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8.30pm Lights Out!!

 

Updated : Mar 28, 2009

Earth Hour, an event created in Sydney two years ago by environmentalists keen to cut energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is set to prompt one billion people worldwide to turn lights off tonight, organisers say.

The event will begin with the switching off of diesel generators on the Chatham Islands, a small archipelago off the east coast of New Zealand, beginning the global participation which will sweep across Asia to Europe before moving across North America and onwards.

A total of 83 countries and 2,848 cities and towns will participate. Lights at 829 iconic landmarks including the Empire State Building in New York, London’s Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Las Vegas Strip will be cut from 8.30 pm local time, according to an Earth Hour statement. Other landmarks to go dark tonight will include the Great Pyramids, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, the Sydney Opera House and the Acropolis in Athens.

Ireland will see iconic buildings including the Custom House, Government Buildings and Leinster House going dark for an hour, as will thousands of private homes. Lights will also be turned off at locations such as the Rock of Cashel, and at Cahir, Trim and Donegal Castle.

Organisers want the event to underline public support for government policies to cut greenhouse gases, blamed for global warming. “People want to know how they can be part of the solution rather than the problem,” said John Wright, the director of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’ energy transformed flagship. “People worldwide are realising it’s an issue.”

When it began in Sydney in 2007, two million Australians participated. Last year, cities including Dubai, Bangkok and New Zealand’s Christchurch recorded falls in power consumption ranging from 2 per cent to 13 per cent during the hour.

VeryHappyPig will definitely be switching off the lights in my sty at half 8 tonight……. Oh wait, I have no lights in my sty!!

 

 

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