|The logo for Earth Hour|
Earth Hour 2011Earth 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
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.
|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 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 mediaAustralian 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.|
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.
Participation96 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.
The official website for the event, earthhour.org, 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 participantsEarth Hour 2008 included 31 partner cities,along with 182 other cities and regions that also supported the event.
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|
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|
|The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, switched off its usual floodlighting during the Earth Hour, and re-lit afterwards.|
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 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.
2007Earth Hour was held on March 31 in Sydney, Australia at 7:30 pm, local time.
Measurement of reduction in electricity useAccording 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 coverageMedia 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.|
- 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 "...to 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.