What is Earth Hour? 🌏 💡
What started off as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions to come together as conscious citizens to take action for our planet and nature.
Earth Hour is a coordinated mass effort to reduce electricity consumption for 1 hour. The objective is to call attention to environmentally sustainable action through the collective impact made when individuals, businesses, governments and communities combine electricity conservation efforts. This year, global Earth Hour is on 30 March, Saturday, from 8:30-9:30pm with the theme “For Nature”.
How can we celebrate Earth Hour on campus? 💚
Apart from switching off your lights this weekend during Earth Hour, we have an exciting Earth Hour event happening in NUS! An NUS Astronomical Society and Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) collaboration is bringing you a night under the stars! Stargaze with new and old friends and learn more about the stars in our skies! ✨🔭💫
It will be held at the bridge between Engineering and CLB, from 7.30pm-8.30pm on 29th March. You can sign up at http://gg.gg/stargazingearthhour! We hope to see you there 😄
In the spirit of this year’s theme, “For Nature”, here are some facts about environmental degradation some of which can be found on the Whiteboard at LT27 and chalkboards at UTown until 29th March.
Coral Bleaching 🐠
- Southeast Asia is considered the epicentre of global marine biodiversity and home to over 600 of the 800 reef-building coral species in the world
- Coral bleaching occurs when symbiotic algae is expelled by corals. It results in nutrition deficiency for corals and therefore leads to a bleached appearance.
- In recent years, bleaching events have increased, mainly triggered by increasing water temperatures and sea level rise
- We have already lost 27% of the world’s coral reefs
- If present rates of destruction are allowed to continue, 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed over the next 30 years
Mangrove Loss 🌱
- Southeast Asia has the greatest diversity of mangrove species in the world, and mangrove forests provide multiple ecosystem services upon which millions of people depend.
- In the 1820s, mangroves made up 13 % of Singapore’s total land area. Today, only 0.5 % remains.
- Expanding aquaculture and agriculture has been evaluated to be the greatest drivers of mangrove deforestation
- Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost an area of forest larger than South Africa
- Farming, grazing of livestock, mining, and drilling combined account for more than half of all deforestation.
- In Malaysia and Indonesia, forests are cut down to make way for producing palm oil, which can be found in everything from shampoos to instant noodles.
- In the Amazon, cattle ranching and farms—particularly soy plantations—are key culprits.
- Deforestation, along with other factors such as climate change could lead to the world’s commercial coffee varieties going extinct in the next several decades.
- 1.6 billion people’s livelihoods are impacted by deforestation
Climate Change 🌡️
- Climate change is quickly altering Arctic habitats. The region has warmed by nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900, and continues to warm up two to three times faster than the average for the rest of the world
- In less than 40 years, more than 2 million square kilometers of midwinter sea ice have melted in the Arctic
- Sea ice loss is now posing serious threats to the Arctic’s native species, including seals, fish, wolves, foxes and polar bears.
- What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic…A loss of sea ice means a loss of reflectivity of solar rays and further rises in global temperatures, warn researchers.
Earth Hour is more than just an energy saving campaign. Switching off your lights and taking part in Earth Hour in some capacity is a way to show your solidarity in protecting the environment and to our fight towards environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Here’s to a fruitful Earth Hour which leads us to into a year of greater collective action worldwide for the environment!