Tomorrow evening is the annual event known as Earth Hour, when people throughout the world turn off their lights as a symbolic gesture of environmental unity. See Earth Hour homepage.
Granted, turning out the lights by itself doesn’t do much to help the Earth, but I find that it is a good time to think about the environment, including climate change, and consider what each of us can do.
Most of the time, my wife and I — occasionally with family and friends — take a moment to appreciate what we have, discuss things in general or play a game. The grandkids like to play Hide and Seek in our darkened house.
Earth Hour is celebrated in 7,000 cities and 178 countries and territories, according to officials with World Wildlife Fund, which initiated the event 10 years ago in 2007. Hundreds of lighted structures, monuments and buildings go dark from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. along with millions of households. In Seattle, Earth Hour is recognized by the:
- Space Needle
- Key Arena
- Pacific Science Center
- Museum of Pop Culture
- Showbox at the Market and Showbox SoDo
- University of Washington Tower
This year I’m hearing a refrain on social media about how Earth Hour is more important than ever. I know that a lot of people in the U.S. feel that the environment is coming under increased threat from President Trump’s administration, but concerns are being expressed in many other countries as well.
“The need to raise awareness about climate change, habitat and environment degradation, species loss and resource shortage has never been greater,” wrote Maria Shamim, a producer at Geo TV based in Pakistan. “According to WWF Living Planet Report 2016, species populations of vertebrate animals have decreased in abundance by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012.”
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres offers a video message about Earth Hour on Vimeo. To explore ideas about Earth Hour, visit Earth Hour’s homepage. For a list of eight things to do in the dark, check out Earth Hour’s Eight Things. For discussions, go to Earth Hour’s Facebook page, as well as Earth Hour’s Twitter page, or Twitter hashtag #earthhour2017.