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Skyline Goes Dark

By Tim State in News on Mar 30, 2008 3:45PM


The Chicago Skyline during Earth Hour at the top, and with the lights on at the bottom, which was taken earlier in the week.
Photo by dane brian.

Earth Hour officials indicate last year there were 2.2 million who participated in a one-hour effort to bring awareness to energy conservation. Yesterday, they estimated that number was around 10 million. In Chicago, the Sears Tower, the John Hancock, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower dimmed decorative lights, while 500 McDonald’s throughout Chicagoland turned off their golden arches. In the theatre district, marquees went dark, and Elphaba, the witch from "Wicked" turned out the lights with a dramatic "spell". Navy Pier’s iconic ferris wheel went dark and nearly every store on the Magnificent Mile turned out their lights.

ComEd indicates Chicago saw a 5 percent decrease in power consumption compared to the same hour a week ago. Is that all we could do, people? Earth Hour officials had this to say about us on their blog:

Chicago was truly transformed in a dramatic yet humbling display of its "will do" spirit. Chicagoans showed that individual acts, taken collectively, can make a tremendous impact. It is in that spirit, that the city is leading the way to a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.

According to Energy Australia, Sydney saw a drop in power of 8.4 percent, and surveys indicate about 58% of people living in cities in Australia turned off lights and appliances.

Chicago was one of four cities in the U.S. officially participating in Earth Hour. Others included Atlanta, San Francisco where compact florescent light bulbs were handed out, and Pheonix. Others cities around the world were Aalborg, Aarhus, Adelaide, Bangkok, Brisbane, Canberra, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Darwin, Dublin, Hobart, Manila, Melbourne, Montreal, Odense, Ottawa, Perth, Suva, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Vancouver.