Cities Worldwide Dim Lights to Mark Earth Hour
VOA News｜Science & Health
March 27, 2021 08:33 PM (source)
Cities Worldwide Dim Lights to Mark Earth Hour
March 27, 2021 08:33 PM
VOA News 搶先看
Cities around the world were turning off their lights Saturday for Earth Hour, with this year's event highlighting the link between the destruction of nature and increasing outbreaks of diseases such as COVID-19.
In London, the Houses of Parliament, London Eye Ferris wheel, Shard skyscraper and neon signs of Piccadilly Circus were among the landmarks flicking the switches for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. local time.
"It's fantastic news that Parliament once again is taking part in Earth Hour, joining landmarks across the country and the world to raise awareness of climate change," said Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons.
"It shows our commitment to improving sustainability … and that we're playing our part in reducing energy consumption," he said.
In Paris, the three stages of the Eiffel Tower progressively went dark, but there were few people to watch with the whole country under a 7 p.m. COVID-19 curfew.
The giant metal tower has been shut to the public since October 30 because of the pandemic.
In Rome, the lights went out at Rome's 2,000-year-old Colosseum, while police enforcing Italy's coronavirus movement restrictions checked the papers of a small crowd of onlookers.
Harmful human activity
Asia kicked off the event after night fell with the skylines of metropolises from Singapore to Hong Kong going dark, as did landmarks including Sydney Opera House.
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and Moscow's Kremlin on Red Square also joined the annual initiative that calls for action on climate change and the environment.
After Europe, Earth Hour moved west to the Americas with the Empire State Building in New York, the Obelisk of Buenos Aires and Rio's Museum of Tomorrow among venues dimming the lights.
For this year, organizers said they wanted to highlight the link between the destruction of the natural world and the increasing incidence of diseases, such as COVID-19, making the leap from animals to humans.
Experts believe human activity such as widespread deforestation, destruction of animals' habitats and climate change are spurring this increase and warn that more pandemics could occur if nothing is done.
"Whether it is a decline in pollinators, fewer fish in the ocean and rivers, disappearing forests or the wider loss of biodiversity, the evidence is mounting that nature is in free fall," said Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF, which organizes Earth Hour.
"And this is because of the way we live our lives and run our economies. Protecting nature is our moral responsibility, but losing it also increases our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerates climate change and threatens our food security," he added.
'Impact on environment'
Earth Hour is about "more than just saving energy, it's more like remembering our impact on the environment," Ian Tan, 18, told AFP in Singapore.
But he was not convinced the event, which has been running since 2007, made much of a difference.
"One hour is not enough for us to remember that climate change is actually a problem," he said.
In Hong Kong, people at viewing points above the city watched as lights were dimmed on hordes of closely packed skyscrapers, while in the South Korean capital, Seoul, the historic Namdaemun gate went dark.
In Thailand, Bangkok's ultra-popular CentralWorld mall counted down to 8:30 p.m. before its exterior glass displays went dark for an hour. But inside, shopping appeared to continue as usual.
註 1： sustainability 於本文為名詞，意指永續性，是人們在滿足人類需求與未來發展時，在資源開發、投資方向、技術發展和制度變革中保持環境平衡與和諧的過程
註 2： onlookers 意指旁觀者，圍觀者
註 3： obelisk 意指方尖紀念碑
註 4： deforestation 意指大面積砍伐森林；人為毀林
註 5： spurring 於本文為動詞，意指激勵，鞭策；促進，加速
註 6： on hordes of 意指（人）群
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Check your comprehension!
Choose the BEST answer to each of the questions below. After you finish, highlight the parentheses to reveal the hidden answers.
1. ( A ) What is the main idea of the article?
(A) The lights of international cities being switched off to support climate change campaign
(B) The consequences of climate change in natural disasters and the rise of the pandemic
(C) The schemes of worldwide governments to reduce pollution and energy wastage
(D) The efforts of international landmarks to reenergize tourism and boost economy
2. ( B ) What does Ian Tan think about Earth Hour?
(A) He thinks it helps nations save energy and believes in its long terms impact in climate change.
(B) He thinks it shows the ramifications of human's action but is skeptical of its effectiveness.
(C) He thinks it offers only symbolic gesture and believes it is futile to deal with climate change.
(D) He thinks it helps raise awareness for climate change but an hour without lights is too long.
3. ( C ) Which of the following statements is TRUE?
(A) The Parisians gathered in crowds to witness the lights of the Eiffel Tower gradually switching off.
(B) Earth Hour happens simultaneously around the globe on the same date and time.
(C) The goal of Earth Hour is to help save energy and to spread environmental awareness.
(D) The entirety of CentralWorld Mall in Bangkok shut down to coincide with Earth Hour.