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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Earth Hour: Dim your lights for a brighter tomorrow
DATE: March 18, 2009

Earth Hour is Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

            Corner Brook residents and businesses are asked to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour. It’s part of a worldwide event being undertaken by the World Wildlife Fund to encourage governments to do more to stop climate change.
             “A number of organizations in the Corner Brook area including the Western Environmental Centre, First United Church, ACAP Humber Arm, College of the North Atlantic, Corner Brook City Hall and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College are working on promoting Earth Hour in this city,” said Dr. Edwin Bezzina, who teaches historical studies at Grenfell College, Memorial University’s Corner Brook campus.
             Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is a global action involving many cities around the world. During Earth Hour, people in participating cities will turn off non-essential lights for one hour, mostly residents living in apartments and in houses. 
             “We also would like to encourage businesses and government offices to do the same, to turn off non-essential lights such as their main outdoor neon signs,” said Dr. Bezzina. “Our goal is to get as many people involved in doing this as possible, to turn off or dim all non-essential lights, just for an hour. The intent is to not just to save electricity for an hour. The greater purpose of Earth Hour is symbolic: to send a strong message to our governments that more has to be done to fight climate change and to encourage people to consider, just for an hour, how they could reduce electricity use in their homes and workplace.”
            The event started a few years ago in Sydney, Australia; it was immensely successful – more than two million businesses and households turned off their lights for 60 minutes.
             “Photos of Sydney's downtown core taken before and during Earth Hour show a remarkable degree of involvement and participation,” said Dr. Bezzina. “This year, more than 80 countries and 750 cities around the world have committed to participating. Corner Brook participated last year, and now it is time to build on that participation. The more people who participate, the more impact the event will have.”
             He suggests that an hour in late March on a Saturday evening is a good time to go for a walk, or perhaps light candles for the hour, keeping safety in mind of course. Or if you’re looking to gather with others marking Earth Hour, First United Church, 19 Park St., will hold a light, candlelit concert in the church basement during Earth Hour. Doors open at 8 p.m.; refreshments will be served. Admission is free, although people are welcome to make a small donation at the door. The concert will take place in the lecture hall in the basement (those wishing to attend should enter from the back doors in the corner of the parking lot, located off Park Street).
            “We all know about the science documenting climate change,” he said. “We all know what is at stake. What is needed now more than ever before is more political will to do something about this impending climate crisis. So please remember to turn off or dim your non-essential lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 28 and be part of a global movement to stop climate change.”
             For more information or to register your participation, visit www.earthhourcanada.org or contact Edwin Bezzina at ebezzina@swgc.mun.ca or 637-6200 ext. 6152.

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