Sunday, March 29, 2009

Did you turn out your lights?

Earth Hour light switchLast night, according to Earth Hour's 2009 Kids Page, more than a billion of us turned out our lights. That's about one-seventh of the world's 6.7 billion people. Were you among us?

Here in San Francisco, we enjoyed a late supper and a full hour of uninterrupted conversation in our cool, darkened rooms.

[Image from Earth Hour Kids home page]

Disappointingly, about the same number of windows in our neighborhood were dark as last year.

Mayor Gavin Newsom helped to dim the city's nightscape when he yanked the switches for the Bay Bridge and Coit Tower. Thank you, Mayor, for your support of Earth Hour 2009! I'll hold you to your Twitter DM today to help push SF Earth Hour viral on the web in 2010.

Cities and hamlets around the world dimmed their lights, from tiny Igiugig, Alaska, to Beijing. For an impressive show of lights going out, watch the Earth Hour 2009 slide show.

There's still time to turn this symbolic act into concrete action. Aside from votes, nothing sounds so sweet to a politician as a thank you. Take time to thank the pols in your city who supported Earth Hour and encourage them to make their town even darker for one hour next year. Public opinion matters, too, so take advantage of this opportunity to write to President Obama and tell him how important climate change is to you and your family.

Earth Hour logoRemember how the video in yesterday's post, Lights Out--Earth Hour 2009, began with a single voice saying, "I'm just one person," quickly multiplied by hundreds of voices all chanting "I'm just one person"?

Remember how big (and annoying) the sound of those voices became?

That's how climate change works: Each of us contributing carbon emissions through our quick trips to the grocery store, lights and heat on in rooms we're not using, extra gas use from low tires and poorly tuned engines.

So you're just one person. Instead of one person adding to carbon emissions, be one person reducing them. The World Wildlife Fund has eight quick actions you can pick from right now.

We can all make small changes, one person, one minute, one hour a time. That's exactly how we are building a world more like the Village of Ordinary.

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