Fantastic Earth Hour pics

On Saturday, over 1,000 cities participated in Earth Hour, a mass movement in which people turn off their lights for an hour to call attention to climate change. Get thee to the The Big Picture straightaway, and play with their before-and-after interactive pictures of Earth Hour events around the globe. I’ve reproduced a few of the images below, but we can’t do them justice here. Over at The Big Picture, the images are not only much larger, they also fade back and forth when you click on them, giving a much better sense of the change. Seriously, go.

Las Vegas is one of the more dramatic transformations.

vegas-light.jpg

vegas-dark.jpg

I know that opinions on Earth Hour are mixed. Some see it as an uplifting display of solidarity. Others see it as empty symbolism. Personally, I think symbols like this matter, but it’s certainly a conversation worth having. In that regard Earth Hour is a success; images like these get people talking and reflecting.

Here’s another one of the Acropolis:

acropolis-light.jpg

acropolis-dark.jpg

Lots more here.

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  1. Pat Churchman - April 1, 2009

    Why can’t this become a monthly or weekly event?
    Pat C

  2. Katie - April 1, 2009

    Or how about the opposite? Excessive lights out all night except for one hour–every day. These photos really point out how much energy we waste just to make things look pretty.

  3. Jacque - April 1, 2009

    I would like to see this same comparison from space. I know the Hubble is up there – I wonder if they thought to take a pic from there. It would make us think about the bigger picture

  4. Sean Y - April 2, 2009

    My wife and I had dinner with friends, and right after dinner, at 8:30, lit a few candles and had dessert. Then we chatted by candlelight for 2 more hours. It was a fantastic evening. Everyone should do this every Saturday night.

  5. Brenda - April 2, 2009

    Las Vegas, what an accomplishment. Imagine how much energy was saved. Congrats to us all.

  6. Katie - April 6, 2009

    Hubble is pointed away from Earth. The Earth at night photos are generally from defense satellites (the most well-known is a montage from the Defense Meteorological Satellite program). You have to take quite a series to eliminate problems of cloud-cover, but it might be interesting if there’s a way to coordinate lights-out with the satellite flyover to produce such an image. You’d probably need a heck of a lot more buy-in, since I imagine a bunch of the light pollution is considered “safety” lighting (highways, streetlights, etc.) – but I could be wrong.

  7. enaudit - April 8, 2009

    I agree with Katie, except let’s keep the unnecessary usage to zero. If it’s not needed, leave the lights & all other equipment turned off.

  8. Ray-ray - April 20, 2009

    You should have seen the horror on my kids faces when I told them we are going to shut everything off. “Dad, not the TV too?”

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