I remember having a moment during the big ol' northeastern blackout in 2003. Without electricity, people left their houses. They walked outside and talked to each other. Best of all, I looked up and saw stars. In the wash of billboards and airplanes and skyscrapers, I'd forgotten they were even there.
Sometimes seeing really is believing. Last year, WWF-Australia organized the inaugural Earth Hour. Creating buzz and turning heads around the globe, 2.3 million residents of Sydney simply turned off their lights for one hour. The result is immediate and gives a stunning visual of just how much energy is being used to power our cities. In that one event alone, Australia saw a 10% reduction in use of its power grid. In CO2 terms, that's the equivalent of taking 50,000 cars off the road for an hour.
Now Earth Hour is back for 2008; this global lights out phenomenon wants individuals and the businesses they work for to turn off the lights for one hour. In a world so dependent on electricity and energy-consumption, we need to collectively remind ourselves of what we're doing and how we need to change. On March 29, 2008 at 8pm (in each time zone) you have the chance to become part of Earth Hour's environmental movement. Melbourne, Toronto, Chicago, Copenhagen, Brisbane, Tel Aviv and Manila are just some of the global cities that are taking part. Even if you're not in those cities, you can sign up at the Earth Hour website and have some fun in the dark no matter where you are.