Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour History, Purpose ,Celebrations Through out The World

The logo for Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights. Following Sydney's lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at participants' respective local time.

Earth Hour  2011

Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011. In Israel, the hour was held on March 24.
The participating channels in the Philippines, ABS-CBN will cease transmission during lights out and Cartoon Network will halt transmissions during lights out.
YouTube promoted the Earth Hour by changing its logo, and by adding a switch on/off feature near the title of each video, so that users can change the background color from white to black.

Earth Hour 2010

The metal structure of the greenhouses of the curitiban Botanic Garden (Curitiba, Paraná, Southern Brazil), with its lights off on March 27, 2010
Earth Hour 2010 was held from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, March 27. In Israel, the hour was held on April 22.
Earth Hour 2010 was reportedly the biggest Earth Hour yet, aiming to garner more than the one billion participant goal of 2009's Earth Hour.
126 countries participated in Earth Hour 2010.
In the United States polling shows that an estimated 90,000,000 Americans participated in Earth Hour as lights were turned off around the country, including iconic landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Las Vegas Strip, the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls.
Earth Hour will be carried out in practical ways, as cities and landmarks apply the core principle of turning off the lights to their everyday routine. In Chicago, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) developed lighting guidelines to reduce light pollution, and reduce the carbon footprint of downtown buildings. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota will now start powering down each night around 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
In Vietnam, electricity demand fell 500,000 kWh during Earth Hour 2010, which was three times larger than the first time the country joined the event in 2009.
In the Philippines, 1,067 towns and cities pledged participation in 2010 and over 15 million Filipinos participated in the event.
About 4000 cities participated, including landmarks such as Big Ben, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Forbidden City.
Celebrity Earth Hour ambassadors included South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, President of Vietnam Nguyễn Minh Triết, and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Earth Hour has garnered support from many corporations including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Wells Fargo, IKEA, HSBC, PwC, Accenture and Nokia Siemens Networks.
Some critics point out that the reduction in power consumption in most cases is indistinguishable from zero. Sydney's The Herald Sun equated the power savings in the Sydney central business district to "taking 48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour." Critics, most notably Australian Columnist Andrew Bolt pointed out that "A cut so tiny [48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour] is trivial - equal to taking six cars off the road for a year"

Participating TV channels and radio stations

  • National Geographic Channel Asia suspended broadcasting from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Philippines' ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation's cable news channel ANC once again ceased transmission during Earth Hour.
  • Vietnam's FBNC channel joined hands with Earth Hour Vietnam.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVOntario ran its full program running only on candle light again.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on mnit ran its full program running only on candle light again.

Innovative environmental media

Australian advertising agency Wunderman Sydney produced an innovative environmentally-friendly marketing piece to support Earth Hour, their pro-bono client since 2009. To encourage businesses to participate in Earth Hour 2010, five-thousand 'Plant Spikes' were produced and distributed to offices around Australia. The spike was designed to be inserted in office pot plants by plant hire company TPR Group as they serviced plants in businesses nationwide.
To ensure the spike was completely environmentally-friendly, the agency partnered with printer STI Lilyfield to invent an organic printer's ink containing natural plant fertilizer derived from Durvillaea potatorum and extract of Ascophyllum nodosum (harvested sustainably), to promote healthy plant growth and improve resistance to insect and fungal attack. Printed on 100% FSC-certified paper, this ink fertilized the pot plants as the spike biodegraded naturally in the plant's soil.

Earth Hour 2009
To raise awareness for Earth Hour 2009 during the week leading up to it, Arla Foods coloured their Swedish milk cartons black-grey, as distinct from the typical white-green.
Earth Hour 2009 was from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, March 28, 2009. 88 countries and 4,159 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009,ten times more cities than Earth Hour 2008 had (2008 saw 400 cities participate). One billion votes was the stated aim for Earth Hour 2009, in the context of the pivotal 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Among the participants in 2009 was, for the first time, the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The U.N. conservatively estimates that its participation will save $102 in energy.
Reports show that the United States topped the Earth Hour participation with an estimated 80,000,000 people, 318 cities and 8 states participating. The Philippines saw participation from 647 cities and towns; over 15 million Filipinos were estimated to have joined in the hour-long lights-off. This was followed by Greece with 484 cities and towns participating, and Australia with 309.
The Canadian province of Ontario, excluding the city of Toronto, saw a decrease of 6% in electricity usage while Toronto saw a decrease of 15.1% (nearly doubled from 8.7% the previous year) as many businesses darkened, including the landmark CN Tower.
Swedish electricity operator Svenska Kraftnät recorded a 2.1% decrease in power consumption from its projected figure between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The following hour, the corresponding number was 5%.This is equivalent to the consumption of approximately half a million households out of the total 4.5 million households in Sweden.
According to Vietnam Electricity Company, Vietnam's electricity demand fell 140 MWh during Earth Hour.
The Philippines was able to save 611 MWh of electricity during the time period, which is said to be equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for an hour.


96 countries on 6 continents participated in the event in 2009.

Participating TV channels

  • 'National Geographic Channel Asia suspended broadcasting on March 28, 2009 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Philippines' ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation's cable news channel ANC ceased transmission during Earth Hour.
  • Malaysia's 8TV halted transmission for one hour starting from 8:30 p.m.
  • Canal 5 in Mexico halted transmission for one hour in Mexico City at 8:30 p.m.
  • Cartoon Network and Magic 105.4 FM broadcast Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m. for the event.
  • The National Geographic Channel suspended regular programming for an hour and showed how to reduce energy consumption during Earth Hour.
  • DhiTV and Villa TV halted transmission for one hour in Maldives from 8:30 p.m.
  • Naga City's internet radio stations Zone105 and X FM Naga in the Philippines participated in Earth Hour 2009, going offline starting at 8:30 p.m.
  • Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) turned off the lights in their newsrooms and their sets on March 28, 2009 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
 Earth Hour 2008

Earth Hour 2008 was held internationally on March 28, 2008 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time, marking the first anniversary of the event. With 35 countries around the world participating as official flagship cities and over 400 cities also supporting, Earth Hour 2008 was celebrated on all seven continents. Iconic landmarks all around the world turned off their non-essential lighting for Earth Hour, including the Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia), Empire State Building (New York City, USA), Sears Tower (now Willis Tower, Chicago, USA), Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA), Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta, USA), Space Needle (Seattle, USA), Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa), the Colosseum (Rome, Italy), Royal Castle (Stockholm, Sweden), London's City Hall (United Kingdom), the CN Tower (Toronto, Canada), SM Mall of Asia, SM Science Discovery Center (Manila, Philippines), Suva (Fiji), Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim, Norway), The Royal Liver Building (Liverpool, United Kingdom), Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), KL Tower (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Wat Arun Buddhist Temple (Bangkok, Thailand) and the Azrieli Center (Tel Aviv, Israel).
The official website for the event,, received over 6.7 million unique visitors in the week leading up to Earth Hour. Other websites took part in the event, with Google's homepage going "dark" on the day Earth Hour took place.
According to a Zogby International online survey 36 million people participated in Earth Hour 2008. The survey also showed there was a 4 percentage point increase in awareness of environmental issues such as climate change, directly after the event.

2008 participants

Earth Hour 2008 included 31 partner cities,along with 182 other cities and regions that also supported the event.


Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House were darkened during Earth Hour 2007.
Before 2008, San Francisco had been running its own "Lights Out" program in October. In 2008 it was moved to March 29 to align with Australia's Earth Hour. This also happened to be the year that Earth Hour became an international event and San Francisco was asked to be a partner city in Earth Hour. Rather than have a competing event, San Francisco decided to support Earth Hour and all Lights Out efforts have now moved to supporting the international Earth Hour event. Since Earth Hour for 2008 was on a Saturday, many high schools in the Greater Toronto Area participated by turning off half the lights in classrooms during the last hour of school on Friday, March 28, 2008. Although the tagline of Earth Hour 2008 was officially, "See the difference you can make", the official radio advertisement ended with the tagline, "Dark city, bright idea."

 Tel Aviv scheduled their Earth Hour for Thursday March 27, 2008 to avoid conflict with Sabbath.Dublin moved their Earth Hour to between 9 and 10 p.m. due to their northern geographical location.
Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv darkened for Earth Hour 2010.

Reduced energy consumption

Colosseum darkened for Earth Hour 2008
According to WWF Thailand, Bangkok decreased electricity usage by 73.34 megawatts, which, over one hour, is equivalent to 41.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The Bangkok Post gave different figures of 165 megawatt-hours and 102 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This was noted to be significantly less than a similar campaign initiated by Bangkok's City Hall the previous year in May, when 530 megawatt-hours were saved and 143 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission were cut.

In the Philippines it was noted by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. that power consumption dropped by about 78.63 megawatts in Metro Manila, and up to 102.2 megawatts in Luzon island. The maximum demand drop of around 39 MW was experienced at 8:14 p.m. in Metro Manila and of around 116 MW at 8:34 p.m. in the Luzon grid..
Ontario used approximately 900 megawatt-hours less electrical energy during Earth Hour. At one point, Toronto, Ontario saw an 8.7% reduction in consumption as compared to a typical March Saturday night.
Ireland, as a whole, had a reduction in electricity use of about 1.5% for the evening.In the three-hour period between 18:30 and 21:30, there was a reduction of 50 megawatts, saving 150 megawatt-hours, or approximately 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide
Auditorio de Tenerife darkened for Earth Hour
In Dubai, where external lighting on several major city landmarks was turned off and street lighting in selected areas was dimmed by 50%, the Electricity and Water Authority reported savings of 100 megawatt-hours of electricity. This represented a 2.4% reduction in demand compared to before the hour began.
The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, switched off its usual floodlighting during the Earth Hour, and re-lit afterwards.
The best result was from Christchurch, New Zealand. The city reported a drop of 13% in electricity demand. However, Transpower reported that New Zealand's power consumption during Earth Hour was 335 megawatts, higher than the 328 megawatt average of the previous two Saturdays. Melbourne, Australia reduced demand by 10.1%. Sydney, being the city that participated in both the 2007 and 2008 Earth Hours, cut electricity consumption by 8.4%. This is less than last year's 10.2%; however, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley made the claim that after factoring margin of error, the participation in this city is the same as last year.
The worst result was from Calgary, Canada. The city's power consumption actually went up 3.6% at the hour's peak electricity demand.In Calgary, however, where weather plays a large role in power consumption, the city experienced weather 12°C colder than the previous Saturday's recorded temperature.

Celebrations around the world

These three combo photos show Malaysia's landmark the Petronas Twin Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, having their lights turned off (from top to lower ground) to mark Earth Hour on March 28, 2009.
  • The Danish royal palaces, Amalienborg Palace and Gråsten Palace, went dark at the Queen's command.
  • Nelly Furtado held a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square in Downtown Toronto to celebrate Earth Hour.
  • In Toronto, Ontario, York University's student-run Environmental Outreach Team ran an afternoon Earth Hour information session, and the York University Observatory offered an extra public viewing session.
  • Stargazing activities were held in Toronto's Ontario Science Centre and Richmond Hill's David Dunlap Observatory.
  • Astronomy Ireland set up high-powered telescopes in Dublin's Phoenix Park to allow people to take advantage of the night sky, normally swamped by bright city lights.
  • In Tel Aviv, Israel, a free concert by Knesiyat Hasekhel was held at Rabin Square. Power needed for the concert was generated by a group of cyclists pushing pedal generators. The rest of the power was supplied by generators burning used falafel oil for power.
  • In Atlanta, the CEO of WWF US, Carter Roberts, and the Mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, flipped a giant switch on live TV, symbolically starting the wave of lights going out on the buildings around the city.
  • In San Francisco, a public event hosted by WWF US was attended by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Gold medal figure skater Brian Boitano, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, and other celebrities. They gathered to watch the lights go out, listening to the music of Jason Damato.
  • In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the lights of the world's tallest twin towers, the Petronas Towers, were turned off.
  • In Egypt, the lights went out on the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza from 8:30-9:30 pm.


A web screenshot of Google Canada's 'darkened' homepage on March 29, 2008.
Earth Hour has also received free publicity from the Google corporation. From 12:00 a.m. on March 29, 2008 until the end of Earth Hour, the Google homepage in the United States, Colombia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland and the UK was turned to a black background. Their tagline is, "We've turned the lights out. Now it's your turn - Earth Hour." However, Google stated that for 2009 they would not turn the page black again due to the confusion it caused many users. A common misconception is that having a black background on a web page reduces the power consumption of monitors; LCD monitors use a constant amount of power regardless of which colors are shown. This is not the case for Organic LED monitors, though they are not currently in popular use.

TV channels

  • Earth Hour was covered extensively in the United States with segments on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, CNN International, The Weather Channel and more. Several stations around the United States went live with their coverage, including NBC in Atlanta, who did an hourlong Earth Hour special during the event.
  • Canada's The Weather Network moved its studios outside between 8 and 9 p.m. EDT for Earth Hour, using only an LED light for the hour.
  • The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVOntario ran its full program running only on candle light.


Earth Hour was held on March 31 in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.

Overview of Sydney in Earth Hour 2008

Measurement of reduction in electricity use

According to figures from EnergyAustralia, a local utility, mains electricity consumption for the 2007 event in Sydney was 10.2% lower during the Hour than would be expected given the time, weather conditions and past four years' consumption patterns. The Herald Sun equated this with "taking 48,613 cars off the road for 1 hour." Critics, most notably Columnist Andrew Bolt, labelled this as "A cut so tiny is trivial - equal to taking six cars off the road for a year".In context, the six cars equates to there being six fewer cars on the road at any given point of time in the day or night. In response to this criticism, the organisers of Earth Hour counter that "If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year."and they also note that the main goal of Earth Hour is to create awareness around climate change issues and "to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better." and not about the specific energy reductions made during the hour being all that's required.
The 10.2% figure was itself challenged by David Solomon, a finance student at the University of Chicago. Without citing data sources or the analytical methods he claims to have used, Solomon says he used eight years of electricity usage data to conclude that the Earth Hour-inspired drop was 6.33%, and that after other potential factors were taken into account, 2.10%, "statistically indistinguishable from zero."In some areas in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be twilight at 8 p.m., removing some of the advantages of the event.

Fairfax Media coverage

Media Watch, a television show scrutinising the press, reported on claims that Fairfax publications, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age had run misleading and even manipulated photographs of the event.The program shows Before and After photos published by the papers and provides commentary that the photos may or may not have been manipulated by overexposure or taking "before" picture 2 days early, as many businesses shut down their lights for the entire evening, precluding an accurate before and after shot comparison on the same evening.
The Australian, a competing news outlet, said that journalists at Melbourne's Age newspaper claimed they had been pressured not to write negative stories about Earth Hour because of the parent company's sponsorship arrangement. The Australian went on to say that on April 10, a statement from the journalists claimed that "Reporters were pressured not to write negative stories and story topics followed a schedule drafted by Earth Hour organisers".


San Mateo, California is an example of one community that did not embrace the largely symbolic nature of Earth Hour in any large-scale way.
The criticisms of Earth Hour include:
  • In March 2010, the Telegraph quoted electricity experts that "it could therefore result in an increase in carbon emissions" due to complications related to rapidly lowering than raising electricity generation.
  • In February 2010, Rick Giles, president of ACT on Campus, the youth wing of New Zealand's ACT Party, appeared on the morning television show Sunrise to denounce Earth Hour and instead suggested the celebration of "Edison Hour". He argued that Earth Hour is an "anti-technology" cause, and that people will simply use candles instead, which is undesirable as they are petroleum-based. He argued that if we are heading for some kind of disaster, it makes sense to use technology to combat this. Rick quickly gained notoriety for saying "I think my argument is so powerful that it's not necessary to talk about it".
  • The Christian Science Monitor said that most candles are made from paraffin, a heavy hydrocarbon derived from crude oil, a fossil fuel, and that depending on how many candles a person burns (if one uses candles during Earth Hour), whether or not they normally use compact fluorescent light bulbs, and what source of energy is used to produce their electricity, in some cases, replacing light bulbs with candles will cause an increase, instead of a decrease, in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • An alternative celebration of "Human Achievement Hour" was promoted by the libertarian think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute to celebrate the advancement of human prosperity.Participants in this celebration were asked to "celebrate the achievements of humanity such as eating dinner, seeing a film, driving around, keeping the heat on in your home".
  • The Ayn Rand Institute wrote, "Participants spend an enjoyable sixty minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away... Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth Month... Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating, electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators; without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible."
  • Although in support of Earth Hour, the "Carbon Sense Coalition" wants Earth Hour to be renamed "Blackout Night", and to be held outside on the shortest and coldest day of the year " prepare our population for the dark days ahead".
  • Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, wrote, "It is vital to make solar and other new technology cheaper than fossil fuels quickly so we can turn off carbon energy sources for a lot longer than one hour and keep the planet running... Fossil fuels literally gave us an enlightenment, by lighting our world and giving us protection from the fury of the elements. It is ironic that today's pure symbolism should hark back to a darker age."
  • On March 29, one day after Earth Hour 2009, Dân Trí daily newspaper published an article about the other side of Earth Hour. It was concerned that many young people chose to drive around the darkened cities for fun, exhausting petroleum instead of electricity and resulting in long-time traffic jams.
  • During the 2010 Earth Hour in the city of Uusikaupunki in Finland, a 17-year-old female motorcyclist hit a 71-year-old man, who was walking on the street instead of the sidewalk for an unknown reason. The man died from his injuries, while the motorcyclist and her passenger were uninjured. At the time of the accident the street lights had been turned off as part of the Earth Hour. The police stated that the lack of street lighting may have played a part in the accident, while the mayor believed the city's street lights would have been too dim to prevent it.
  • Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, confessed to switching on all electrical items in his home as a protest against the perceived impact of Earth Hour, claiming the event would have little to no effect on attitudes towards climate change.