For those who don't know, Earth Hour is a world event this year that encourages every person and business to shut off all lights at 8 p.m. local time. It's a lovely sentiment and a noble goal. But to be perfectly honest, the timing of it couldn't be much worse.
Whoever picked March 29th as its date needs to take a look at a calendar. March 29th is a Saturday. This is, along with Friday, one of the busiest nights of the week for businesses. People are going to be enjoying their nights out on dates, at restaurants with their families, going to sporting events, etc. There is little chance businesses will be participating in this event because of that.
On the topic of sporting events, March 29th is the date of the NCAA West Regional final in Phoenix. Phoenix is three hours behind the East Coast, and as such, the basketball game tends to start around 5:30-6:00 Eastern time. This means Earth Hour will begin as one of the most important basketball games of the season is ending. The only way college basketball fans will sacrifice the end is if one team is up 20. That tends not to happen in regional finals. Plus, the NBA and NHL have games, and spring training's final day is March 29, meaning teams play night games to get used to the switch before the games count.
Couldn't the organizers have planned this for a weeknight, say March 26th? It would have worked just as well, with far fewer hurdles to overcome. This in turn would make Earth Hour more effective. With little incentive to go out and few sporting events, it would be much easier for lights to go out. There will still be some successes, but this will likely not have the effect its organizers are hoping for. It's a shame, because it's a great idea and could work with good planning. But the planning leaves much to be desired, and it will take a lot of luck to pull this off.
My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy Dan Fogelberg.