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Mar 29, 2009

Lights gone off from 8.30 to 9.30 pm

The tiny flames of candles, chimneys swaying overhead and music enveloping the whole ground may have initially suggested a grand celebration. Not quite. A large section of Coimbatore city, mostly youngsters, had converged on Atmos, the resto café on Race Course Road, to observe Earth Hour from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. on Saturday. About 40 bulbs and 20 fans were switched off on a warm summer evening.
And, no one complained, because it was for a cause. Coimbatore joined the global community in seeking action to check climate change. Apart from individuals, institutions and commercial establishments pitched in to show their concern for the environment. Prominent among the institutions was the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

At the Oxford Bookstore and Cha Bar on Trichy Road, Nature enthusiasts wrote in about 100 words on the topic “What Does Earth Mean to You” and dropped it at the store before 9.30 p.m. on Saturday.

Residents’ Awareness Association of Coimbatore sent out e-mails about Earth Hour, reminding its mail friends to switch off lights for an hour from 8.30 p.m. to participate in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative.

The mail says Earth Hour is a global climate change initiative of WWF when corporates, governments and individuals switch off lights for an hour as their support to the need for action on climate change. In 2007, 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off the light for an hour. This year, over 60 countries have given their support to observe Earth Hour.
The WWF hopes the campaign will reach out to more than one billion people in 1,000 cities around the world. Atmos also had sent mails and SMS about the Earth Hour event at the café.
Visitors wrote down their views on climate change and environment on a board placed at the entrance. They also had organic food to mark the occasion.
As a grand finale to the Earth Hour campaign underway for more than a week at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), students and faculty of the university joined to form a human chain holding lighted candles from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

This was to coincide with the Earth Hour when 74 countries of the world turned off lights and appliances for an hour to create awareness about the need for action on climate change.
TNAU was one of the few institutions outside of Delhi and Mumbai to sign up for the cause.
Green Wings, the student association of the university, also organised a live music concert by the students on environmental issues.

The university put out the message ‘Switching off your lights is a Vote for Earth and leaving them on is a Vote for Global Warming’.

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