WASHINGTON – March 28, 2010–In what was the largest public demonstration in history, hundreds of millions of people around the world turned out their lights for one hour yesterday in support of World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour, calling for action on climate change. Individuals, businesses and government officials in 4,000 cities across 125 countries turned out for Earth Hour, calling for a cleaner, safer and more secure future for the planet.
In the United States, Earth Hour was observed in all 50 states and the nation’s capital, as darkness spread from governor’s residences to state capitol buildings, across downtown skylines and throughout the suburban landscape. The list of iconic American landmarks going dark included Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, the Broadway Theater District and the Las Vegas Strip.
“Earth Hour is about Americans and people throughout the world standing up and saying ‘climate change is real and we need to do something about it now’,” said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. “From coast-to-coast, Americans provided strong affirmation that they are ready for the U.S. to be a leader in the green revolution.”
Governors and State Legislators from 33 states, more than five times the number last year, officially endorsed Earth Hour and turned off lights at their residences and/or state capitol buildings. Those states include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Earth Hour activities were celebrated in other states as well. In Minnesota, the decorative lighting on the Duluth Aerial Bridge went dark, while the Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall turned off their marquee lighting in Alaska. The University of Virginia represented the commonwealth, while in the Lone Star State a number of cities including Austin, Dallas and Houston passed resolutions and turned off the lights that make up their skylines.
Other notable landmarks throughout the country that participated in this year’s event include:
- The Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C.
- The Space Needle and Pikes Place Market sign in Seattle
- The Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, United Nations, Broadway Theatre marquees in NYC
- The Pylons at L.A. International Airport, Santa Monica Pier and Queen Mary Hotel in Los Angeles
- The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
- Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis
- Montezuma Castle in Arizona
- The Wrangler in Cheyenne, Wyoming
- Milwaukee Public Market in Wisconsin
- The National Aquarium in Baltimore
- Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago
A powerful symbol that united tens of millions of voices in the U.S. around action on climate change, the spirit of Earth Hour will be carried out in practical ways moving forward, as cities and landmarks apply the core principal of turning off the lights to their every day routine. In Chicago, BOMA, the Building Owners and Management Association developed lighting guidelines to reduce light pollution, and reduce the carbon footprint of downtown buildings. While Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, will now start powering down each night around 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
Earth Hour is just one step in an ongoing conversation and continual effort toward a more sustainable world. After participating in Earth Hour, WWF hopes that individuals, businesses, cities and states continue the dialogue, creating solutions that solve the climate crisis and lead to a healthier, more secure future.
More information about Earth Hour can be found at www.myearthhour.org
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Footage and photographs of Earth Hour 2010 is available
Earth Hour 2010 Photos: http://earthhour.panda.org/photos/
Earth Hour 2010 Broadcast Quality Footage: http://earthhour.panda.org/videos/
Earth Hour 2009 Photos and Footage: https://www.myearthhour.org/news/for-media
Follow Earth Hour on twitter: www.Twitter.com/EarthHourUS
ABOUT EARTH HOUR:
Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour has captured the world’s imagination, becoming a global phenomenon. Last year, for Earth Hour 2009 nearly one billion people in 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents turned out. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 80 million Americans and 318 cities officially voted for action with their light switch. For more information about how to get involved, please visit us a www.myearthhour.org.