By Mack Spencer
This year's Earth Hour is being touted as an opportunity to vote for the Earth and against global warming.
Earth Hour is one hour - starting at the same time in each time zone - during which homeowners and businesses are asked to cut off their lights in a symbolic effort to conserve electricity.
This year's Earth Hour is Saturday, 8:30-9:30 p.m. The Calhoun City Chamber of Commerce's newly established Green Committee is asking citizens not just in Calhoun City, but across the county, to participate.
amp"This is a neat and easy way to get into energy conservation and being green,amp" said committee co-chair Sister Judy Sinnwell. amp"It's a good start as the committee gets going and we decide what projects we want to undertake.amp"
County mayors have also lined up behind the effort turn out the lights. Calhoun City mayor J.R. Denton is standing behind the chamber, and Vardaman mayor James Marshall Casey and Pittsboro mayor Reda Bullard also endorse the effort.
All urge their citizens to observe Earth Hour Saturday night.
Earth Hour is a program of the World Wildlife Fund. Started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, the program went global in 2008, when more than 50 million homes and businesses turned out their lights for Earth Hour. Landmarks such as Egypt's Pyramids of Giza and the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, went dark last year and will again this year.
The program is making a bigger splash in this area this year. Tupelo is the only nearby community officially signed onto the program; observance there will include dinner by candlelight at a number of restaurants.
Some 2,400 towns in 83 countries are signed on officially to Earth Hour. Organizers hope for 1 billion participants this year; last year's participation was estimated to have topped 50 million worldwide.