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Posts Tagged ‘dark’

Curbing the dark side

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 at 1:58 pm

World’s iconic sites go dark to fight global warming

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 at 9:52 am

From Sydney Harbor to the world’s tallest tower in Dubai and the ancient pyramids, major landmarks went dark for an hour to join the battle against climate change.


But politics and commercial priorities meant that some well-known energy-guzzling monuments did not join the record 4,000 cities and 125 countries in Saturday night’s fourth annual Earth Hour organised by the WWF.


Drivers had to cross San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge with just their headlights to help them see, while Twitter and Facebook set up applications to let screens darken for an hour along with tourist monuments that briefly went missing from the skyline.

General view of the New York City skyline as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building turn off their tower lights

The annual dimming of lights, this year on Saturday at 8:30 pm in locations around the world, was hailed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as “both a warning and a beacon of hope”.


“From Brazil to America, to Canada, all the way down to Australia, Japan and India — it’s a really diverse set of countries taking part this year,” Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said.


New Zealand’s Chatham Islands officially started the energy-saving demonstration, switching off its diesel generators to leave just 12 street lamps burning.


Sydney’s iconic harbor and Opera house went dark to the sound of blaring ferry horns.


In Asia, the Forbidden City in China’s capital, the world’s biggest carbon polluter, joined in.


In Dubai, the world’s tallest building, the recently opened Burj Khalifa, had its lights switched off.


Egypt participated as well, with lights turned off at the Giza plateau, plunging the three Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the surrounding desert into total darkness.


North America‘s tallest building, the 110-floor Willis Tower, led a mass switch off in Chicago where more than than 200 buildings joined the campaign to save energy.


“By participating in the symbolic event of Earth Hour, we show that, together, we can collectively make a difference to protect and preserve the environment,” said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.


Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney and enjoys widespread support from the public and big business, including Google, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.


But some cities and icons could not or would not join in.


In Bangkok, city authorities were ordered to halt their Earth Hour campaign for security reasons as anti-government protesters held a major rally.


In Europe, London’s Big Ben turned off its lights and the bank of advertising neons in Piccadilly Circus went dark. It is thought to be only the fourth time since World War II that the huge Coca-Cola sign there has been dimmed. But some onlookers said the city should have gone further.


“I thought it was going to be the whole of Piccadilly and it’s just the screens. It should have been all the lights and all the buildings around here,” said Sandra Herrera, 23, visiting from Bilbao in Spain.


More than 240 buildings and monuments in Paris participated in Earth Hour, but the Eiffel Tower only went dark for five minutes.

In New York, the landmark Empire State and Chrysler building turned off their lights as did United Nations headquarters on East River.

But Times Square’s hoardings remained a beacon of commercial excess. “It was disappointing,” commented Melodie Carli, a 20-year-old French national in Times Square. “We came here especially to see the event.”

“As we watch the lights go out from continent to continent, let us reflect on the fragility and importance of our natural heritage and pledge to protect it for a sustainable future for all,” said the UN chief.

Source: SGGP

World’s iconic sites go dark to fight global warming

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2010 at 7:42 am

PARIS (AFP) – The world’s tallest building went dark, the Eiffel Tower lost its glow and lights were shut off at other sites across the globe Saturday in a campaign to boost the fight against climate change.

A combo shows the Eiffel tower submerging into darkness at 8:30 pm (local time) in Paris as part of the Earth Hour switch-off. AFP photo

Ferry horns blared across Sydney harbour in a noisy start to the Earth Hour energy-saving event, involving 4,000 cities in a record 125 countries.


It was to include 1,200 landmarks from the Forbidden City to Egypt’s pyramids and the Las Vegas Strip, with iconic sites going dark for 60 minutes.


“From Brazil to America, to Canada, all the way down to Australia, Japan and India — it’s a really diverse set of countries taking part this year,” Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said.


The rolling wave of darkness was intended to boost the environmental movement after disappointing UN talks in Copenhagen in December.


The WWF-run event officially began when New Zealand’s Chatham Islands switched off their diesel generators to leave just 12 street lamps burning and was to end nearly 24 hours later in Samoa.


Beijing’s Forbidden City and Bird’s Nest Stadium were among the participants along with other cities in China, which is the world’s biggest carbon polluter and appointed giant panda Mei Lan its Earth Hour “ambassador”.


But in Bangkok, city authorities were ordered to halt their Earth Hour campaign for security reasons as anti-government protesters held a major rally.


Elsewhere in Asia, the Japanese city of Hiroshima turned off the lights at 30 sites, including its Peace Memorial, set in one of the few buildings to survive an atom bomb attack during World War II.


Private homes also switched off their power. New Delhi Mum Aruna Mehra told AFP: “My daughter invited her friends over for a party to eat by candlelight” — although others drew the line at switching off fans in the sweltering heat.


In Delhi and Mumbai, lights were switched off at shops, hotels, the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential residence, the 17th-century Red Fort and the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex, one of India’s largest Hindu places of worship.


India is expected to be among the countries hit hardest by rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns, with experts warning such problems could affect food security and displace communities.


In the Middle East, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, had its lights switched off for Earth Hour.


Egypt participated as well, with lights shut off at the Giza plateau, plunging the three Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the surrounding desert area into total darkness.


In Europe, some of the world’s most recognisable sites faded into darkness.


More than 240 buildings and monuments in Paris participated, including the Eiffel Tower — which only went dark for five minutes as opposed to the full hour. Some 1,600 candles were lit at its base in recognition of the event.


London’s Big Ben took part, and the advertising signs at Piccadilly Circus in the city were also turned off. It is thought to be only the fourth time since World War II that the huge Coca-Cola sign there has been dimmed.


But some onlookers in Piccadilly Circus said the measures should have gone further.


“I thought it was going to be the whole of Piccadilly and it’s just the screens. It should have been all the lights and all the buildings around here,” said Sandra Herrera, 23, visiting from Bilbao in Spain.


Rome’s Trevi Fountain, known by many through Federico Fellini’s film “La Dolce Vita”, was among Italy’s sites involved in the campaign.


In the United States, some 30 states were on board, with Mount Rushmore, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Chicago’s 110-storey Sears Tower all due to go dark.


Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney and enjoys widespread support both from the public and big business, including Google, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.


This year, even users of ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook could show their support with special applications that turn their displays dark.


In December, two weeks of UN talks in Copenhagen failed to produce a binding commitment to limit global warming or set out concrete plans for doing so, in a setback for the environmental movement.

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Source: SGGP