Commodity Online

What is so bad about darkness? Nothing, but people want to keep the darkness away and for that they switch on as many bulbs as they want. Look at cities across the globe in the night, their skylines are sparkling with different sorts of lights. Can you imagine Mumbai Marine Drive without those lights in the night?

But things will change for an hour from 8 pm to 9 pm on Saturday. The globe is going to switch off all the light bulbs for an hour on Saturday as part of the Save the Globe campaign.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the people behind the campaign Earth Hour hope to save some energy and help reduce global warming.

So, how will a candle save the globe from ruin. In many ways. The campaign, which began in 2007 in Sydney and this year, is going to be a global event being organized by the WWF.

As part of this campaign, starting in New Zealand, and rolling out through dozens of cities, including Bangkok, Thailand, Dublin, Ireland, and Tel Aviv, the WWF is urging individuals, businesses, and landmarks to go dark between 8 pm and 9 pm.

The impact of this drive is minimal but the symbolic effect is huge. Chicago is Earth Hour s US flagship city, with Atlanta, San Francisco, Phoenix, and a dozen more joining in.

So the green campaign is going global with the Earth Hour.

The same candle lights scenario will replay in several cities across the globe tonight.

Citizens plan to shut off nonessential lighting for an hour in the name of conservation. Restaurants will serve dinner by candlelight, astronomy buffs will be out with their scopes, and musicians will rock out on power from a biodiesel bus.

If participants are expecting a total blackout or a quick fix for global warming, they might have to settle instead for a free energy efficient light bulb and an event T shirt that reads: Good things happen in the dark .

For anyone who has wondered about the wastefulness of the bright lights in big cities, it turns out that some simple fixes do work.

US skylines, particularly in California, have become greener in recent years with the help of new technologies, tighter regulations, and simple changes in behavior.

If you look at the San Francisco skyline at night, it s a whole lot darker than it used to be.

Many buildings now have installed motion sensors to shut lights off automatically, often with the help of money paid into a fund by electricity customers.

California has been a pioneer in energy efficiency, particularly with its stringent building standards.

Those regulations, along with appliance efficiency standards, have saved more than $56 billion in energy costs since their inception in 1978.

But a desire to do more is growing, both among businesses facing rising energy costs and policymakers responding to public concerns about global warming.

The Sierra Club is sponsoring its own climate challenge competition to see which households can reduce their electric bills the most in 30 days.

Still, the Lights Out event has put a twinkle in the eye of amateur astronomers, who expect they will be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye.