Landmarks to go dark Saturday night for ‘Earth hour’

Some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks are going dark Saturday night in observance of Earth hour to raise awareness about global warming.

A view of the Eiffel Tower an instant with its lights switched off for the Earth Hour 2015 in Paris, France in 2015. People in 170 countries and 1,200 monuments' lights are to be switched off at exactly 8:30 p.m. local tie Saturday for one hour. Launched by the World Wildlife Fund, the event is meant to highlight the importance to fight global warming. File photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA
A view of the Eiffel Tower an instant with its lights switched off for the Earth Hour 2015 in Paris, France in 2015. People in 170 countries and 1,200 monuments’ lights are to be switched off at exactly 8:30 p.m. local tie Saturday for one hour. Launched by the World Wildlife Fund, the event is meant to highlight the importance to fight global warming. File photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA

Landmarks from the Eifel Tower in Paris to the Empire State Building in New York to the Sydney Opera House will shut off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time on Saturday. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to do the same in order to bring attention to the effect greenhouse gases are having on the planet.

The event is not aimed at demonstrably reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere – such an effort would require tens of millions of people to shut off lights for much longer than an hour. Instead, it’s meant to make people more conscious of the energy they use and consume during the course of their everyday life, and think about the source of that energy. Often it comes from fossil fuel, the burning of which is believed to be the main driver of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming.
Earth Hour began as an event in Australia promoted by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007. A year later, landmarks around the world began participating and it became a global movement. It has grown to become one of the most visible environmental campaigns in the world.

“Our tower lights are admired and beloved around the globe. The Empire State Building shines a light on major global issues and is part of the international conversation,” Audrey Pass, chief marketing officer of Empire Realty Trust told the New York Daily News.

The campaign urges people who participate to spend their hour dining by candlelight or playing games with flashlights.

By Eric DuVall