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Swedes turn off the lights for the environment

TT/The Local/pvs · 27 Mar 2011, 10:26

Published: 27 Mar 2011 10:26 GMT+02:00

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Between 8.30 to 9.30pm on Saturday evening local time the clocks ticked to candle light in many homes across the country as a reminder to protect the environment.

Earth Hour is an initiative which began in Australia in 2007 and has since spread around the globe with Sweden joining up in 2009. This year, a record 131 countries reported that they joined the cause.

While Earth Hour has the obvious effect of saving electricity, the event is not intended as an energy conservation campaign.

"No, it's a visual manifestation, a signal to politicians to take climate issues seriously," said Victoria Olausson, project manager for Earth Hour in Sweden.

It is not only private homes that are plunged into near darkness, with municipalities, businesses, schools and other institutions all following suit and turning off the lights to a greater or lesser extent in a show of support.

"Furthermore there are a hundred or so activities around the country. In Vaxjö they serve a 'climate soup', in Karlstad Cathedral they performed a 'Requiem for a light bulb' and stargazing was organized in several places," Olausson said.

Victoria Olausson is convinced that the campaign gets people involved in the cause.

"Earth Hour has really spread to the broad base of the population, not just to the already initiated and the save the environment crowd. It is something that people can talk about and relate to," she said.

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While Sweden joined up in full to Earth Hour in 2009, King Carl XVI Gustaf showed the way back in March 2008 when ordered the royal palaces in Stockholm to turn off the lights in aid of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and to highlight energy use and climate change.

Ulriksdal Palace and the King's home Drottningholm Palace joined Stockholm Royal Palace in the centre of the city in cutting the lights for an hour.

The King is honorary chair of the WWF in Sweden.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:20 March 27, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
....we would have turned our lights off too - if it wasn't for the fact that Vattenfall beat us to it with an 8-hour power cut!
11:35 March 27, 2011 by Keith #5083
At the risk of appearing anti-social or against the 'feel good factor trend' of making a minimum effort to appear eco-friendly, what were/are the polluting effects of all those nasty smelly candles?

Was it just lights that went off or all the electric in the house? A token effort or a real effort?

If we want politicians to take climate issues seriously - we should show them how. Show them how not doing so affects their received votes.
13:17 March 27, 2011 by glamshek
The environment will get better if Swedes embrace Islam. The disruptions that are hitting the world at present are the true divine sign which were foretld already by Islam.
15:22 March 27, 2011 by Eagle63
@ #3: Sweden will never embrace islam; it would mean a return to medieval times. Islam is really not compatible with a modern society.

Look at all those Islamic countries; there's nothing but turmoil, impoverishment and lack of personal freedom for their citizens; its a dead end.

But seriously; al these useless eco-actions are beginning to have the opposite effect on me; I turned EVERY the light on in the house..

AND, instead of buying a silly economy-box I'm planning to buy a Big Car instead..

15:53 March 27, 2011 by GLO
I was sure to turn on ALL my Christmas Lites. Thank you ......
15:53 March 27, 2011 by Valdemaratterdag

I think the Swedes need look no further than their own Norse religion. All this is foretold in Ragnarök: the final destiny of the gods.

Swedes need to embrace their heritage and the one true religion.
17:22 March 27, 2011 by krattan

It certainly would be interesting. Then we could all go to Paris for some of the good old fashioned rape and pillaging.
21:49 March 27, 2011 by Ivan Juric
@#3 why is it that most who want to promote Islam don't want to live in an Islamic country.....go and live in Saudi Arabia and you can have all the Islam you want.
22:03 March 27, 2011 by Kevin Harris
The most environmenatlly friendly religion has got to be Wicca.

Wiccan principle number two (there are thirteen) mentions "..... responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature in ecological balance ...."

Wiccans are way ahead of other religions (including Islam Glamsheck) for their green credentials; so if you are really serious about Earth Hour, it's the Wiccan Way for you.
11:54 March 28, 2011 by Ranjit T Edward
Well said, Ivan Juric!

glamshek, I can gift you a free ticket back to S.A if you will promise not to come back..

Wiccan is the way to go..and the way ahead.
13:31 March 28, 2011 by LeoKinmann
all you folks, have some humor. Obviously glamshek is only trolling around. Eagle63, if the modern society returned to medieval age then you can bet it must be very environmental lol.
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