A local lights out event which happened in Sydney in 2007 has spread to 7,000 cities and 162 countries around the world. It is called Earth Hour, and it happens every year on March 28.
The tradition involves the voluntary switching off of lights for one hour on that day starting 8.30 pm local time in every region of the world. Its aim is not to achieve huge savings of electricity, but what this to focus focus attention on the detrimental effects of global warming. Also, it is a far cry for the urgent necessity to embrace a sustainable model of energy development.
Earth Hour serves an crucial goal because it forces people to slow the frenetic pace of living which uses resources that are exhaustible.
Fossil fuels could run of supply in the next hundred years. The turning off of electric power shows a feeling of appreciation towards the people from countries which still do not have enough electricity for regular use and are forced to live an important part of their lives in darkness. Earth Hour could be viewed as an attempt to connect millions of people, especially in developed countries, with the struggles which millions from poorer nations have to experience every day.
Earth Hour is being used to exhibit concerns that are also relevant to the nations that are part of the event. This programme turned out to be so successful mostly because it is a voluntary one. Governments have also started to organize special events that coincide with Earth Hour. For example, Argentina reportedly used Earth Hour to grant protection for a marine area in the South American country. In Madagascar, people received from the authorities thousands of wood-saving stove, while in India solar powered lights were offered to a few of villages without electricity.
The involvement of NGOs, civil society and governments for a mutual cause has transformed Earth Hour into an event which holds a huge promise, Earth Hour aims to send a signal that together, for 60 minutes every year, we can stop some of the negative changes that are affecting our world every single day, every single hour.
It is not only electricity that should be turned off on Earth Hour, but everything that harms the environment.
Image Source: Esi Africa