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Mar 292010
 
Empire State Building in New York with the lights switched off in support of Earth Hour 2010.  (Photo: © WWF / Rob Johnson)

Empire State Building in New York with the lights switched off in support of Earth Hour 2010. (Photo: © WWF / Rob Johnson)

From Green Right Now Reports

World Wildlife Fund said its Earth Hour event Saturday drew  hundreds of millions of people around the world who turned out their lights for one hour in support of action on climate change. The organization said the event was the largest public demonstration in history as individuals, businesses and government officials in 4,000 cities across 125 countries participated in Earth Hour.

In the United States, Earth Hour was observed in all 50 states and the nation’s capital, as darkness spread from governor’s residences to state capitol buildings, across downtown skylines and throughout the suburban landscape. The American landmarks going dark included Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls, the Broadway Theater District and the Las Vegas Strip.

“Earth Hour is about Americans and people throughout the world standing up and saying ‘climate change is real and we need to do something about it now’,” WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts said in a statement. “From coast-to-coast, Americans provided strong affirmation that they are ready for the U.S. to be a leader in the green revolution.”

WWF said governors and state legislators from 33 states, more than five times the number last year, officially endorsed Earth Hour and turned off lights at their residences and/or state capitol buildings. Those states include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Earth Hour activities were celebrated in other states as well. In Minnesota, the decorative lighting on the Duluth Aerial Bridge went dark, while the Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall turned off their marquee lighting in Alaska. The University of Virginia represented the commonwealth, while in the Lone Star State a number of cities including Austin, Dallas and Houston passed resolutions and turned off the lights that make up their skylines.

Other notable landmarks throughout the country that participated in this year’s event include:

  • The Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C.
  • The Space Needle and Pikes Place Market sign in Seattle
  • The Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, United Nations, Broadway Theatre marquees in NYC
  • The Pylons at L.A. International Airport, Santa Monica Pier and Queen Mary Hotel in Los Angeles
  • The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis
  • Montezuma Castle in Arizona
  • The Wrangler in Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Milwaukee Public Market in Wisconsin
  • The National Aquarium in Baltimore
  • Sears/Willis Tower in Chicago

The WWF’s ultimate hope is that  cities and landmarks will apply the core principal of turning off the lights to their every day routine. In Chicago, the Building Owners and Management Association developed lighting guidelines to reduce light pollution, and reduce the carbon footprint of downtown buildings.  Mount Rushmore in South Dakota will now start powering down each night around 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.

Here are photos from some of the 2010 locations:

Children from Hong Kong show their support for Earth Hour 2010 by making lanterns and holding up their fingers to make "V for Victory" signs. (Photo: © WWF Hong Kong)

Children from Hong Kong show their support for Earth Hour 2010 by making lanterns and holding up their fingers to make "V for Victory" signs. (Photo: © WWF Hong Kong)