“Earth hour” sets a sign with darkness

In many places around the world on saturday at 20 o'clock sharp there will be.30 local time the lights went out. To the 13. For the first time, the environmental organization WWF proclaimed "earth hour" and thousands of cities turned out the lights on famous landmarks.

The first to go was the island state of samoa – by 7.30 in the morning german time. Bringing up the rear were the cook islands and french polynesia. With this annual campaign, which has been taking place since 2007, the participants want to set an example for more climate and environmental protection. Private individuals were also asked to do without light in their houses and apartments.

In spain's capital madrid, the palacio real (royal palace) was plunged into darkness during the "hora del planeta," as the "earth hour" is called there. In barcelona the basilica sagrada familia and in granada the famous alhambra were present. Moscow switched off the lights at the kremlin, london at westminster palace. Even the tallest building in the world, the burj khalifa in dubai, stood in darkness for an hour.

According to the WWF, 384 cities in germany took part in the campaign, with 79 in north rhine-westphalia alone. In frankfurt, the lights have been turned off in the skyline office towers and on the romer, among others. In the southwest, the lights of the locksmiths in heidelberg, ludwigsburg, rastatt and tettnang were to be switched off. The central event took place at pariser platz in berlin, where the brandenburg gate remained unusually dark. The lights also went out temporarily on berlin's city hall, the radio tower and many other buildings in the capital.

WWF urged the federal government to take the sign seriously and not to continue blocking a targeted climate protection policy in europe. "This year's earth hour is an urgent appeal to the federal government to promote the protection of the natural foundations of life for humans and animals in the eu instead of continuing to block it," said marco vollmar from the management of WWF germany, according to the press release. According to WWF, the "earth hour", which originated in australia, is now the world's largest environmental protection campaign.

The artist hermann josef hack complains that the campaign is far too late and is just a "publicity stunt". "There is a great danger that everyone will think they have already made a contribution to saving the world's climate if they switch off the lights for a moment," hack said, according to a press release.

Hack had already organized a similar action in 1995 under the name "global switch" – for the climate conference of the united nations taking place in berlin at that time. At ten to nine in the evening, berliners should switch off all non-essential energy consumers for at least ten minutes. At that time, climate change was not yet an issue, although the time would have been right to prevent the climate changes that are now visible, said Hack.


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