WASHINGTON – March 27, 2009 – As Earth Hour cascades through time zones around the world on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m., millions of Americans across the country will be showing their support for action on climate change by voting with their light switch on this historic night.
From intimate candlelit dinners to the darkening of the Las Vegas Strip, Americans from all walks of life will be turning out for Earth Hour, and taking action by making a global statement of concern about climate change and a renewed commitment to finding solutions to the escalating climate crisis.
Organized by World Wildlife Fund, the world’s largest multinational conservation organization, participation in Earth Hour continues to grow dramatically in the U.S. by the hour as iconic landmarks, major cities, corporations and organizations of all sizes, schools, towns and villages unite in this global effort.
Earth Hour organizers have commitments from nearly 300 U.S. cities and towns, with some of the nation’s most famous skylines darkening on Saturday night, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Tucson and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, individuals, businesses and organizations are participating in activities to engage, enlighten and spread the message that together, each one of us can make a difference on this global issue. Flagship states include Arkansas, California, Michigan, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.
Earth Hour activities involve many of America’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including a broad array of people, places and things, including the following highlights:
On the night the lights go out in Georgia, some of Atlanta’s most well-known landmarks and buildings, such as the Bank of America Plaza, Philips Arena and The Varsity restaurant will join more than 500 buildings throughout the metro area as they darken against the southern sky.
As Earth Hour blows through the Windy City, Chicago’s soaring skyscrapers, including the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center, will join popular attractions such as Navy Pier and Wrigley Field for an hour of darkness in America’s heartland.
What happens in Vegas, normally stays there. But when the infamous Strip goes dark for a full hour for the first time in history, it’s worth talking about. City visitors and residents will be in luck as the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, Stratosphere, Fremont Street Experience (largest digital screen in the world) and Luxor’s shining beam turn out for an extraordinary, historic event.
As one of the last cities to celebrate Earth Hour, the City of Angels knows how to create a big ending, with landmarks from the Santa Monica Pier to Hollywood’s biggest studios helping pull down the curtain on the largest climate change event in history. They will celebrate together at an event at L.A. Live with celebrities, performers and politicians joining to cast their votes in unison.
Local officials, businesses and citizens throughout the area will be celebrating Earth Hour in style as Miami’s downtown core powers down for its inaugural Earth Hour.
The neon lights of Music City’s famous honkytonks will join a chorus of support turning out from the local country music scene, including singer Jo Dee Messina, who will be performing a free acoustic concert under a star-lit sky.
From the top of the Empire State Building to the darkened marquees of Broadway’s theaters, the Big Apple will be participating in Earth Hour in a big way. New Yorkers will see Coca-Cola’s, Reuters and other digital billboards in Times Square go dark, as well as the U.N. headquarters building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, the Brooklyn Bridge and dozens more buildings throughout the famously-busy city as it pauses for one hour to reflect on ways to increase sustainability practices.
As the lights go out on the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and the TransAmerica Building, the City by the Bay will enjoy an hour without power as a returning Earth Hour flagship city.
The nation’s capitol will set a shining example by turning off some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks in the District, such as the National Cathedral, World Bank, Chinatown Arch and Smithsonian Castle.
Joining these cities will be sites of significance throughout the country, including: Thomas Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, NJ (birthplace of the incandescent light bulb), the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the Space Needle in Seattle.
Many TV show are symbolically joining in Earth Hour as “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Family Guy,” “CSI,” “Bones,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “The Price is Right,” and others dim the lights on their set to cast their vote for action on climate change.
Americans are also actively chatting up their involvement with Earth Hour with online communities numbering in the tens of thousands, ushering in a new era of eco-awareness on social networking sites such as Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Experience Project and YouTube.
Earth Hour’s open-source nature has been the driving force behind the campaign:
- Earth Hour has 1.1 million online social network friends
- Earth Hour videos are being viewed online every 0.8 seconds
- Earth Hour is regularly trending amongst the most tweeted topics on Twitter
- The term ‘Earth Hour’ has appeared online close to 1 million times in the past twenty-four hours
During the largest climate change event in history, the U.S. will be joined by more than 84 countries and over 3,900 cities, towns and villages around the world, with widespread participation in 66 national capitals and 9 of the10 most populated metropolises on the planet have confirmed their participation in this year’s event, with some of the world’s most prominent cities outside the U.S., including:
- Buenos Aires
- Cape Town
- Hong Kong
- Kuala Lumpur
- Mexico City
- Rio de Janeiro
The Great Pyramids of Giza, the world’s greatest symbol of the power of collective action, heads up a list of more than 800 landmarks around the world switching off their lights for Earth Hour, including:
- Acropolis in Athens
- Arc de Triomphe in Paris
- Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing
- Burj Dubai (world’s tallest unfinished building)
- CN Tower in Toronto
- Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
- Colosseum in Rome
- Dome of St. Peter in Rome
- Edinburgh Castle
- Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Gaudi Building in Barcelona
- The London Eye
- The Merlion in Singapore
- Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
- Niagara Falls in Canada
- Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong
- Tapei 101 (world’s tallest building)
- Tower Bridge in London
- Table Mountain in Cape Town
- Wembley Stadium Arch in London
The event on March 28th is just one step in an ongoing effort to fight climate change. After the lights go out around the world on this evening, WWF hopes that conversations will continue on climate change and that people will take initiatives to make small changes in their lives to be more carbon efficient.
WWF encourages simple but effective energy-saving measures such as installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, which are more efficient and last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, choosing energy efficient appliances, making sure their car tires are properly inflated and unplugging electronics when they are not in use.
WWF officials stress the importance of safety during Earth Hour, asking that all lighting related to public safety remain on.
More information about Earth Hour and ways to get involved can be found at http://www.EarthHourUS.org/.
National partners for WWF's Earth Hour 2009 are Esurance, Cox Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo and Hewlett-Packard.
Note to Editors: B-roll and Earth Hour still images can be found at http://www.earthhourus.org/broll.php. Participant interviews available upon request.