The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dan Forman
(202) 495-4546

WWF's Earth Hour Returns for 2010 in Largest Call for Action on Climate Change in History

Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas Strip, Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge and other US Landmarks to “turn out” for the planet at 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 27


World Wildlife Fund announced today that Earth Hour
2010 will take place on Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm,
with many of the nation's most iconic landmarks dimming their lights
for one hour in what is expected to be the largest call for action on
climate change in history.

The initial list of US landmarks
taking part in this global climate event includes Mount Rushmore,
Empire State Building, the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas," Harrah's
Caesar Palace and the MGM Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip and San
Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. New Earth Hour participants in 2010
will include Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona and the
Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis. Other local landmarks
taking part include Atlanta's Bank of America building and the Pike
Place Market sign in Seattle, with many more expected to sign on in the
days ahead.

WWF officials said they are hopeful of Earth Hour
participation in all 50 US states, as Americans from every walk of
life, in communities large and small, symbolically dim their lights in
solidarity for climate action with hundreds of millions of people
around the world. The event will have special significance to
Americans in the wake of a US government report from June 2009
which found that every region of the nation is experiencing
significant, adverse impacts from climate change including droughts,
floods, heat waves and wildfires. A study released in November 2009 by
WWF and the insurance company Allianz SE warned that by mid-century,
rising global sea levels caused by climate change could increase risks
to more than $7 trillion in buildings, transportation infrastructure,
and other assets in major U.S. coastal cities, including Boston,
Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

"Climate change
is real and it's happening right now in the US, impacting our water
resources, energy supplies, transportation, agriculture and health,
putting our livelihoods and economic future at risk in every part of
the country," said WWF Climate Director Keya Chatterjee.
"Earth Hour is a way for people across the US to join together with
people from throughout the world to signal their concern about climate
change and send a message about the urgent need for action."

Hour directly links with Department of Interior and National Park
Service priorities," said Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Superintendent Gerard Baker. "Our stewardship mission is to manage this
country's most treasured landscapes unimpaired for the enjoyment of
future generations. This mission is being challenged particularly by
climate change. As stewards of our national parks, especially
considering the challenges of climate change, we must be visible
leaders to demonstrate commitment to energy and water conservation...
and to use our parks to teach the public about climate change and the
ways citizens can reduce their carbon footprints."

number of organizations have also pledged their support for Earth Hour
and will encourage their supporters and the public to take part
including Goddard Systems, Inc., HandsOn Network, American Federation
of Teachers, NAACP, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
National Park Service's WebRangers, American Bird Conservancy, Jane
Goodall's Roots & Shoots, Focus the Nation, National Association of
Secondary School Principals, National Association of Student Councils,
National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Science
Teachers Association, National Association of Neighborhoods, Apartment
and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington and Reverb,
a non-profit organization that greens concert tours.

"Earth Hour
is the perfect time to teach children about climate change and the
steps they can take from a very early age to help reduce their
footprint on the environment," said Philip Schumacher, CEO of Goddard
Systems, Inc., a national childcare franchise and national supporter of
Earth Hour 2010. "As educators and parents, we need to raise a future
generation that will care for the Earth and protect it for generations
to come."

"Climate change is the most urgent issue facing our
planet today, and we need to unite the world around meaningful
action," Chatterjee said. "With a simple flick of the switch, Americans
will not only be sending a signal that they want solutions to the
climate crisis, but they'll be helping to turn the lights out on our
nation's dangerous dependency on foreign oil, and an unsustainable
economic future. That's a powerful message that everyone around the
world will be able to see bright and clear on March 27th."

Note to Editors:
Footage and photographs of Earth Hour 09 being observed are available upon request.

Photos and footage:


Earth Hour 2010 Video:

Follow Earth Hour on twitter:


Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour has captured the world's imagination becoming a global phenomenon. Last year, for Earth Hour
2009 nearly one billion people in 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven
continents turned out. In the U.S. alone, 80 million Americans and 318
cities officially voted for action with their light switch. These
people and municipalities were joined by iconic landmarks including:
the Las Vegas Strip, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings in New
York City, the Space Needle in Seattle, Church of Latter-Day Saints
Temple in Salt Lake City, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the
National Cathedral in Washington DC. International landmarks that
turned off their lights included the Great Pyramids of Giza, Parthenon
in Athens, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Big Ben and Houses of
Parliament in London, Paris' Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower, Beijing's
Birds Nest and Water Cube, Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, Sydney's
Opera House and Christ de Redeemer status in Rio de Janeiro.a

World Wildlife Fund is the largest multinational conservation organization in the world, works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.