Tucson, it’s time to turn the lights off.
As part of the World Wildlife Fund’s global “Earth Hour Celebration,” Tucson was chosen to star in the annual event aimed at supporting climate change. To do this, city officials will switch off Tucson’s City Hall lights on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for one hour. The celebration will take place in El Presidio Park.
“We have been very impressed by how the city of Tucson has been looking squarely at these problems and starting to think through solutions,” wrote Matt Farrauto in an email interview. Farrauto is with the WWF. “It’s really impressive that the city is going the extra mile to make sure that citizens have an opportunity to learn what they have discovered about the local impacts of climate change in Tucson.”
Tucson was chosen because of “leadership in undertaking community climate adaption planning,” he wrote. Additionally, the southwestern part of the United States is vulnerable to impacts of climate change. “As changing climate worsens, so will the extreme heat, droughts, and wildfires that impact the area.”
Farrauto added that last summer was Tucson’s second hottest on record.
“This affects the health and well being of this region because of the impacts of extreme heat on parts of the population vulnerable to heat stroke,” Farrauto wrote, adding that economic resiliency in Tucson is affected, such as potholes in roads and the appeal of the city as a tourist location.
In 2007, the first Earth Hour event kicked off when the WWF inspired people in Sydney, Australia to support it.
“More than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change,” Farrauto wrote.
“It wasn’t long before 35 countries and almost 400 cities and towns were part of the event,” he wrote. “It said something compelling to the world: that the climate challenges facing our planet are so significant that change needs to be global.”
Farrauto wrote that he looks forward to having a fun and safe evening with calm skies and nice weather.
Tucson’s Earth Hour event will have live music featuring a mariachi band and a choir, along with entertainment including face painting, balloon art and a candle lighting ceremony.
El Presidio Park
160 W. Alameda St.
Saturday, March 31
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Also on Saturday (before the event):
The community is invited to attend a summit from 3 to 7:15 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 South Church Avenue. Click here to RSVP.