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// Ireland asked to switch off lights
Environmentalists are calling on the government to send Ireland back to the Dark Ages - at least for an hour. Earth Hour is a campaign to encourage people, businesses and governments across the world to switch off all lights for exactly one hour.
Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature, it aims to reduce the planet's energy consumption, if only for a short period of time, and to raise awareness of how much energy we are wasting every day.
However, Irish promoters are being frustrated by a lack of interest from the Government and opposition alike.
John Darcy, an electrician from Ballyfermot, has been trying to get politicians on board, but cannot understand the apparent reluctance.
‘As an electrician, I see energy being wasted every week', he said. ‘People constantly leave lights and heating on 24/7. In business and apartment blocks, the attitude is: "‘I'm not paying for it, so I don't really mind'".
Mr. Darcy wants the Government and political parties to fully get behind the initiative, and to advertise it nationally. Dublin mayor Paddy Bourke urged businesses and homes to take part, after Dublin City Council endorsed his motion earlier this week to support Earth Hour 2008.
When contacted by Metro, the Department of the Environment said it supported the initiative and would consider taking part.
The very first Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia, last year. Many of the city's most recognisable landmarks were plunged into darkness for the hour, with 2.2 million people taking part.
This year, Earth Hour is going global, with participating cities killing the lights at 8 PM local time on March 29. Businesses and individuals can sign up at www.earthhour.org.