Power Hour

By Margaret Lyons in News on Feb 15, 2008 8:03PM

2008_2_15.night.jpg
Photo by Michael DaKidd. Now imagine all those lights turned off. That's what Earth Hour will be like.

Mark your calendars: For one hour on March 29th, Chicago will be in the dark. The City of Chicago and COM ED are asking businesses and residents to turn off their lights and unplug all electrical devices between 8 and 9pm on Saturday, March 29th to participate in Earth Hour, a global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund in which cities and communities turn out their lights to symbolize their commitment to finding climate change solutions.

Earth Hour kicked off last year in Sydney when over 2.2 million residents turned off their power, resulting in a 10.2 percent drop in energy use. This year the movement is spreading across 6 continents with over 20 major cities set to participate. Chicago will serve as the U.S. flagship city for Earth Hour in 2008, and our officials are taking it seriously. Sadhu Johnston, Chicago's commissioner of the environment has been convincing with building managers throughout the city to participate, and the Sears Tower and the Merchandise Mart are on board. Mayor Daley is urging all Chicagoans to take part in this event to help further his goal in "making Chicago the most environmentally friendly city in the world."

According to the website, exciting Earth Hour events will be announced shortly. We vote for a Bono/Gore reunion tour, but it may be more along the lines of low-key flashlight driven events. Last year The Rockpool restaurant was one of the many restaurants in Sydney to shut off their lights and hosted a full-house candle lit dinner for 110 people to celebrate the occasion. Why yes, a romantic candlelit dinner does sound like a spectacular way to participate in the fight against global warming. Will any Chicago restaurants follow suit?

Sign up here to participate and show your support for Earth Hour 2008. [S-T] --Jacy Wojcik