Brighton Pier to go dark for Earth Hour

Brighton Palace Pier's familiar lights will be switched off to mark Earth Hour tomorrow night.
Photo Credit : OLU

By Damien Murphy

THE familiar glitter and glare of Brighton Pier will vanish into darkness tomorrow night to mark the World Wildlife Fund’s annual Earth Hour.

The Pier’s new neighbour, the Brighton Wheel, will also turn of its lights, and the strings of bulbs that light the promenade will fall dark.

In the rare darkness, a torchlit procession will wend its way between the bandstand in Hove and the Pier as part of the largest environmental event in the world.

Earth Hour was set up by set up in Sydney by the WWF in 2007 to highlight the link between overreliance on electricity and climate change.

Global landmarks, including Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, will be darkened between 8:30 and 9:30 local time.

Individuals are also asked to turn off all non-essential lights for that hour, in a global event that the WWF estimate will impact 1.8 billion people in 135 countries.

But can one hour a year really change the world, or is this simply a massive PR exercise that ultimately makes a miniscule difference to global energy use?

The WWF say that the point of the Earth Hour is not to save an hour’s electricity, but rather to highlight the impact that the energy we use has on the world.

Darren Currell is the Volunteer Coordinator at Brighton & Hove Healthwalks, which has organised the Torch Walk along the seafront during Earth Hour.

He says that as well as just turning off lights for one hour the idea is that people will “take it a little further and make a change to their lives.”

He hopes that Earth Hour will “make a connection with what people do every day,” such as whether to take bath or a shower and switching off appliances when they are not in use.

There has been much greater interest in Earth Hour this year, and Darren suggests that as people think more about saving money, they are increasingly interested in saving energy.

This is the fourth year that Healthwalks has marked Earth Hour, and the numbers of people taking part have grown from 30 in the first year to 150 last year.

This year, he hopes, it will be that and more, even though the unseasonably glorious weather of the last couple of weeks is expected to break over the weekend.

“Generally, for March the weather is cold and damp,” he says, “so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.”

There will be Zumba workshops, Batak games and a samba band at the bandstand from 7pm when those who want to take part in the walk can register.

Healthwalks suggest people should dress warmly and bring a candle, lantern or wind-up torch.

The walk will set off from the bandstand at 8:30 as Earth Hour sets in, move along the unlit promenade to the darkened pier and back again, where there will be more music.

More information on the event can be found on the Brighton and Hove City Council website.


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