For one hour on March 28, the lights will go down in SMU’s historic Dallas Hall as part of Earth Hour 2009. Hundreds of cities are expected to participate in the observance at 8:30 p.m. local time.
SMU community members will gather on the Main Quad from 8:30-9:30 p.m. to reflect on power usage and climate change. Individuals are also being encouraged to turn off their own lights during that time.
The building joins several other Dallas icons in the voluntary blackout Saturday night. The lights of Reunion Tower, the red neon Pegasus atop the Magnolia Hotel and the green argon outlines of the Bank of America Tower all will go dark. Street lights, traffic lights and other safety lighting will not be affected.
Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. By 2008 the message had gone global, with 50 million people participating worldwide, as well as such international landmarks as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca-Cola billboard in Times Square.
Earth Hour organizers have set a goal of 1 billion individual participants for 2009.