“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Turn Off Your Home Theaters to Observe Earth Hour

by March 28, 2008

Tomorrow marks the second annual Earth Hour event where major cities around the world will be turning off their power for a full hour. March 29 at 0900 GMT. SYDNEY (AFP) - Twenty-six major cities around the world are expected to turn off the lights on major landmarks, plunging millions of people into darkness to raise awareness about global warming, organizers said.

'Earth Hour' founder Andy Ridley said 371 cities, towns or local governments from Australia to Canada and even Fiji had signed up for the 60-minute shutdown at 0900 GMT on March 29. Ridley says there are definately 26 (cities) confirmed to participate and feels "if it all goes to plan, we are going to see a major event of lights going off," he told AFP. Cities officially signed on include Chicago and San Francisco, Dublin, Manila, Bangkok, Copenhagen and Toronto, all of which will switch off lights on major landmarks and encourage businesses and homeowners to follow suit. Ridley said it was also likely that other major European cities such as Rome and London, and the South Korean capital Seoul, although not officially taking part, would turn off lights on some attractions or landmarks.

The initiative began in Sydney last year and has become a global event, sweeping across 35 countries this year.

From 8:00 pm local time in Sydney, the energy-saving campaign will see harbor side icons such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House bathed only in moonlight, restaurant diners eat by candlelight and city skyscrapers turn off their neon signs. For home theater buffs, perhaps now is a good opportunity to buy a power conditioner with battery backup such as an APC AV S15 or S20, so you can enjoy your theater system interruption free while still being green.

Organizers hope the initiative will encourage people to be more aware of their energy usage, knowing that producing electricity pollutes the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels which are contributing to global warming. But they are also aware that it will be just a small step in solving the problem of rising temperatures around the globe. "Switching the lights off for an hour is not going to make a dent in global emissions," organizer Charles Stevens, of the environmental group WWF, told AFP. "But what it does do is it is a great catalyst for much bigger changes. It engages people in the processes of becoming more energy efficient."

Stevens said the initiative encouraged businesses to be more careful with their electricity use while at the same time sending "a fairly powerful message to governments that people are demanding action. Some 2.2 million people participated in last year's 'Earth Hour' in Sydney, cutting the central business district's energy usage by more than 10 percent.

While no cities from China or India are involved this year, Stevens said it was hoped that the movement would expand in 2009, which he said would be a particularly significant year given that it is the deadline for United Nations talks to determine future action on climate change after the Kyoto Protocol.

Ridley, who began 'Earth Hour' last year while working with WWF Australia, said the initiative was about individuals and global companies joining together to own a shared problem -- climate change.

"Governments and businesses are joining individuals, religious groups, schools and communities in this terrific movement that's all about making a change for the better," he said. "It's staggering to see so much support from across the globe in just our second year and we're hoping that this will continue to grow year after year."

Cities officially involved in 'Earth Hour' include Aalborg, Aarhus, Adelaide, Atlanta, Bangkok, Brisbane, Canberra, Chicago, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Darwin, Dublin, Hobart, Manila, Melbourne, Montreal, Odense, Ottawa, Perth, Phoenix, San Francisco, Suva, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Vancouver.

It would be cool to see how many fellow Audioholics participate in this event so please comment in our forums and let us know if you turned off your home theater systems during this event or switch to an alternative energy source. Of course if Audiophiles are really die-hard about this, perhaps its time to trade in your class A tube amps for a new cool operating energy efficient Class D powerhouse such as an Axiom A-1400. This news is almost inspiring me to write a top 10 guide on how to build an energy efficient home theater room. Perhaps I will follow up after the lights come back on.


About the author:
author portrait

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile