Mon, Mar 31st 2008, 00:00
March 29 saw people united across the globe to switch off power for 60 minutes to mark Earth Hour and do their bit to take action against global warming.
26 Cities around the world joined nearly 100 million people who pledged their participation in the official Earth Hour website. People from all ends of the earth took part; from Aalborg to Adelaide, Sydney to Tel Aviv and Toronto. Government bodies, businesses and individuals voluntarily switched off power between 8:00pm and 9:00pm last Saturday.
Sydney, where Earth Hour first took place last year, saw electricity demand drop by 8.4% during the hour. Sydney Harbour Bridge and the famous opera house faded into darkness along with individual houses and business premises.
Zamboanga in the Philippines experienced an hour-long brownout when the electricity utility cut everyone’s power for them. Dublin City saw 13 of its 14 bridges lose its non-street lighting for the hour. 100,000 Canadians participated in this year’s Earth Hour. The demand for power in Toronto fell by 8.7% compared to the average for the past 3 years.
Christchurch, the only city in New Zealand to sign up for the Earth Hour pledge, saw energy consumption plunge by nearly 13% during the hour. In London consumption fell by 7,056 kilowatt-hours between 8:00pm and 9:00pm. The energy saved by Londoners would provide enough power to light 117,000 lightbulbs for an hour.
Even global commercial icons participated in Earth Hour: popular search engine Google blackened its home page, while McDonalds pledged to turn off every lit golden arch in the USA, saving 10,000 kilowatt-hours.