Google users in the United Kingdom will notice today that we "turned the lights out" on the Google.co.uk homepage as a gesture to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour. As to why we don't do this permanently - it saves no energy; modern displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display. However, you can do something to reduce the energy consumption of your home PC by joining the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.
On Saturday, March 29, 2008, Earth Hour invites people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour - from 8:00pm to 9:00pm in their local time zone. On this day, cities around the world, including Copenhagen, Chicago, Melbourne, Dubai, and Tel Aviv, will hold events to acknowledge their commitment to energy conservation.
From just one city - Sydney, Australia - last year it has mushroomed to more than 300 communities around the globe. Canada has leapt in with enthusiasm, with at least 150 taking part. And Ontario leads the provinces, with about 80.
That total puts Ontario ahead of all of Australia, where Sydney and about 70 other cities and towns are involved. No other nation comes close to that level of participation.
Across Canada, more than 4,000 businesses and organizations, large and small, say they'll support Earth Hour. The 1,030 in Toronto include major buildings like the CN Tower and Air Canada Centre, as well as companies that own most downtown highrises.
Many local firms are taking advantage of the Earth Hour buzz to announce plans for long-term cuts in their resource and energy use.
In the GTA, more than 32,000 people have registered on the Earth Hour website.
Earth Hour has grown so big, so fast, that organizers with the World Wildlife Fund report with considerable awe and joy that they've lost control of the event they devised in 2005 as a way to get climate change on Australia's political agenda.
Plenty of officialdom has become involved, as have global corporate heavyweights like McDonald's, Molson Coors and Wal-Mart.
Starbucks at Yonge St. & Brookdale, north of Lawrence Ave., invites customers to enjoy their beverages by candlelight. They'll also be having guided coffee tastings by the fireplace. Mar. 29 at 8 p.m.
Sozlet's looking forward to it. There was some angst about missing the Kid's Choice Awards (Nickelodeon, she voted and everything), but then I saw that it's about turning the lights off, not all electricity. I thought she'd be happy about the loophole but no, she prefers to just have everything off and hang out by candlelight. (She's always kind of liked power outages, tho...)
Not all candles burn dirty