Monday, 2 April 2007

Cate Blanchett, who I reported participating in the official launch of Earth Hour on Saturday night, appears to have become the popular face of the initiative. The BBC has run a story on its Web site about it, again showing Blanchett, and quoting her fulsomely.

Al Jazeera also covered the story using feeds from "agencies".

Sunday night TV news coverage of the event saw Ten, Seven, SBS and the ABC giving air time to pictures and numbers. Blanchett was shown several times saying it was a "potent symbol".

The Sydney Morning Herald, a major vehicle of Fairfax Media which, with the World Wildlife Fund, organised the event, dedicated two whole pages inside the news section to the story. Its coverage included news that "as many as 2.2 million" people turned off their lights on the night. Only 65,000 were expected to participate.

The polling company AMR Interactive contacted 937 Sydney residents between 8.45pm on Saturday and 2pm yesterday and found that 57 per cent had switched off their lights, turned off appliances, or had been personally involved in Earth Hour in some way.

Now WWF wants to make the initative global. Spokesman Andy Ridley said that WWF chief executive Greg Bourne "was confident of garnering world support" for it.

The BBC's story noted precisely the same motivating factors that I listed in my report:

A long-standing drought and serious water shortages in Australia have focused much attention in recent times on climate change.

Full details of the savings would not be known for a few days, but Integral Energy, which serves western Sydney and the Illawarra (Wollongong and environs, a major urban area south of Sydney), noted "a noticeable drop in load between 7.15pm and 8pm".

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