This Saturday, the City will be participating in Earth Hour, an international gesture to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut our carbon emissions on an ongoing basis. Thanks to a resolution I cosponsored with CM Benson that passed unanimously last Friday, the City will be turning off all non-essential lights from 8-9pm, including the lights illuminating the underside of the Stone Arch Bridge. (See here for the Star Tribune story.)
We will be joined by a number of large buildings in downtown: Wells Fargo Center, IDS Center, Thrivent Financial, U.S. Bancorp and the State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters. (Many of these buildings are also participating in the Department of Natural Resources/Audubon Society Project Bird Safe by turning off their external lights after dark during peak bird migration periods, so they deserve even more positive attention than they're receiving.)
Interestingly, it was difficult for us to figure out how to participate in this event at first, because we heard back from staff that the City just doesn't have many "non-essential" lights that we leave on after dark.
Lighting is certainly an issue with many different viewpoints. One person's basic public safety need is another person's global warming source of light pollution. This goes for my youngest son and me as well. When I suggested that we participate by turning off the lights in our house he informed me that he didn't even want to talk about it because it was too scary to even think about.
Anyway, depending on how your household falls on the spectrum of how essential or non-essential your lights are, I invite you to participate in whatever way makes sense this Saturday from 8-9 pm.
I bet Robin's house will be totally dark.