Spanish cities observe Earth Hour in style, partial darkness

11:43, March 28, 2010      

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Over 150 Spanish cities turned off the lights between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time for one hour on Saturday in support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative Earth Hour.

Public buildings, monuments and millions of private homes went dark to draw attention to the threat of global warming.

In Spain, historic sites such as the Mezquita in Cordoba, Madrid's Puerta de Alcala, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona all turned off the lights for an hour.

Football grounds such as Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium also followed the initiative.

Public buildings, such as Town Halls all over the country had their lights turned off to highlight the threat caused by global warming. Public fountains were also turned off for an hour to save precious energy. Even the website of Spanish newspaper El Mundo was switched off for three minutes to show its commitment to save the planet.

However there were other popular events. The City of Madrid celebrated a three kilometers 'Race for the Planet' in the famous Retiro Park. The race was held an hour before the lights went off and participants were then given a candle to see them through the hour of darkness.

The signer Jorge Drexler delighted an audience with an acoustic performance, while in the central Mercado de San Miguel all of the diners enjoyed a candlelight supper.

There were other concerts in Sevilla and Granada, while in Cordoba a mosaic was made out of candles and 60 kilos of ecological fruit were distributed.

But the Earth Hour was not just organized events. Millions of families, who acted on an individual level, turned off the lights and lit a candle for 60 short minutes to show that although global warming is a threat on a planetary scale, people can still act at a very individual level.

"It is a gesture, so that people in their homes and with their children or with their friends, or in their companies with their employees can do something to act against climate change," said Juan Carlos del Olmo, general secretary of the WWF in Spain.

Source: Xinhua
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