Dark hour enlightens world

Massive response has prompted some U.S. landmarks and cities to change lighting policies

In what has been called the largest public demonstration in history, citizens of all seven continents turned off their lights for an hour on March 27 to celebrate the World Wildlife Fund’s third annual Earth Hour, according to Myearthhour.org, the official U.S. site for Earth Hour.

Governors and state legislators from 33 states—more than four times the number last year—and residents from all 50 states turned off lights at residences and state capitol buildings to call for action on climate change. Notable landmarks throughout the country also went dark, including The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Empire State Building in New York City and the Las Vegas Strip.

In response to Earth Hour 2010’s powerful effect on U.S. residents, certain landmarks and cities are developing new guidelines to reduce overall light pollution. One of them is South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, which will begin powering down at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. every night.