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The time is approaching for the world to participate in Earth Hour, the demonstration organised by the WWF where hundreds of millions of people across thousands of cities and towns around the world all switch off their lights for an hour at 8.30pm local time on Saturday 23rd of March in order to show their support for the environment.
Last year more than 6,950 cities and towns participated, even the International Space Station took part as astronauts powered down its systems for an hour. This year it is predicted that more than 150 countries will take part.
The Guardian listed a number of internationally famous landmarks that will turn their lights of on Saturday to show their support, including:
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“… the Sydney opera house and Harbour bridge, Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, Tokyo tower, Taipei 101, the Bird's Nest in Beijing, the Gateway of India, the world's tallest building the Burj Khalifa, the Ancient Citadel of Erbil in Kurdistan, Table Mountain, the Bosphorus Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Brandenburg Gate, the UK Houses of Parliament, Buckingham palace, the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls and Los Angeles airport.”
But the initiative also has its share of critics. The author George Marshall worries that it sends the wrong symbolic image about environmentalism, “asking people to sit in the dark plays very well to a widely held prejudice that 'the greens' want us all to go back to living in caves.”
Some experts have also commented that the whole activity could be detrimental to the environment, putting a huge strain on energy grids as everyone turns their lights back on at the same time after the hour is up, and causing power stations to briefly increase their output to cope with the surge in demand.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com