Switch on to Earth Hour by Switching Off

by Mallika Naguran

Singapore, 15 March 2009. This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote: Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard. 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.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community.

A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009.

Singapore has joined many cities in supporting this global initiative. A ChannelNewsAsia report said, however, the energy-loving city is short of meeting its one million target, with only a hundred odd businesses and thousands of individuals participating. Cities consume 75 per cent of the world's energy and produce 80 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions.  

Companies and associations too are getting into the action. The Asia-Pacific Spa Wellness Coalition (APSWC) has pledged to support Earth Hour and is inviting all business partners, spa suppliers, spa & wellness associations, and members to take part in this historic and inspiring event. "One association's actions can make an enormous difference,"  said Andrew Jacka, APSWC's Association Liaison.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour. Tell your family and friends and switch off at 8:30 pm for an hour. Use candles for illumination if necessary, or just lie down and relax in the dark.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour got its start just two years ago and is now the largest event of its kind in the world.  Last year, more than 50 million people participated and the lights went out at the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and the Coliseum in Rome, just to name a few. Even Google's homepage went black for the day! In Israel, President Shimon Peres personally turned off lights in Tel Aviv. This year, Earth Hour will be even bigger-already 250 cities in 74 countries have agreed to take part including cities such as Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, and Jakarta will turn out their lights.