Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why We Need Darkness

How much energy is wasted lighting nighttime Cleveland? Multiply that across the number of towns and cities we have in the U.S. and you will see the main reason for our energy crisis. The U.S. is an energy hog! Honestly, when is the last time you truly saw a precious starry night? I’m not talking about just seeing Orion’s belt or the Big Dipper. People have become so obsessed with lighting up the night either with decorations or the misguided belief that a long glowing torch equals safety. Get real people! We are consuming more than our fair share of fossil fuels and wasting our money. Meanwhile, our animal species (not to mention we humans) are manipulating our biorhythms as we are overwhelmed with city lights, traffic, and even a brighter night sky. There is a reason for night and day (don't make me have to explain this...)

Even more interesting we hear the message being sent to private citizens to conserve less electrical energy, but we observe our government bodies wasting it. Unless public agencies set the example and become true role models of what needs to be done, many are doubtful that the behavior and attitude will change. More importantly, give us reasons to believe!

For starters, there is Earth Hour. A global initiative where for one hour all lights (both residential and commercial) are switched to the off position. 2,848 cities, towns and municipalities in 84 countries have already committed to VOTE EARTH for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the world’s first global election between Earth and global warming. Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008, the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

If you live in the U.S. and are on east coast time, then join Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 p.m. We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

Source: National Geographic and

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