Southern California landmarks to join in “Earth Hour” event Earth Hour
March 26, 2011 | 6:05 pm
Notable Southern California landmarks such as the glowing pylons at Los Angeles International Airport and the Queen Mary in Long Beach will go dark between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday night in observance of international “Earth Hour.”
Millions of people from more than 100 countries and territories are expected to participate in the event by switching off lights and nonessential appliances in order to conserve energy and demonstrate an awareness of environmental conservation.
At LAX, the 100-foot-tall pylons will glow solid green an hour before the event and then go dark, according to airport officials. The color-changing LAX Gateway pylons were installed in August 2000. Five years later, airport workers installed a new system of LED fixtures that consume 75% less electricity than the previous lamps and burn for 75,000 to 100,000 hours, compared to 3,000 hours for the original lights, according to airport officials.
In Long Beach the Queen Mary’s exterior lights will be turned off. The event will be accompanied by entertainment, such as the ship’s captain answering historical questions and local competitive cyclists producing energy for a light display. Participants will also receive vendor giveaways. Hotel guests will be asked to turn off their nonessential stateroom lights.
In Santa Monica, the famous Pacific Wheel on the city’s pier will go dark. The ferris wheel’s emergency lights will remain on.
At the Home Depot Center in Carson, in partnership with Chivas USA of Major League Soccer, will turn off all nonessential lighting of the 27,000-seat soccer stadium, including all lighting in the venue’s 42 luxury suites, according to AEG, the company that owns and operates the venue. The Chivas will be hosting the Colorado Rapids.
Other AEG facilities throughout the state will also participate, including LA Live, the entertainment hub in downtown Los Angeles.
Earth Hour is organized by World Wide Fund, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organizations, and started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for an hour to stand against climate change, according to its website. A year later the event became a global movement. In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support. This year, Earth Hour is challenging people to go beyond the hour and think of other ways to make a difference after the lights go on.
— Ruben Vives
People in 134 countries and territories including the UK switched off their lights for an hour to support action to create a sustainable future for the planet. Environment charity WWF organised the Earth Hour event which saw iconic buildings such as Big Ben, the BT Tower, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, Stormont in Northern Ireland and Cardiff’s Millennium Centre black out for an hour. The event started in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. The aim was to highlight the charity’s call on governments, organisations and individuals to pledge their commitment to tackling climate change.At the Royal Albert Hall in London, television presenter Kirsty Gallacher led a team of 60 cyclists from WWF-UK who created a huge human-powered projection with images of endangered species including dolphins and tigers shone on to the building. Colin Butfield, WWF-UK’s head of campaigns, said: “Our event at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside the hundreds of thousands of events across the world, shows global support for the need to tackle climate change and protect the natural world. “The challenge for our future well-being could not be greater. WWF’s Earth Hour is about creating a message so powerful that governments and businesses cannot fail to take notice. “Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. The following year, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Other landmarks which stood in darkness for the hour included Old Trafford, the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, Granada’s Alhambra in Spain, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Athens’ Acropolis in Greece, India Gate in New Delhi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Four of the world’s five tallest buildings also turned off their lights, with the world’s tallest, the 828-metre Burg Khalifa in Dubai, switching off approximately half a million lights. Also darkening for the occasion were floodlights on natural wonders such as Niagara and Victoria Falls and Table Mountain in South Africa.Countries taking part in Earth Hour for the first time included Jamaica, Uganda, Swaziland, Iran, Tajikistan, Chad, Azerbaijan, Palestine, Suriname, Gibraltar, Uzbekistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Lesotho and Lebanon. Source: Press Association China observes Earth Hour Beijing’s Great Wall, “Bird Nest” Stadium and Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl TV Tower are among the numerous buildings in China’s 86 cities that went dark as hundreds of millions of people around the world turned off their lights Saturday during the “Earth Hour”. The public’s enthusiasm on the event reached new height as Chinese cities took part in it for the third time. It is one of the most heated topic over the Internet. On every major Chinese portal website, hundreds of thousands of Internet users posted comments about the “Earth Hour”. Volunteers had been offering brochures on the streets early in the morning. In Beijing’s subway stations, large photos of Chinese actress Li Bingbing, who postured to invite commuters to join the program, have been posted months in advance. The lights were being turned off from 8:30 p.m. local time around the world.The event kicked off in the Pacific and then rolled into Asia, Europe, Africa and America as it followed the descending sun. Residents of Chuangchun City, capital of northeastern Jilin Province, marched in darkness after the road lights went off along the People’s Avenue. Students of colleges in Changchun held candle parties to celebrate the hour. At 8:30 Saturday night, lights of the dorms in Harbin Engineering University (HEU) in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province went off. Despite the cold weather, students gathered in heart-shaped circles on the playground.Students of HEU said they wanted to show their support of the Earth Hour event and also pray for the victims of the earthquakes that hit Japan, China, Myamar and Thailand in March. Local resident Yao Zhenyu took his son to a large square in Qingdao City of east China’s Shandong Province to see lights turned off. “I’ve been teaching my son to turn off electric devices in time and print on both sides.”In Harbin City, capital of northeast China’ s Heilongjiang Province, residents exchanged old newspapers for environment-friendly pencils made from recycled paper. China is among 134 countries or territories on board for this year’s event, said Earth Hour founder and executive director Andy Ridley.The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the World’s tallest building in Dubai also had their lights turned off for 60 minutes as part of the event in support of environmentalism. “The amount of power that’s saved during that time is not really what it’s about,” Andy Ridley said, “What it is meant to be about is showing what can happen when people come together.” Australia marks Earth Hour Australia Marls Earth Hour with Glitz AUSTRALA’S Opera House was the first of many global landmarks to go dark tonight as “Earth Hour” got underway with hundreds of millions of people around the world set to switch off their lights. The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the world’s tallest building in Dubai will also have their lights turned off for 60 minutes as part of the remarkable event in which people reflect in darkness about how to fight global warming. “The amount of power that’s saved during that time is not really what it’s about,” Earth Hour co-founder and executive director Andy Ridley said. “What it is meant to be about is showing what can happen when people come together.”Mr Ridley said a record 134 countries or territories were on board for the event, which organisers have dubbed the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment.Other landmarks that will go dark for the hour are Times Square in New York, Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” stadium that hosted the 2008 Olympics, the London Eye and Br
azil’s Christ the Redeemer statue. The lights will be turned off from 8:30pm local time around the world.The event kicked off in the Pacific, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia, and was then set to roll into Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas as it followed the descending sun. In Australia, organisers said an estimated 10 million people, nearly half the population, took part, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge another of the landmarks to go dark. Originally designed as a symbolic act to make people aware of everyday energy use, organisers this year asked people to also commit to an action, large or small, that they will carry through the year to help the planet. As part of the longer-term commitment, Dalian city in northeastern China will spend 1.5 billion dollars planting 340 million trees and Chengdu city in the southwest will make up to 60,000 bicycles available for public rental.Mr Ridley said Earth Hour, organised by global environment group the WWF, this year would also focus on connecting people online so they could inspire each other to make commitments to help protect the environment. Nearly 600,000 people had “liked” Earth Hour’s official Facebook page by the time the event began in the Asia Pacific, while hundreds of Tweets with the #earthhour hashtag were appearing on Twitter every few minutes.In Japan, reeling from a huge earthquake and tsunami that struck this month, several thousand people and a hotel-turned-evacuation centre in the northeast were expected to mark Earth Day. “People in Japan will have a special feeling this year when they turn the switches off,” WWF spokeswoman Hideko Arai said.”We will not only think about climate change but also the people who need energy in the disaster-hit areas,” she said. “We want to show our support for disaster victims. “The March 11 twin disaster has left more than 27,000 people dead or missing and hundreds of thousands more homeless, sheltering in emergency facilities.United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon backed Earth Hour, urging people to celebrate the shared quest to “protect the planet and ensure human well-being”.”Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light,” he said. British Prime Minister David Cameron said sharing responsibility was the key to fighting climate change, describing Earth Hour as “a huge symbol of global solidarity, an inspiring display of international commitment”. Mr Ridley said he never expected the Earth Hour movement to become so large.”We didn’t imagine right at the beginning… it would be on the scale that it is now. And the fact that it is so cross cultural, beyond borders and race and religion,” he said.