lights out for earth hour

World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is sponsoring the first earth hour. If you'd like to participate, just turn of your lights (and other excess energy consuming devices) at 8:00 P.M. local time tomorrow, Saturday 29 March, 2008. Since it wasn't highly publicized here in Dublin, I'm not sure there will be much participation. But if the weather clear I hope to take my daughter out to appreciate the night sky. If the supermarket distribution center across the estuary or the school across the street or any of my neighbors turn off some excess lights, we might have slightly less light pollution than usual. Like most kids under 21 years old, she hasn't even seen the Milky way or Andromeda galaxy. She certainly hasn't experienced the kind of night sky I saw while camping in northern Wisconsin and Utah in the 1970s which inspired my interest in Astronomy. The photo above was copied from a slide taken with an ordinary SLR in the Burren, western Ireland in 2002. That's the last time I experienced a reasonably dark sky.

While the reliability of the modern electric grid makes modern IT possible, sometimes I miss all of those times during lightning storms when the kids and adults would tell stories, sing songs or play cards by candle light. I think it will be a fun experience.

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