Lights out in Peru for global warming

Citizens worldwide and in Peru will be switching off their lights on March 28, as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2009 Campaign.

“This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming. For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote,” reports Earth Hour on its website. “Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming.”

Worldwide, lights are to be turned off at 8:30 PM, local time.

In Peru, a nationwide campaign, designed to promote the responsible use of energy and raise awareness for the Earth Hour 2009 event, was launched Feb. 3, 2009, by Environment Minister Antonio Brack.

Home to 70 percent of Earth’s tropical glaciers, global warming and energy are important issues in Peru.

The country’s glaciers, which feed hydroelectric plants and provide drinking water to Lima, the world’s second largest desert city after Cairo, Egypt, are in the process of accelerated meltdown due to global warming.

According to Peru’s National Resources Institute, or Inrena, the Andes Mountains have lost at least 22 percent of their glacier area since 1970.

The Quelccaya Glacier, the largest ice cap in the Peruvian Andes, has shrunk by 30 percent in the last 33 years and last May, Irena’s Glaciological Unit reported that the Broggi Glacier, located atop Cordillera Blanca – the largest glacier chain in the tropics – had completely disappeared.

Earth Hour began in Sydney 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 in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

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