Jordan’s Environment Minister Khalid Irani, RSCN Director General Yehya Khaled, Amman City Manager Ammar Gharaibeh and Wild Jordan Director Chris Johnson hold candles during an event marking Earth Hour on Saturday night (Photo via RSCN)
Regional Earth Hour celebrations mixed:
On Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. when many people in both Jordan and Israel were watching their favorite TV programs or weekly football match, others were marking International Earth Hour, when more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries all over the globe commended this special environmental awareness hour be either dimming or extinguishing non-essential lighting.
The action was mooted by environmental activists to make people aware of the threat that climate change is having on our environment as a result of too much reliance on fossil fuels to create the electricity that enables us to enjoy the comforts and pastimes that most people take for granted.
The event went unnoticed for many Israelis however, as it virtually coincided with an important football match being played against Greece in Israel’s national stadium in Ramat Gan.
In neighboring Jordan, however, much more attention was being given to this event which was commemorated by a number of Jordanian government and municipal officials, including Environment Minister Khalid Irani, who led a group of 100 people on a candlelight march through the main section of Amman.
The march, organized by the Ministry of Environment, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the Greater Amman Municipality was conducted in an area where the municipality had turned of the major street lights for the 60 minute period. Environmental Minister Irani was quoted as saying that by reducing both electricity and water consumption, the country can save millions of J Dinars on an annual basis. Jordan has both an acute water as well as energy shortage, and efforts are now being made to promote projects dealing with alternative energy, including wind and solar energy, and for new ways to increase the country’s water reserves. Irani said that turning off the lights for one hour helps bring attention to the fact that increased electricity, generated by fossil fuels, helps contribute to global warming.
In an earlier Green Prophet article, on December 17 on Earth Hour, it was noted that Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities would not be formally participating in this event, although many people planned to do so on a private basis.
Israeli companies involved in alternative energy projects appear to be very involved in efforts to reduce the effects of global warming, however, with solar and wind energy, as well as bio fuels being developed for less dependence on fossil fuels.
As noted in the earlier article on Earth Hour, Earth Hour was inaugurated in Sydney Australia in 2007 and involved a million people and businesses in the metro Sydney area who turned off their lights for one hour.
The fact that this year’s Earth Hour brought together as many as 1 billion people in 88 countries, indicates the importance people now place on energy conservation as well as developing environmentally friendly energy sources.