The Columns

Lights Out! It’s Earth Hour.

— by on March 25th, 2010

With the sponsorship of Washington and Lee’s Student Environmental Action League (SEAL), the University will be participating in Earth Hour 2010 on Saturday, March 27, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

By turning off the lights on the Colonnade and Holekamp Hall during this hour, the University is showing its support of Earth Hour, a global demonstration of public concern for climate change. SEAL urges students who live off campus to turn off the lights at their own houses during Earth Hour.

“All over the world, demonstrations about climate change are popping up in response to this event, such as China’s Forbidden City, Victoria Falls and Salzburg, Austria, to name a few,” said Sarah Engstrom ’10, member of SEAL. “Hundreds of thousands of people have banded together to support a cause that is dear to all of our hearts, the earth.”

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008, the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness for that hour.

Last year hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4,000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off their lights to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

“This one simple act not only saves a little bit of energy, it also makes a strong statement to our commitment to sustainability and is an opportunity to truly live out our school’s motto ‘Non in Cautus Futuri’ (Not unmindful of the future),” Engstrom said. “As members of a global community and future leaders of global policy, we can’t afford to ignore the question of sustainability. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to join SEAL in Earth Hour.”