Saturday, March 31, 2012

The hour the earth

The hour the earth went dark: Iconic buildings across the world turn off their lights to highlight climate change
Famous landmarks which normally light up the night sky are being plunged into darkness today to raise the profile of climate change. Sydney's iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House were among the first buildings around the world to begin the blackout.  Later on Washington's National Cathedral, London's Clock Tower, the Great Wall of China and Tokyo Tower will also be dimmed at 8.30pm local time. Central Sydney icons have been taking part in the annual event since Earth Hour began as a Sydney-only event in 2007. Australia is among the first countries to hit the light switches each year. In New Zealand, Sky Tower in Auckland and parliament buildings in Wellington switched off two hours earlier. The small island nation of Samoa was the first to switch off the lights.  The Faleolo International Airport went dark as the community came together to launch a number of local green activities for the year ahead. People in Fiji also switched off their lights where possible despite the devastating floods. WWF, the Washington-based environmental group that organises the event, said the number of countries and territories participating had grown from 135 last year to 147 this year. Organizers say businesses and residents in 6,400 towns and cities are taking part. Libya, Algeria, Bhutan and French Guinea are among those participating for the first time. WWF official Dermot O'Gorman said: 'Earth Hour 2012 is a celebration of people power; the world's largest mass event in support of the planet.' UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said: 'Turning off our lights is a symbol of our commitment to sustainable energy for all. 'We need to fuel our future with clean, efficient and affordable energy. By acting together today, we can power a brighter tomorrow.'

بالصـــور... ساعة الأرض ... من حول العالم
ساعة الأرض هو حدث سنوي يشارك فيه العالم بأسره بإطفاء الأنوار والأجهزة الكهربائية في الثامنة والنصف مساء لمدة ساعة، والهدف من ذلك هو رفع الوعي العام بخطر التغييرات المناخية التي يتسبب فيها الإنسان. صحيح أن إطفاء الكهرباء لمدة ساعة قد لا يبدو مهماً للكثيرين، لكنها وسيلة للفت الانتباه إلى مشكلة الانبعاثات الحرارية التي تتسبب فيها المدن، فهل تعلم أن نصف سكان الأرض يعيشون في المدن؟ وأن هذه المدن هي مصدر 70% من انبعاثات الكربون على كوكب الأرض يقوم الصندوق العالمي للطبيعة WWF بتنظيم هذا الحدث كل عام، واكتسب الحدث نجاحاً متزايداً منذ شارك فيه 2.2 مليون من سكان مدينة سيدني في 2007، حتى وصل نجاحه العام الماضي إلى مشاركة 5,251 مدينة في 135 دولة بعدد سكان قُدّر بـ1.8 مليار نسمة

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