Sydney, Australia, to put the lights out for climate change

Last month, Australian officials announced that traditional incandescent light bulbs would be phased out by 2010 and replaced by compact fluorescents and other efficient lighting technologies. But Sydney is getting a jump on the energy-conservation action: this Saturday, bulbs across the city will be going dark for one hour. More than 30,000 Sydney households and 1,000 businesses have pledged to turn off their lights at 7:30 p.m. to raise awareness about global warming. “The first commitment is lights off for an hour, then as we go forward, we’re looking to try and set ourselves a target of reducing emissions by 5 percent over the next year,” says spokesdude Andy Ridley of the World Wildlife Fund, which has been planning the Earth Hour for 10 months. If all goes well, the only lights left illuminated will be those associated with public safety. Even McDonald’s is on board, Ridley says, with plans to turn off its golden arches signs. We’re lovin’ it.