Today, Saturday March 29, several cities both large and small will go dark as Earth Hour commences. Earth hour will switch on today at 8:30 pm local time and the reports are already in.
In Sidney, Australia the Opera House as well as Harbor Bridge were among the first to officially turn off for an hour. In China, usually a well-lit spot from space, regions “disappeared” as they joined the global efforts. But what’s that all about?
Earth Hour was founded in 2007 in Australia to raise global awareness about climate changes. While Earth Hour does not concentrate on lowering carbon emissions or reduce light pollution, it is a symbolic gesture from participating businesses and individuals to collaborate for one hour out of the year. The Earth Hour website supplies readers with a plethora of information and a very helpful FAQ section. In that section, the topic of the actual Earth Hour is made clearer in that it is not a complete blackout but rather a fadeout where houses and businesses turn off the unnecessary lights in their homes and offices.
Today, Earth Hour has grown to support international causes from countries in all seven continents. Providing a platform for individuals, business and government to raise awareness and funds for specific causes, the Earth Hour switch on will bring together people who are united in one goal: effecting global changes.
Projects such as deforestation efforts, national safety and security as well as peacekeeping goals are just some of the ideas which Earth Hour supports. Through their website, people can put up their own goals for funding assistance and to bring them to the forefront of awareness. Earth Hour teams up with PayPal to help channel funds which go to certain goals. Earth Hour is not your run-of-the-mill organization. This giant receives millions of dollars of free advertising and has collaborated with huge corporations in order to keep these projects alive.
Though it may sound as if this organization is run by hundreds of dedicated employees world-wide, it comes as a little more than a surprise to know that the entire Earth Hour team is actually made up of a 9 person team in Singapore. This make Earth Hour not just well-organized and incredible but also very warm and personal at the same time. In a world that seemed to lose humanity, Earth Hour has combined professionalism and humanism in a beautiful way. This, coupled with their global mindset has made the efforts remarkable and the cause even more worthy.
It should come as no surprise then that this year Earth Hour’s official representative is none other than The Amazing Spiderman. Sony Pictures made Spiderman 2 the most eco-friendly blockbuster which almost instantaneously made Spiderman Earth Hour’s most natural choice. Earth Hour and Sony came together to illustrate to Spiderman fans the importance of global collaboration as well as the truth that it only takes one person’s vision to make long-lasting changes in the world.
Even if you missed the Earth Hour switch on, people are always welcomed to show their support via Earth Hour’s website, listed below. Financial contributions, personal statements and all forms of support are greatly appreciated. All in all, when we all get together perhaps we can extend that Earth Hour into an Earth Era.
Commentary by Atar Kishon