War - Globalism vs. America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYsXN4AnMJQ This is NOT left vs. right.This is the power elite against humanity.The term "putting lipstick on a pig" apllies to this green agenda.
Michelle Dainus April 02, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Rob, I completely agree with a lot of the examples you have given, in fact I am with you. A lot of what we see are people who are all pandering to the same thing, big business (don't get me started on citizens united). I try to be as educated as I can on both sides of the argument, and I'll look into that video. I can not ignore the direction my industry (the building industry) is going, "green" is no longer a trendy buzzword, it is engrained in the curriculum that I was taught in school. I see nothing wrong with being environmentally responsible, buying local, minimizing the effects that chemicals have on indoor air quality, minimizing the amount of energy that appliances use, etc. Those are all good things that any responsible person should do. Is regulation the answer, probably not, but sometimes it can't hurt either. I value your opinion, and having intelligent and civil debates on these kinds of issues. I may not agree with somethings being "conspiracy facts", but I am not opposed to listening and gaining another point of view.
Rob April 02, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Michelle said "I see nothing wrong with being environmentally responsible, buying local, minimizing the effects that chemicals have on indoor air quality, minimizing the amount of energy that appliances use, etc. Those are all good things that any responsible person should do. Is regulation the answer, probably not, but sometimes it can't hurt either." I agree 100% with you.Everyone should want a clean environment.This issue is not black and white by any means.There is much more than meets the eye which you will see in that video. It reminds of this war on terror.It`s like who doesn`t want to protect the country from terrorists? I`m for it.A strong national defense is a good thing. As time went by it was easy to see there were many ulterior motives for these wars.Over a trillion dollars spent so the war profiteers could clean up.Do you think maybe big oil hasn`t and isn`t making big money off of Iraqi oil? As I mentioned before the approaching police state in the name of protecting us. Did you know congress voted that drones can be used in the U.S.? Just as the war on terror had some big ulterior motives so doesn this green movement.It`s far from being black and white.The devil`s in the details. I appreciate the civil conversation,also.
Ed Lambert April 03, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Scot, the nub of the dispute concerning global warming and climate change is human causation for it. Given historical changes in temperatures in various parts of the world over millenia, long before there even was a sizable population of humans, there remains to be proven that we are the cause of these changes. That does not mean that we needn't conserve and that pollution should not be a concern. Wanna bet that most in the climate scare business are also associated with other agendas we generally consider to be leftist?
Ed Lambert April 03, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Ms Dainus, thanks for the tip. I have avoided the CFLs entirely based only on what I find on display in my own neighborhood. I am repulsed by what I see. Perhaps my neighbors had not done the comparision you suggest and merely bought the first thing they saw on the shelf. I don't know. Based on what you say, however, I am willing to compare and experiment.
Ed Lambert April 03, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Hugh, you pass off very lightly what amount to huge investments in questionable experiments. By the way, where's the evidence that current methods are unsustainable? We all know why they are becoming more expensive: Obama gave a clue when he told the coal industry what to expect if it tries more mining. Or did you not hear about his remark? The hand of government is a heavy one, and it gets much of its energy not from proven facts but from contrived agendas. Heck, there are now three years full of that stuff for the record.
marooned in Dbn April 03, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Danius, I also thank you for your reply. Your disguised effort to call me an idiot, or as you refer to the online community description....(troll), confirms my inital opinion of your spite tactics.
Scot Beaton April 03, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Ed... I'm a big fan of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he made a inserting comment lately. I'll try to paraphrase what he said. A true 'conservative' would want to conserve the plant's natural resources... and a 'liberal' would be the one who is liberal with our natural resources.
Ed Lambert April 04, 2012 at 01:56 AM
"Ed... I'm a big fan of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, he made a inserting comment lately. I'll try to paraphrase what he said. A true 'conservative' would want to conserve the plant's natural resources... and a 'liberal' would be the one who is liberal with our natural resources." -Scot Beaton Scott, I agree with you There are some estimates that the US alone has enough oil reserves to sustain us for more than a century. I don't know whether that's true, but I do know that the leadership of the "greenies" seems bent on removing fossil fuel exlporation and nuclear energy as sources. They want development only on those forms that already have been shown to be frought with difficulties--and which private enterprises seem to have little interest in pursuing unless backed by the taxpayers' dollars. Good point regarding the turnabout for the labels "conservative" and "liberal." It's been going on for decades. Today's liberals are openminded about nothing running counter to their own agenda. They won't revisit failed policies that continue to suck up funding and insist even more funding be given. Conservatives are tje racists--and the fact that bigotry was strongest in the solidly Democrat South is not an argument that even seem to comprehend. Oh, yes: Obama insists that a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of a law is an "activist" court, when we all know that term is used to describe jurists who give rulings that produce law. And so on.
Rob April 07, 2012 at 08:58 PM
The Face of Authoritarian Environmentalism An Oregon University professor has controversially compared skepticism of global warming to racism. Sociology and environmental studies professor Kari Norgaard wrote a paper criticising non-believers, suggesting that doubters have a ‘sickness’. The professor, who holds a B.S. in biology and a master’s and PhD in sociology, argued that ‘cultural resistance’ to accepting humans as being responsible for climate change ‘must be recognized and treated’ as an aberrant sociological behavior. Really? Doubters have an illness? Isn’t pathologising dissidents a hallmark of authoritarianism? Weren’t dissidents under the Soviet Union often sent to psychiatric hospitals to be “treated” for their behavior? Norgaard last week attended the annual four-day ‘Planet Under Pressure’ international conference in London, where she presented her controversial paper to delegates on Wednesday. The scientists behind the event recently put out a statement calling for humans to be packed into denser cities so that the rest of the planet can be surrendered to mother nature. And fellow attendee Yale University professor Karen Seto told MSNBC: ‘We certainly don’t want them (humans) strolling about the entire countryside. We want them to save land for nature by living closely [together]. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-face-authoritarian-environmentalism
Scot Beaton April 07, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Rob, 'The scientists behind the event recently put out a statement calling for humans to be packed into denser cities so that the rest of the planet can be surrendered to mother nature. ' You'll like this Architect who has been taking that argument to the extreme for decades.  Paolo Soleri  http://www.arcosanti.org/project/background/soleri/main.html http://www.arcosanti.org/media/publication/arcologynew06.html
Rob April 08, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Like I`ve said a few times already on this thread.Who doesn`t want a clean environment? Most people do.Taking steps to achieve that are a good thing. But not when it`s masqueraded with huge taxes and total control of the population. That`s exactly where this is headed. Agenda 21.Straight from the United Nations web site.All leading to control of the people and a one world government.Or a new world order. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/
Rob April 08, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Check this out. Agenda21 – Wildlands Plan is in full swing in California – 42 Roads to close in El Dorado National Forest Court Order Prohibits Motorized Vehicle Travel on 42 Popular OHV Routes Release Date: Apr 4, 2012 Placerville, CA Forty-two off-highway-vehicle routes that cross meadows in the Eldorado National Forest may be closed to motor vehicle travel this recreation season while the Forest Service completes an environmental analysis, announced Eldorado National Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy. The potential travel prohibitions are the result of a February 2012 court order by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton. The order said the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act in 2008 when it designated “open for public motor vehicle use” portions of 42 routes that cross meadows. Judge Karlton ordered the Forest Service to “set aside” the decision that designated these segments as open and to reconsider the decision. A final court order with further direction to the Forest Service is pending. In the interim, Karlton ordered the 42 routes remain closed to motorized public use. The final order will identify specifically where travel will be prohibited until a new environmental decision is made. http://ppjg.me/2012/04/07/agenda-21-california/
Ed Lambert April 08, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Ms Dainus, care to identify the "talking heads"? I'll clue you in: they're found ALSO at mainstream media readers' desks. I think you will find that the agenda-driven types began the first preachings (incessantly) about "man-made global warming." It took the alternative media to expose the falsity of the "facts" presented. You remember the Climategate scandal, no? That is part of the cause for disdain by so many people when "the environment" is the subject of discussion. It is great to know that you are focussed on the need for our intelligent use and conservation of resources. Earth Day likely resulted in a greater waste of resources in its promotion than what it saved.
Steve Tegge April 21, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Being a hunter and a fisherman, I am a big fan of responsible use of the environment. It is not a conspiracy that people are seeking to control us through environmental regulation. It is obvious from grade school through college and beyond that there is a form of green indoctrination going on. Some of the activism is good and has resulted in good things for society, but once governments start mandating things and creating regulations that suppress freedom of choice it becomes a problem to me. Enough of that, I wanted to share an article that made me think. Maybe our carbon emissions are the earth's way of dealing with our over-population. Check it out. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/295098/carbon-emissions-are-good-robert-zubrin
jonathan April 21, 2012 at 03:16 AM
The sneakiest way to win a game is pitting team players against one another. While you and I argue, or do nothing, millions of gallons from our Great Lakes are being pumped and shipped off to never return. Thats just wrong Green or not.
Rob April 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Global warning,endless wars and country after country going bankrupt are all coming into play in a effort to force a one world government.A new world order. Being that it`s easy to see how endless wars and burying countries in debt could of been orchestrated.Doesn`t it add up that global warming could be trumped up also? Wake up people.There is much more going on here than meets the eye.
Rob April 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
The tab for U.N.’s Rio summit: Trillions per year in taxes, transfers and price hikes April 20, 2012 FoxNews.com The upcoming United Nations environmental conference on sustainable development will consider a breathtaking array of carbon taxes, transfers of trillions of dollars from wealthy countries to poor ones, and new spending programs to guarantee that populations around the world are protected from the effects of the very programs the world organization wants to implement, according to stunning U.N. documents examined by Fox News. The main goal of the much-touted, Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled to be held in Brazil from June 20-23, and which Obama Administration officials have supported, is to make dramatic and enormously expensive changes in the way that the world does nearly everything—or, as one of the documents puts it, "a fundamental shift in the way we think and act." Among the proposals on how the “challenges can and must be addressed,” according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: --More than $2.1 trillion a year in wealth transfers from rich countries to poorer ones, in the name of fostering “green infrastructure, ” “climate adaptation” and other “green economy” measures. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/20/tab-for-uns-rio-summit-trillions-per-year-in-taxes-transfers-and-price-hikes/#ixzz1sgACkimS
Rob April 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM
In case anyone thought this was some kind of right wing movement,it`s not. DEMOCRATS AGAINST U. N. AGENDA 21 Have you wondered where these terms 'sustainability' and 'smart growth' and 'high density urban mixed use development' came from? Doesn't it seem like about 10 years ago you'd never heard of them and now everything seems to include these concepts? Is that just a coincidence? That every town and county and state and nation in the world would be changing their land use/planning codes and government policies to align themselves with...what? http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/
Mrs. W. July 06, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I'm with ya "M."
Mrs. W. July 06, 2012 at 06:24 PM
What? It's so hard to read your posts due to your poor grammar.

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