- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2008

Dozens of candles were lit, electric lights all turned off.

Earth Hour ‘08 began at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Four Seasons Hotel’s main restaurant, joining an estimated 11,900 businesses and 188,000 individuals from Fiji to Ottawa and in between celebrating the second symbolic global event to call attention to diminishing planet resources.

Just how much electricity was saved in the process is anybody’s guess. “Ever single light makes a statement and makes a difference,” Earth Hour.org had pledged.

Similar gestures were made in San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Phoenix, plus smaller cities, but the only Washington participant of record was the Georgetown hostelry. Fire laws prevented taking the entire hotel off the grid, hotel manager Katja Henke said. The upside, however, was that “four dinner reservations were made explicitly because of the candles-only evening.”

Thirty-seven other hotels in the Four Seasons chain were taking part, beginning with the one in Sydney that participated in last year’s program initiated by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia.

Even Google.com opted for a black screen.

Hurricane lamps and votive lights made for a cozy, romantic scene at the Four Seasons. Customers bent low over their plates without complaint. And wine glasses sparkled marvelously atop the tables.

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