Does Earth Hour (Saturday night at 8:30 local time) make a difference? A bit. Toronto last year saw consumption drop 8.7% as utility workers monitored the screens for trouble. Others will complain that more energy was used making all the candles and driving around to Earth Hour parties. But it is really about awareness, about drawing attention to the issues of consumption and climate change. And everyone from Donny and Marie Osmond to Desmond Tutu are hopping on the bandwagon.
Travel writer Harriet Baskas rounds up some of the American cities, landmarks and businesses joining in:
In New York City, the lights will dim at Broadway theaters, Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters.
Lights will go off at the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Acropolis in Athens, Niagara Falls, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Chicago's Sears Tower. In Boston, the signature CITGO sign in Kenmore Square is scheduled to be switched off, as are the lights at the Prudential Center and the John Hancock Tower. In Nashville they'll be turning off lights at the giant Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and at the Jack Daniel's Distillery.
Los Angeles structures participating in the event include the Capitol Records Tower, the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, the Getty Museum and the Griffith Park Observatory.
She notes that even Las Vegas is getting in on the action.
"This is big," says Jacqueline Peterson, spokesperson for Harrah's Entertainment, which owns eight casinos in Las Vegas. "Historically, the lights on the Strip may have been dimmed for a minute or so when Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack celebrities died, but the lights on the Strip have never been turned off for a full hour."
More on Earth Hour:
IKEA Goes Dark For Earth Hour (But Not In The USA)
Earth Hour Comes To America
Earth Hour 2008 from Toronto, Canada
Earth Hour: Get Out and Party Like it's 1799!
More Ideas for Earth Hour
60 Things To Do During Earth Hour