Asia turns off lights for Earth Hour

Mar 31, 2012 by Madeleine Coorey
The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are darkened at the start of the 6th annual Earth Hour. Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.

Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were plunged into darkness on Saturday for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.

In a twist to this year's Earth Hour, Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers will observe from the countries around the world turn off the lights for 60 minutes from 8:30pm local time and post photos.

From Sydney's sparkling harbour to Egypt's Tahrir Square and New York's , thousands of cities will go dark when the switches are flicked in some 150 countries and territories.

"From the Sydney Opera House it was fantastic," said Marni Ryan, from organiser WWF Australia. "We had the skyline of Sydney all out."

The Pacific island nation of Samoa was the first to make the symbolic gesture, with New Zealand's city landscapes later dramatically darkened as lights on buildings such as Auckland's Sky Tower were cut.

Hong Kong's Victoria harbour waterfront is seen with its lights dimmed during Earth Hour. Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.

In Australia, where the event was conceived, harbourside buildings went dark, along with most big office buildings as some Sydneysiders picnicked on the harbour foreshore by moonlight.

Japan's Tokyo Tower interrupted its sunset-to-midnight lighting to take part, as orgnanisers said the Earth Hour was an opportunity to pray for last year's earthquake and tsunami disaster.

But the just completed 634-metre Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest communications tower, loomed with as it prepared to open to the public in May.

"We will ask the tower's operator to turn off the lights next year," WWF spokeswoman Akiko Ishihara said.

In Hong Kong the city's skyscrapers turned out their lights dimming the usually glittering skyline. Tourists and locals snapped pictures, although many were unaware of what was behind the switch-off.

Since it began in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become what WWF says is the world's largest demonstration of support for action on carbon pollution.

Malaysia's landmarks have their lights being switched off for Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur. Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.

A total of 5,251 cities took part in 2011, as the movement reached 1.8 billion people in 135 countries, it says. Newcomers to the worldwide initiative include Libya and Iraq.

"Earth Hour 2012 is a celebration of people power -- the world's largest mass environmental event in support of the planet," said chief executive of WWF-Australia Dermot O'Gorman.

"And we're seeing hundreds of millions of people in different countries around the world take actions to go beyond the hour in support of positive actions for and the planet."

In Beijing, Olympic Park's two landmark monuments, the Bird's Nest and Water Cube, were spending an hour in darkness.

And in Singapore, 32 malls -- many located in the glittering Orchard Road shopping belt -- and more than 370 companies including luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Armani turned off non-essential lighting.

In Taiwan, the presidential office went dim and in the Philippines, more than 1,780 police stations and training centres will turning off all non-essential lights and electrical equipment.

"We will turn off the lights in the offices but not the lights in the perimeter because our detainees might escape," said Philippine national police spokesman Superintendent Agrimero Cruz earlier.

Young people light up candles in the square outside Hanoi Opera House to mark the sixth global Earth Hour in Hanoi. Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.

In the Indian capital New Delhi lights at three iconic monuments, India Gate, Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb were being switched off, while in Mumbai people gathered on the streets to light candles.

"We have a lot of power cuts in our neighbourhood so we're used to going without power, but my kids want to turn out the lights for -- they've been learning about energy conservation at school," Delhi mother-of-two Sangeeta Dayal said.

As the movement spreads across the planet buildings such as The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower and Louvre in Paris, the cupola of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and Buckingham Palace in London will dim their lights.

The effort will also be observed by the International Space Station, where Kuipers is hoping to share photos and live commentary as he watches from above.

"There is no better way to raise awareness for the future of the most beautiful planet in the universe," he said earlier this month.

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User comments : 7

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nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Mar 31, 2012
Maybe you should spell out the date for that Eerth Hour in you article? Just a picture March 31, 2012 may be not obvious enough.

I had to double check in Wikipedia, where it says it is the last Saturday of March, which is today, March 31, 2012.
WirelessPhil
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
Kind of the opposite of earth hour when you turn everything off.
Here they tell you everything that is electric, turn it on.

The inception of Human Achievement Hour

Video:
Michelle Minton, founder of Ezra's new favourite holiday, Human Achievement Hour, joins to share what inspired the anti-Earth Hour movement that began in 2008.
http://www.sunnew...99880001
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Mar 31, 2012
DPRK (North Korea) commemorates earth day every day.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
It is criminal that the U.S. has spent so much time and money to block trade with North Korea in it's economic war against that tiny nation.

If North Korea were allowed to engage in trade with the rest of the world, it wouldn't be the isolated and poor nuclear nation that it is today.

ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 31, 2012
"China is North Korea's most important ally; biggest trading partner; and main source of food, arms, and fuel. China has helped sustain Kim Jong-Il's regime and opposed harsh international economic sanctions in the hope of avoiding regime collapse and an uncontrolled influx of refugees across its eight-hundred-mile border with North Korea. "
http://www.cfr.or...p/p11097
"Canada is imposing sanctions on North Korea after the country was implicated in the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors."

Read more: http://www.ctv.ca...qjO0ritX
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 31, 2012
"It is doubtful that Stalin, rarely a risk-taker, would have supplied the military wherewithal and authorized North Korea to invade South Korea in 1950 had the Soviet Union not exploded an atomic bomb in 1949. Otherwise Stalin might have feared that President Harry Truman would stanch any North Korean invasion by threatening to use atomic weapons. After all, as soon as the atomic bomb had been developed, Truman had not hesitated to use it twice to end the war with Japan. But in 1950, with Stalin in possession of the atomic bomb, Truman was deterred from using atomic weapons in Korea,"
http://www.nytime...ona.html

Sinister1811
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 01, 2012
Here they tell you everything that is electric, turn it on.

The inception of Human Achievement Hour


I've heard a lot of people who are opposed to "Earth Hour" say they're going to turn everything on for the occasion. I've never really understood what that would achieve [if anything], and I probably never will. Just being trolls, I guess.

But anyways, it's nice to see Asia joining in on the occasion.