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Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

March 29, 2008

Earth Hour: It’s Not Too Late

Category: Cool Sites,Policy,Save Electricity,Take Actions – Tom Harrison – 9:39 pm

At 8PM local time the world turned out the lights for an hour, Earth Hour. If you missed the chance, it’s not too late. I have a sneaky trick for you.

So here’s the trick: 8PM local time means 24 things, at the very least. I mean look, there’s Eastern Daylight Time, Eastern Standard Time, Mountain Time, Greenwich Mean Time and all sorts of other Times, right? When I worked on the East Cost for a California-based company, we were pretty sure their clocks were 3 hours 15 minutes later than ours — did all California meetings started 15 minutes later than scheduled, or was it just California Time.

So look, if there are all sorts of Times, I don’t think anyone will mind if you decide to have Time and decide that this happens to be your personal Earth Hour. You heard it here first, folks!

For Earth Hour in our time zone (which, coincidentally coincided with Eastern Daylight Time at 8PM today) we did the simplest thing we could think of: we tripped the main breaker switch and turned off more than the lights. My son Carter and I flipped the switch. We didn’t see much change, as we had manually turned off most of the lights. But we heard the change. No refrigerator. No computers. And there were no little red indicator lights. It was a little remarkable how quiet things were.

We lit a candle in the living room and played Go Fish! (I lost, twice). Carter played his acoustic guitar for us. Charlotte and Theresa read a book by candle-light. This was not hardship. The kids (and we) learned something.

Not bad for an hour. It you missed the chance, take your hour now. Just turn off the lights, computer, TV and whatever has a switch. It’s easy.

I’m going to have another one tomorrow. You?


  1. Tom,
    It sounds like you had a wonderful family evening in the dark! In Homer Glen, the participation was fantastic. Plus, we – and Chicago – got the added bonus of seeing the International Space Station cross the sky at 8:33 pm, right in the middle of Earth Hour. Icing on the cake.
    Debra Norvil

    Comment by Debra Norvil — March 30, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  2. It’s funny, reading the news today there are various items suggesting that Earth Hour was a waste, or pointless, or somehow a bad thing. Naturally everyone at TreeHugger is going the other direction and slamming it because it is “trivial” or gives people the feeling of having done something without having any real impact.

    Is it just me, or does some huge cohort of the world just not get it? Is Earth Hour going to save the world from global warming (or light pollution) — of course not. It is a symbolic act, just like hanging up an American flag on the 4th of July. By participating in things like this, we become a little more engaged and involved in the fate of the world.

    It was very cool that Google’s home page “turned out the lights” yesterday (the background was black instead of white).

    And my son, who was very into the whole thing ran over to a neighbor’s house (which was very easy to find :-) and said “Hey, it’s Earth Hour, are you going to turn off your lights, too?”. They didn’t, but who knows, maybe this is how people become aware, one event at a time.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — March 30, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  3. Yes, most meetings over here start about 5-15 minutes late. But so did lots of the meetings on the east coast. Don’t you remember Ned time? You always plan an HOUR after the start of the meeting/party for Ned to show up, or give him a different start time from everyone else.

    Comment by Ann — March 31, 2008 @ 11:40 am

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