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‘Electricity Appreciation Hour’ is nigh

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By Doug Powers  •  March 31, 2012 03:47 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s hard to believe that another “Earth Hour” is almost here. My light bulbs have just barely cooled down from last year when the house turned into the largest tanning bed in the county.

This evening’s Earth Hour will be a little different because we’ll be monitored from on high:

On Saturday, European Space Agency astronaut and World Wildlife Fund ambassador André Kuipers will watch from the International Space Station as each time zone hits 8:30 p.m. — and track to see who on Earth turns out the lights.

Kuipers will blog from 240 miles above the planet as part of the Earth Hour, an annual event that encourages homes, businesses and governments to turn off their lights for one hour to build awareness about energy use and climate change.

“We are living beyond our means. That is not sustainable,” says Andy Ridley, co-founder and executive director of Earth Hour. “We want to unite people around the world to build a sustainable future.”

The message seems to hit home. Earth Hour 2012 has commitments from individuals, companies and landmarks to switch off lights in 147 countries and territories and over 5,000 cities, organizers say.

They should send up this professor next year. It’s the perfect perch from which to find large clusters of skeptics in need of psychological treatment.

I’m doing my part by promising never to turn on this light bulb. Otherwise it’s time for another toast to Edison as well as a tribute to Tesla (the inventor and, what the heck, the band too — the cd player runs on electricity so it’ll fit nicely into the theme of the evening).

Here’s what I wrote last year for Earth Hour, and I stand behind it yet again this year:

The harnessing and generation of electricity is among the greatest discoveries ever. It’s helped make the world safer and more sanitary. Electricity runs the equipment that is used to make the medicine that saves lives. It runs the cameras, televisions and computers that allow us to see evils that are being perpetuated around the world that we might not have otherwise known about — except in North Korea, where you can’t see crimes at night because Earth Hour is mandatory 365 days a year. The list goes on. We should be celebrating electricity instead of pretending it’s some sort of cancer that needs to be cut out of our lives. That’s why my lights will be proudly shining at 8:30 tonight.

Speaking of North Korea, the people who thought up Earth Hour must be proud:

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Fun fact: That one speck of light visible in NK is because Lil’ Kim left the refrigerator open.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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