Lights go out across planet for Earth Hour
(CNN) -- Lights went off across the world Saturday as millions of homes and businesses went dark for one hour in a symbolic (thereby, meaningless) gesture highlighting concerns over climate change.
More than 2,800 cities and towns worldwide dimmed their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time (after the business day was done? Big sacrifice) for the third annual Earth Hour -- a day-long energy-saving marathon spanning 83 countries and 24 time zones.
In Washington, the lights went out at the Capitol dome at 8:30 p.m. ET; the same time the Empire State Building, Central Park and the George Washington Bridge in New York went dark (good thing I wasn't driving in the GW at 8:30pm, then).
The Philippines topped this year's participation for Asia, with more than 650 communities taking part in the event, according to Earth Hour's Web site. (Time to step UP, Asia! Get with the program!)
The light illuminating the face of the landmark Big Ben clock tower in London, England, went out at 8:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET). (how would they know what time it was if the clock's light was out?)
In Dubai, iReporter Sharad Agarwal turned out the lights and sat down to a candlelit dinner with his family. (aaaaawwwwww....)
"I personally believe in going green and everything that goes with it (I thank you all....but, it's been no bed of roses...no pleasure cruuuuise...)," Agarwal told CNN.
In Australia, floodlights of the Sydney Opera House were extinguished as the city's iconic harbor kicked off events for Earth Hour. The event's Web site reported that hundreds of people lined the harbor for a glimpse of the dimming skyline at 8:30 pm. (then, had to wait an hour before leaving because they couldn't find their fucking cars in the dark!)
Sydney became the birthplace of the Earth Hour campaign in 2007 when 2.2 million turned off their lights, igniting a grass-roots movement that has become a global phenomenon. (and accomplished absolutely nothing)
Other landmarks around the world expected to join the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event were the Egyptian pyramids, Vatican, Niagara Falls (lights?), the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis in Athens and the Las Vegas casino strip. (whoa! whOA! WHOA! What the fuck did you just say?!? 8:30pm in Las Vegas and you're going to turn down the lights?? Lemme tell you fuckers something - if I'm at a hot table, slot or card game and this shit breaks up my mojo, so some liberal, mincing, sandal-wearing, hippy bastard can 'feel' better about the 'planet', I'm coming out with a knife looking for necks to slit....)
CNN iReporter Marie Sager of Los Angeles, California, said she planned to hike up to the Griffith Observatory to experience the massive lights-out event. (it's Opposite Day!)
"A good portion of the city is participating. We'll see the Capital Records sign go out. A lot of these places haven't turned out their lights in awhile (because they're paying for it to stay lit)," Sager said.
Event sponsors (the HELL you say! There's MONEY involved?!?) hoped participating U.S. cities would set an example for the rest of the world.
"We think we are going to have 100 million people around the world sending a message that climate change is real, and we need to take action now (Now! With this THIRD annual event....)," World Wildlife Fund CEO Carter Roberts told CNN (with a straight face).
"The world is watching to see what America is going to do," he said, "because if America acts on climate change, the world will follow." (clearly.....just like the Iraq War and nuclear arms)
Earth Hour events got off to an unofficial start in the remote Chatham Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean where locals switched off their diesel generators, organizers said. Shortly afterward, 44 New Zealand cities and town joined in the event.
Organizers say they hope this year's event will send a message to world leaders meeting Copenhagen, Denmark, in December for a major summit on climate change. (They're already meeting on the subject, aren't they? Do you really have to hustle them to raise their awareness? They're aware! They're aware!)
"We are asking one billion people to take part in what is essentially the first global vote for action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour and casting a vote for earth," said executive director Andy Ridley. (Oh, eeeeeeasy stomach. 'Vote for earth'??!? Goddammit! I thought I was going to get through this without vomiting....here it comes...gotta go!!...)