Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Turn off the lights: Earth Hour 2009When was the last time that you enjoyed the wonder of a night time sky? I have fond memories of family holidays to Jeffery's Bay, and one of the things that stands out clearly in my mind is the beauty of the night sky from the beach near the house we stayed in. The richness and depth of the starry night seemed to suck you into itself.
When I look up from my home now all that I can see is a few of the brightest constellations while the rest is hidden by the haze of city lights. We have lost our night sky and we do not even know what the implications of that are (here are some). I was reminded of this by a photo essay on light pollution. The last line of the essay is particularly poignant: For all the benefits of artificial light, "we shouldn't pretend that nothing is lost."
On 28 March at 20h30 the WWF is asking us to turn out the lights for one hour as a vote for Earth and a vote against climate change. This global action will be presented to leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
This is not a vote against climate change, this is an action to win back some of what we have lost. This is an opportunity to start reclaiming our night sky. This is the chance to turn off not only your lights, but your TV, computer, cellphone and any other distraction and to spend an hour with the people you love – connecting and enjoying your humanity. This is a vote for a happier, cleaner and healthier world.
Sign up on the South African or International Earth Hour websites.
Image courtesty of Steve Jurvetson, licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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About Engineer Simplicity
Engineer Simplicity specialises in the design and development of electronic products.
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