The (Earth) Hour was Nigh
Someone at Australia’s Sydney Opera House must have bruised knuckles. We can only assume that the display lights on this city icon were supposed to go out at 7.30pm last Saturday like many of the others that went black for the inaugural Earth Hour. But they only went off at 8pm! Still it was an impressive sight seeing the Sydney’s nightscape dimmed for 60 minutes. And if the event was primarily designed to get Sydneysiders thinking about energy use and global warming, it seemed to be at least partial successful for folk poured down to the harbour foreshore in numbers similar to a New Years Eve fireworks. WWF who organised the event reckon over 2 million residents joined in and recorded a 10.2% decrease in energy usage. This has been compared to a greenhouse gas reduction in the order of 24.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road for an hour. Or 200,000 TVs turned off. A Coca Cola sign that hasn’t been turned off since 1972 was shut down for the first time, as were 90 of Macca’s famed golden arches. Over 1,000 businesses listed as participants, including many restaurants who served candlelit meals. Think I even read of one who had a special menu that didn’t require the kitchen to be powered up for the hour. WWF are considering taking the idea to a national or international level, but in the meantime have developed screensaver to help people turn off unused computers. (Ta to Mark for the tip on that one.) Earth Hour Official Site.