Earth Hour 2008

Written by  //  March 31, 2008  //  Canada, Environment & Energy  //  1 Comment

March 30
Sadly, Montreal was not one of the iconic cities for Earth Hour, Councillor Marvin Rotrand is quoted, but nowhere do we see mention of the Mayor of Montreal. We were not impressed with Westmount citizens’ participation either – houses around us had many lights on – even outdoor lights competing with the street lights which, reasonably, were kept on for safety reasons. It’s nice for municipalities to pledge, but it would be more impressive if the same municipalities publicized the event and encouraged their citizens to participate as fully as possible. It’s only an hour without television, computers, washing machines and stoves …. We do confess to pangs of withdrawal when we unplugged the computer, but we survived.
Thousands of Canadians took part in a global effort to cut power consumption on Saturday. At eight o’clock in the evening, they shut off their electricity to mark Earth Hour. Many Canadian landmarks blacked out, including the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the CN Tower in Toronto, Montreal’s Mount Royal Cross, and the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver. One city that virtually ignored Earth Hour was Calgary, where people were focused on a National Hockey League game between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
As usual, Aislin says it best.


March 29
(CBC) Canadians go dark with world for Earth Hour
Cities dim lights for environment
Towns and cities around the world are turning out the lights for an hour to highlight the threat of climate change.
Sydney was the first major city to begin “Earth Hour”, when at 2000 (0900 GMT), lights went out on landmarks like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

March 26, 2008
Lest it be thought that our city-within-a-metropolis is ignoring world events, please note:
Westmount in the dark
(Westmount Examiner) Remember Westmount: things are going to get dark this Saturday evening. The city will shut its non-essential lighting off between 8 and 9 p.m. as part of Earth Hour, an initiative aiming to raise awareness about energy consumption. Residents are encouraged to participate as well.
Westmount will be among numerous international cities, like Sydney, Chicago, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, and Toronto, to go dark on Saturday. Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia on March 31 last year, when 2.2 million residents, 2,100 business and even national monuments like the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, turned their lights off for one hour. As a result, Sydney’s energy consumption was lowered by just over 10 per cent, which, according to Earth Hour’s official website, is the equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the road for 60 minutes. 

The momentum is building for Earth Hour–8 to 9 pm, March 29, 2008–the global movement to shut off the lights for one hour to make a bold statement about climate change. More and more individuals, businesses, and even cities are planning to participate. Together, we’ll deliver a powerful message to the citizens and leaders of the world about the need for action on climate change.Earth Hour is an opportunity for each one of us to take action, influence others and start a wave of change that alters the course of climate change. But turning off your lights is just the beginning. What can one person do in the face of a global challenge? Here are some easy tips to help you make a big impact:

Make it Happen

Atlanta will be going dark for Earth Hour.

It’s easy and free to be part of the Earth Hour movement.

  • Be sure to be counted. Sign up for Earth Hour and commit to turning off your lights on March 29 from 8 to 9 pm local time.
  • Urge your friends, family, colleagues and contacts to show their support. It’s easy to engage and inspire. Use or modify our sample Tell A Friend e-mail.
  • Blog about Earth Hour. Add an official Earth Hour web banner to your blog, website, or online page. Or start a conversation about climate change when you wear Earth Hour stickers you can print at home.
  • Spread the word. Earth Hour could be just the excuse you’ve been waiting for to knock on doors on your street or in your building. Ask them to go dark. Create your own event, such as a neighborhood Earth Hour celebration.

Reach Out, Speak Out, Go Out

Get outside and gaze at the night sky during Earth Hour!

Shutting off non-essential lights for WWF’s Earth Hour on March 29 will give you some time to think about how you can be smarter about the Earth’s resources.

  • You don’t have to sit alone in the dark. Talking about protecting the planet for future generations can make for a very pleasant evening. Couple your conversation with some organic chocolate (dark, of course!) and make Earth Hour a night to remember.
  • Earth Hour is on a Saturday night. If the weather’s good, try a picnic under the stars. Ask your favorite restaurant or bar to dim their lights and participate in Earth Hour. And if you’ll be at work, take a look at our tips for businesses and restaurants.
  • Plan a get-dark party for Earth Hour. The younger crowd can host a slumber party complete with scary stories, hold an acoustical jam session or bring friends together to do some dancing in the dark. Don’t worry about decorations–it will be dark!
  • Check in with a local astronomy club about star gazing events. The night sky provides its own light show–and here’s your chance to take a break and soak up the view.
  • You can still text in the dark. Make a list of all the ways you are going to reduce your energy consumption: unplug unused appliances; change to compact fluorescent bulbs; properly inflate tires; adjust your thermostat. Text your list to others and challenge them to make their own lists. Check other lists for ideas you may have forgotten.


One Comment on "Earth Hour 2008"

  1. H. Douglas Lightfoot March 26, 2008 at 10:56 am ·

    Below is a copy of a letter I sent to the Gazette this afternoon that may be
    of interest. Regards, Doug
    On Saturday, March 29, 2008, from 8 to 9 PM, people around the world
    are requested to turn off all lights and appliances in their homes, except
    those required for safety and security, in support of International Earth
    Hour. The purpose is to deliver a message about the need to do something
    about climate change.
    However, while the lights are out, people may wish to think seriously about
    what would happen if the lights were “really out”. Everything would come to
    a grinding halt, just as it did in the ice storm of 1998. There would be no
    means to take effective action to adapt to climate change.
    After a few hours of the lights being “really out”, questions arise such as,
    “Where is my next meal coming from? How can I keep warm?”
    The most important lesson to learn from this lights out exercise, and to
    think seriously about, is to understand that Keeping the lights on is
    more important than climate change
    H. Douglas Lightfoot

Comments are now closed for this article.