Earth Hour '08

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

A poster advertising Earth Hour 2008.

A poster advertising Earth Hour 2008. Source: aussiegall hide caption

itoggle caption Source: aussiegall

This past Saturday night, the world went dark for an hour.* I missed it of course. I was busy in another kind of darkness — developing my prints of DC's cherry blossoms in my friend's makeshift darkroom. But, apparently, at 8 pm, starting in Christchurch, New Zealand and working west from Australia, Dubai, and Dublin to New York, Chicago, and finally San Francisco, people from around the globe turned off their lights for a full 60 minutes in an attempt to highlight the link between energy use and climate change. They called it "Earth Hour," and it joins the ranks of other efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, such as Earth Day and last year's Earth Live concert. Bryan Walsh, who writes the Going Green column for time.com, will join us today to talk about his op-ed, "Earth Hour '08: Does It Matter?" So tell us, did you participate in Earth Hour? How did you mark the event? Or did you miss it, like me? In either event, what difference do you think it made, and does it matter?

* No, it wasn't a total solar eclipse (cue sigh of disappointment), or a prelude to the apocalypse (cue sigh of relief).

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If education about our "carbon footprint" is your mission, then you owed it to the environment to tell the audience that candles and a fire in the fireplace during "Earth Hour '08" produces a remarkable amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Get real!

Sent by Rick Henningsen | 4:25 PM | 3-31-2008

Hooray for Google for having a black screen on Saturday! Even though I work for S.C.'s environmental agency I had not heard about Earth Hour until I got on the computer Saturday. Anyway, even though our Earth Hour went from 8:30 - 9:30 (had to finish cooking dinner), we had a blast. I noticed during dinner how much light you can get from candles. After dinner my 4th grade daughter got our her "Scary Stories to Read in the Dark" book and
we took turns reading stories by flashlight for about 45 minutes while my husband listened (with his eyes closed). Our 11th grade son had friends come over during this time and they thought what we were doing was pretty cool. He had his room lit with candles while they played a video game (OK, not all power was off!). When the hour was up the teens, my daughter and I played a roudy game of Apples to Apples and then we all watched Carolina beat Kentucky (Go Heels!). I certainly hope to do this each year at the least but would be willing to have lights out on our own more often.

Sent by Lisa Hajjar | 5:32 PM | 3-31-2008