Edwin Bezzina is hoping the lights of Corner Brook won't shine as brightly on the evening of March 29.
The Grenfell College historical studies professor, who is also actively involved in raising awareness of environmental concerns, would like Corner Brook residents and businesses to take part in "Earth Hour." Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is a global action involving many cities around the world. It’s an event that will take place for one hour on Saturday, March 29 beginning at 8 p.m.
"A number of groups in the Corner Brook area including the Western Environmental Centre and First United Church are working on promoting Earth Hour in this city," said Dr. Bezzina. "Earth Hour asks that people in participating cities turn off their 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 neon signs. Our goal is to get as many people involved in doing this as possible, to turn off all non-essential lights, just for an hour. The intent is not just to save electricity for an hour; the purpose of Earth Hour really is to send a strong message to our governments that more has to be done to fight climate change."
The event started last year in Sydney, Australia, and was extremely well received, says Bezzina. More than two million businesses and households turned off their lights for 60 minutes in Sydney. Photos of Sydney's downtown core taken at 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. showed a remarkable degree of involvement and participation. This year, more than 7,000 businesses and 100,000 individuals around the world have already signed on to the event. More than 30 cities in Canada are on board.
"It’s time to add Corner Brook to the list," says Bezzina, adding that the more people who participate, the more impact the event will have. "An hour in late March on a Saturday evening is a good time to go for a walk; or perhaps stay in and enjoy the tranquility of candles (keeping safety in mind of course). We all know about the science documenting climate change. 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 your lights for an hour on Saturday night at 8 p.m. on March 29 and be part of a global movement to stop climate change."
To officially sign up for Earth Hour, or for more information on how you can get involved, visit www.earthhour.org