Houston shone by its absence as worldwide blackouts took place in more than 74 countries and territories.
The lights were turned off intentionally as a symbolic recognition for energy conservation organized by the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2009 on Saturday night.
This event, which started in 2007 in Australia, was designed to raise awareness about global warming, a problem that doesn’t discriminate.
“It is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from,” Earth Hour said on its Web site,www.earthhour.org. “Vote Earth is a global call to action for every individual, every business and every community.”
Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore and Rome are just a few cities that chose to shut off their lights for 60 minutes and send a powerful message to our governments to take stricter environmental measures.
“This will be a pivotal year in the future of our planet as we look to Congress, President Obama and global leaders to take immediate and decisive action on climate change,” Carter Roberts, chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement.
In addition, several global landmarks such as Coca-Cola and Nasdaq agreed to turn off their signs in Times Square.
Unfortunately, we cannot applaud the University for its support in this global effort that needs special attention.
UH has shown enthusiasm in the past towards responsible environmental action. Most of the activity has taken place in the creation of specialized committees such as the Sustainability Task Force’s recycling efforts. Still, we need to keep looking for new ways to make our campus a more environmentally friendly and responsible place.
A possible change UH can consider is a shift from printed textbooks to cheaper e-books. Northwest Missouri State University has done.
Amid the financial crisis, urgent actions remain a necessity when dealing with the preservation of our planet. No matter how insignificant these initiatives may seem, UH needs to advocate and put into action more eco-friendly attitudes.
“Saving energy for an hour helps the UH community spend less on its electric bill so that we can use our funds for better purposes, such as student scholarships,”Environmental club officer and biology junior Mariana Guerrero said. “Now that we are in a recession, it is even more important for our university to do all it can to save on its energy bill.”
Earth Hour called attention to the problems of climate change by staying in the dark for a while. In doing so, this event promoted the importance of reducing the personal carbon footprint and turning off appliances when not in use, not just engaging the sleep function.
“Hopefully, Earth Hour will remind people to do these things everyday, not just during the 60 minutes spent celebrating Earth Hour,” Guerrero said.