Friday, March 20, 2009

Have Fun in the Dark During Earth Hour - March 28th from 6:30-9:30PM

Earth Hour: Meet like-minded people & be part of this historic event! On the evening of March 28, 2009 people all over the world will turn off unnecessary lights from 8:30-9:30PM for Earth Hour - a global event to show how much energy we can save by just turning out the lights. Each one of us, working together, can make a positive impact on climate change and bird migration…

Join the Sierra Club at the Seattle REI flagship store, upstairs auditorium (222 Yale Ave N) for a forum on the power of turning out the lights. We will have a variety of experts, from University of Washington astronomers to Audubon wildlife experts on hand to discuss the impact of light pollution and steps we all can take. Q&A time, plus lovely snacks & beverages provided!

The following panel of experts will lead a forum from 6:30 to 8:30pm explaining the power and importance of the simple act of turning out unnecessary lights:

Professor Woodruff T. Sullivan III, UW Department of Astronomy and David W. Ingram, Dark Sky Northwest, a Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association. They will show satellite images documenting light pollution from space & demonstrate street and other lighting solutions that use less electricity and do not contribute to night sky glow.

Katherine L. Jope National Park Ranger will document how city lights and increased air pollution are encroaching on what should be our pristine National Parks. In many parks even the Milky Way cannot be seen. The National Parks Conservation Association is a major participant.

Matt Mega Conservation Director of the Seattle Audubon Society joins the panel. Audubon has long decried the millions of song birds killed each year, disoriented by flying into tall office buildings whose lights are left on all night when the offices are essentially unoccupied

Dan Ritzman, Northwest Director of the Sierra Club’s Coal Campaign will document the greenhouse gas emitted and dollars it costs consumers to generate electricity for unnecessary Lights.

Ed Smalley, Supervisor, Seattle City Light will provide an overview of their Conservation program for reducing industrial, commercial, retail and residential electricity usage in general and lighting in particular including an upcoming trial of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) overhead street lights that have a very long life time, use much less power than any other illuminant and produce a downward focused beam minimizing night sky glow.

Mike Mann, Acting Director, City of Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment will also talk about city plans for energy conservation.

People are invited to bring cameras to take pictures of Seattle ’s skyline before and after the lights go out.

Learn more about Earth Hour here.

Two excellent background references on this subject are:

Questions or to volunteer at this event contact: Art Kaufman 206-985-9489

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