Monday numbers – A closer look at this past Saturday’s Earth Hour

Monday numbers – A closer look at this past Saturday’s Earth Hour

- in Original Commentary

– The number of hours that millions of people across the globe took action by turning off non-essential electric lights this past Saturday during “Earth Hour,” an event designed to call attention to the devastating impact that climate change is inflicting on the planet (Source: “Lights go dark for Earth Hour to highlight climate change,” Green Guide – www.wral.com)

8:30 9:30 p.m. – The hour during which the event occurred

12 – Number of “Earth Hour” events that have taken place since the event was founded in Australia in 2007 (www.EarthHour.org)

187 – Number of nations that have participated (ibid.)

Thousands – Number of global landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and London’s Big Ben that went dark during the event (ibid.)

50 – Percentage of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon and the Galapagos, could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked. (World Wildlife Fund at www.panda.org)

25 – Percentage that loss could be limited to if we can limit the overall global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times (the objective in the most recent Paris Climate Accord) (ibid.)

800,000 – Number of years since carbon dioxide concentrations on Earth were as high as they are today (Earth Hour 2017 report at www.Earth Hour.org)

50 – Percentage of global CO2 emissions attributable to the consumption of fossil fuels (ibid.)

1.8 – the overall average global temperature rise since 1880 (https://climate.nasa.gov/)

7 – Of the 18 warmest years on record, the number that have occurred in the last 18 (ibid.)

13.2 – Percentage by which arctic ice is declining per decade at its current rate (ibid.)

7 – Number of inches global sea levels have risen in the past 100 years (ibid.)

30 – Percentage by which ocean acidification has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution (ibid.)

9 – Number of optimistic developments (including the large number of Americans, state governments, and U.S. businesses and universities taking action on climate change) listed in a March 20, 2018 article entitled “9 reasons for hope in the face of climate change,” (https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/9-reasons-for-hope-in-the-face-of-climate-change)

7 – Number of hopeful signs identified in a November 2017 article in The Guardian entitled “The seven megatrends that could beat global warming: ‘There is reason for hope’” – these include:

  • the fast rise in plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products
  • the rapid rise in solar and wind energy
  • the decline in the use of coal
  • the fast rise in the production of electric cars
  • the tumbling cost of batteries
  • rapid rises in energy efficiency
  • positive trends in replanting forests

(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/08/seven-megatrends-that-could-beat-global-warming-climate-change)

370 – Days until Earth Hour 2019, which will take place on March 30, 2019