Join People Around the World for Earth Hour 2019 this Saturday, March 30th from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper, reporter/publisher, Niagara At Large
Posted March 30th, 2019
I know what some of you may be thinking. What good is turning off your lights for one hour going to do for the planet.
Well, probably not much, but at least it is a start. It is a chance to at sit around with friends and relatives for an hour and thinks about what you can do as an individual and what all of us can do in our communities to take the action we need to take collectively to spare our future from ever more destructive impacts of climate change.
Earth Hour is an opportunity for all of us to give some very serious thought to the warning we recently received from world-renown scientists on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we only have about 12 years left to make significant shifts away from economies based on carbon fuels and toward economies that drive on sources of renewable energy.
Twelve years is not enough time, when you think of it. It certainly isn’t enough time to wait for dangerous idiots like Donald Trump and Doug Ford and Andrew Scheer to fool around with delay tactics on behalf of greedy old oil barons like the Koch brothers.
Along with this Saturday, March 30th’s Earth Hour, being observed around the world and in our time zone from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. under the guide of the event’s founder, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there are about 105,120 (give or take a few) hours that make up that 12-year time frame we have to turn things around.
If we wound the clock back that many hours, it would take us to the year 2007. And if you are a person around the age of 30 years old, you may very well remember that, in the pop world, that was the year a young Justin Bieber and his mother put out his first videos that went viral on YouTube and turned into a teeny bopper superstar.
It was also the year that Apple introduced the world to the iPhone and that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on Gore’s Academy Award-winning documentary on climate change, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.
That isn’t all that long ago, and ‘Oh, how time flies,’ one might say, so we really don’t have any time left on the climate file for deniers or for fooling around anymore with delay tactics or lame half-way measures or fooling around.
If one nation could once resolve to send humans to the moon for the first time and bring them back alive in the span of one decade, certainly we have the intelligence and the imagination to tackle the climate crisis and related environmental challenges that face us, if we resolve to work together and do it.
Hopefully, that has given us something to think about during this Earth Hour 2019.
Click on the screen immediately below to find out more about Earth Hour
Now here are some messages circulated by a few of the major Earth Hour participants in our region
First, from the City of St. Catharines –
The City of St. Catharines is joining with communities around the world and celebrating Earth Hour in the dark on Saturday, March 30.
The City will be powering down all non-essential lighting and electronics at City Hall and Market Square to raise awareness about climate change. Residents are also encouraged to take action by switching off lights, powering down electronics and unplugging chargers from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on March 30.
“We’ll be turning out the lights on Earth Hour to signal our commitment to preserving the environment for future generations,” said Mark Green, manager of environmental services. “Making small changes, such as switching off lights when we leave a room, unplugging devices when not being used, using cold water for laundry, and turning down the thermostat a degree or two, can make a big impact for our planet.”
The City is committed to being a leader in protecting the environment and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Recently, the City removed water sold in plastic bottles from vending machines and concessions at most City facilities and is encouraging visitors to use water fountains and water filling stations at the venues. The City will be installing water filling stations at select City parks in 2019 to continue its efforts to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are discarded.
During select events at City facilities, staff will distribute reusable straws and information sheets to raise awareness about alternatives for single use plastics. The City will also use grant money from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to hire a climate change coordinator to look at what the City needs to do to adapt to the future effects of climate change.
Residents and businesses can share how they plan to participate in Earth Hour and what they are doing to take action against climate change. Everyone who completes a survey will be entered to win an Earth Hour prize pack.
Learn more at www.stcatharines.ca/EarthHour.
From Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission –
The Niagara Falls Illumination Board
to “Switch off” Falls Illumination for Earth Hour 2019
Niagara Falls seen as a global symbol of clean, renewable hydroelectric energy
Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board is pleased to once again announce its participation in the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) global Earth Hour initiative. On Saturday, March 30, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the nightly illumination of Niagara Falls will be turned off for one hour to help raise awareness and support for action on the issue of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to WWF, Earth Hour is the single largest symbolic mass participation event in the world. It has grown from a single event held in Sydney, Australia in March 2007, to a world-wide initiative, reaching millions of people. In 2018, a record 188 countries and territories across the world and over 17,900 landmarks and monuments took part in Earth Hour.
Established in 1925, the Niagara Falls Illumination Board is made up of representatives from the City of Niagara Falls Ontario, City of Niagara Falls, New York, Ontario Power Generation Inc., New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Niagara Parks Commission. It is the Illumination Board’s responsibility and mandate to finance and maintain the nightly illumination of both the Horseshoe and American Falls.
From Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara –
Lights out for Earth Hour at Brock University
The illumination of Schmon Tower at Brock University will switch from Badger red to earth green Saturday, March 30, but from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. the lights will go out entirely.
It’s part of Brock’s annual recognition of Earth Hour, when Canadians turn off the lights as a show of support in the fight against climate change. In addition to the tower lights going dark, other lighting on the main campus and in the downtown Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will also be dimmed or turned off.
But beyond simply flipping a switch once a year, when it comes to environmental sustainability, Brock University is a post-secondary leader.
Brock’s waste diversion rate was 71.8 per cent in 2017, putting it nearly 12 per cent higher than the Ministry of the Environment’s 60 per cent diversion rate guideline.
When it comes to saving water, the University installed an additional seven bottle-filling stations in 2018, bringing its total to 57. In 2018 alone, 930,343 bottles were filled and that number is expected to cross 1 million bottles for the first time in 2019. Since the bottle station program began five years ago, nearly 4.5 million bottles have been diverted from landfills through the use of reusable containers being filled on campus.
On a wider level, Brock’s Facilities Management established an Environmental Sustainability Policy in 2016 which includes objectives and actions that contribute to the goal of Green House Gas emissions reductions of 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.
Other ongoing programs include:
- Numerous projects aimed at improving the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.
- Working toward converting florescent lighting to LED across the University.
- The ongoing District Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP) Phase 1 and 2, which will provide substantial energy savings through newer and more efficient power-generation engines.
To read one of many stories published in recent months about the United Nation’s most recent warnings about the time we have to address the climate crisis, click on –https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report
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