On Saturday, March 28, 2009, close to one billion people in nearly 4000 cities across more than 80 countries came together for an event called Earth Hour. From the tiny Chatham Islands of New Zealand to the Palace of Westminster in London to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the symbolic gesture of switching off lights for one hour, beginning at 8:30 pm local time wherever you were at in the world, was designed with the hope of sending a message to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen convening in December of 2009. And that message is very simple: With hundreds of millions of voices from around the world uniting behind a common desire, perhaps they – we – will help shape future government policies on climate change, as the Kyoto Protocol will be replaced in 2012.
Put another way, turning off your lights or the lights of a major landmark somewhere in the world was your way of voting. It was a Vote for Earth. Did you vote?
Below are just a few images from this remarkable event. In order, they are from Singapore, San Francisco, London, Athens and Chicago.
“All the darkness in the world can’t extinguish the light of a single candle.” St. Francis of Assisi.
If the light from a single candle represents faith, the lone tea light seems a fitting metaphor for what was one hour of darkness hoping to illuminate the path for our planet to head in a new environmental direction.
About the Author: Christopher Gabriel is the host of the cleverly named Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. You can hear him weekdays from 9 to Noon. As a writer and humorist, his work has been been published online by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters and publications within the Sun-Times News Group.