Earth Hour 2012
If there’s any such thing as a global holiday it should be Earth Hour. Earth Hour is one day each year where governments, businesses, and individuals turn off their lights for one hour. The day is the last Saturday of March and this year it’s March 31st, 2012. The date is picked so that it is close to the equinox so that as much of the Earth is in darkness as possible as the planet turns. The aim of Earth Hour is to raise awareness about global climate change and to send a message to governments of cities and countries across the world. Earth Hour began back in 2008 in Sydney, Australia when over 200,000 people turned off their lights for one hour. The entire city was behind the project and it was a great success. The following year all of Australia participated and Toronto, Canada also joined. Since then, Earth Hour has spread to over 52,000 towns and cities in 135 countries! This year we hope to have the largest participation yet! The date is 3/31/12 and the time is 8:30pm.
While I’m all for saving energy and the environment and all that I’m also intrigued by the other effects of Earth Hour: the skies. Imagine if you will, if everyone in your city turned off their lights and all the buildings went dark for one hour; how dark would the sky be and how much more of the night sky you would be able to see? Especially in a heavily light polluted state like Maryland, the difference could be dramatic if a large number of people and businesses participate! If you’re an astronomer, or if you support Earth Hour in general, PLEASE, PLEASE spread the word! Use Facebook, Twitter, your blog, your friend’s blogs, whatever outlet you have to spread the word please do so! Together we can unite the world for one hour to preserve what has been given to us and to appreciate the beauty of the heavens. For more information on Earth Hour please check out their website at www.earthhour.org.