Global: Switching off the lights for a sustainable world

Brazil's most famous landmark, the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Hill, had its lights switched off overlooking a much darker than usual Rio de Janeiro city last Saturday. About 100 other Brazilian cities also switched the lights off from 20:30 to 21:30 during Earth Hour. It was the first time that the country has taken part in the global movement to show support for a more sustainable world.


Photo by Americo Verme/WWS Brazil

Like Brunei and many other countries, Brazil joined Earth Hour for the first time. Reactions ranged from optimistic and supportive to critical and cynical posts. Guilherme Nascimento Valadares, from Papo de Homem [pt] blog, spent some time monitoring reactions on Twitter and counted over 8,000 posts related to relevant tags between 20:45 on Saturday 29 and 6:00 am on Sunday 30th. He concludes:

Fato peculiar. O mais críticos eram justamente os mais conectados, jovens, hypes, espertos. Me corrijam se estiver errado, mas tenho uma forte impressão de que o retrato da juventude produtiva brasileira de hoje – estou falando da turma que saiu da faculdade e já faz o seu $$$ – é um tremendo bundão, cético, hedonista, indolente, inseguro, maria-vai-com-as-outras.

A peculiar fact: most of the criticism came directly from the most connected, hyped, smart youngsters. Please tell me if I got it wrong, but I am under the impression that this is the portrait of today's Brazilian active youth – I am talking about these guys who have left university, have already made their $$$ – who are tremendous assholes, skeptical, hedonistic, lazy, insecure, sheep people.

Of those who turned the lights off, many Flickr users took pictures to pass the time. See below a selection of photos uploaded under Creative Commons licenses from Brazil, India, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Chile:


Photo by Alexandre E Silva's – Brazil

“Transmitindo a Hora do Planeta ao vivo pelo Ustream.”

“Live streaming the Earth Hour over Ustream”

Earth Hour in Bangalore, India – Photo by Earth Hour Global. For a local blogger who reminds us that the country faces a chronic power shortage on a daily basis, observing Earth Hour was a symbol of foolishness. View of My World says:

Bangalore, and large parts of India, have been observing earth hour / earth day / earth night for many many years now. Even this morning there was no power supply to my home between 9 AM – 11 AM.


Photo by Dani Pontes, Brazil

“Nós participamos!!
E aproveitamos pra namorar a luz de velas!! rs”

“We took part! And took the opportunity to kiss and cuddle by candle light”.


Photo by Luciano Joaquim, Brazil


Give earth a chance… photo by CW Ye- Malaysia


Photo by Max y Miliano, Chile


Photo by Mondayne. Sydney, Australia.

Earth Hour was both disappointing and pointless in Sydney. They didn't even turn the lights off on the Opera House or Bridge really… just a few lights were shut down. I can't imagine they really saved that much power.


A self portrait by Hsien-Ku, Australia.


Photo by Nathan Hayag, Singapore


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  • Aly

    This earth hour is a great idea. I did some research and found how much energy this really saves.

    “Earth Hour was both disappointing and pointless in Sydney. They didn’t even turn the lights off on the Opera House or Bridge really… just a few lights were shut down. I can’t imagine they really saved that much power.”

    You were saying that this doesn’t save that much power? I did the math, it really does save a great amount of coal and resources. If the United States did this every once in a while the world would be better off. Here’s my findings:

    If New York City turned off its power for one hour approximately 10.794 Tons of coal would be saved in that hour alone. Thats 21,588.33 pounds.

    For those europeans and others who don’t use pounds, here is what that is converted in some other ways:
    1542.0235 Stones
    9792.3017 Kilograms

    In other words, this power saved, could be used to power almost 900 electric heaters for 10 hours.

    For some this electricity may not seem that important, but for those people huddled around the electric heaters, the power is appreciated.
    (my data uses information from numerous sources, and i did my own calculations, i rounded to the closest decimal).

    In the end, this data was all from if New York were to turn off the lights for a single hour. Imagine how much more could be saved if multiple countries and cities joined together to do this. I applaud the cities and people that are coming together to make this happen. Thank You, and I hope someday I may be proud to say my city has taken part in an Earth Hour as well.

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