In a rare show of global unity more than 187 nations joined together for 1 hour March 25th by turning off the lights at some of the most iconic landmarks to being attention to climate change.
The event, known as “Earth Hour” is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and has been celebrated annually since first celebrated as a single city event in Sydney, Australia back in 2007, to “highlight global warming caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas to drive cars and power plants, and demonstrate to world leaders that climate change was an issue people cared about,” stated Earth Hour global coordinator Siddarth Das
“Whether you are in the Philippines, Peru or Portugal, climate change matters and the record participation in this year’s Earth Hour is a powerful reminder that people, who are on the frontline of climate change, want to be a part of climate action,” he continued.
This year, millions of homes and businesses, as well as over 3,000 public monuments and landmarks were asked to turn off their (non-essential) lights from 8:30-9:30 pm. Among those that went “dark” were the Empire State Building, Kremlin, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Sphynx, Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, Mexico City’s Monumento a la Independencia, and the and the Sony Buildingt in Tokyo, to name a few. Meanwhile 10,000 oil lamps were lit at Myanmar’s most sacred Shewdagon padoga to “shine a light on climate action.”
In addition, 35,000 people in Singapore participated in a variety of special events, including a “carbon-neutral run” in which participants dressed up in panda and tiger costumes to emphasize the need to protect wildlife, while people in Tanzania held a tree planting ceremony. Meanwhile individuals posted their support for the movement on Facebook and other social media sites.
The truth of the matter is that despite people who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the fact that global warming is a real threat to life on this planet today, there is no denying that 2016 marked the 3rd year in a row in which temperatures soared to their highest degrees in modern times. In fact, nations participating during the historic climate change conference in Paris in 2015 agreed to curb average global warming to 3.6 °F (3.62°C) over pre-industrial temperatures. According to scientists, this is “ the level at which mankind can still avoid worst-case climate outcomes in terms of rising sea levels, worsening droughts and floods, and increasingly violent super storms.