Earth Hour Clouded in Nuclear Angst

Led by WWF, today several landmarks will be going dark to celebrate Earth Hour. It’s a global event that anyone can join.

Among the places that are going to switch off for the planet are Niagara Falls in Canada; Times Square in New York; the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio; Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Big Ben and the London Eye in the UK; the Alhambra in Spain; Eiffel Tower in Paris; Brandenburg Gate, Berlin; Tivoli, Copenhagen; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Kuwait Towers; Milad Tower, Tehran; Davis Station, Antarctica; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

The 2011 edition of Earth Hour takes place amidst a nuclear disaster triggered off by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.

Why Files has an in-depth article about nuclear energy that I strongly recommend. It says:

“Assessing the long-term impact of Fukushima requires us to look at the technology’s unique place in the popular eye. Whether the nuclear industry likes it or not, nuclear carries plenty of emotional baggage. The technology itself is historically linked to the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And because ionizing radiation is invisible, it’s a case where what you don’t know can hurt you.”

Switching off the lights for an hour is a symbolic gesture; switching to renewable energy is a real gesture with a real, positive impact on the environment. Let’s hope this is the message taken home from the Earth Hour celebrations.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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