Tag Archives: global warming

Lights go off on Las Vegas Strip for Earth Hour

Officials from World Wildlife Fund will join Clark County, Nevada Commissioner Larry Brown, City of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas showgirls and the World Wildlife panda will convene at the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to officially kick off the Las Vegas Valley’s participation in Earth Hour—a global event calling for action on climate change – on Tues., March 9 at 11 a.m. 

Named a prime showcase city for Earth Hour 2010, Las Vegas will stand in solidarity with cities throughout the world to raise awareness about climate change by getting people to do something quite simple—turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. PST. 

At the press conference in front of the sign, County and City leaders will put the call out to businesses and residents throughout the Valley to join the Strip and off-Strip properties, organizations and government agencies who have agreed to participate in this exciting project.               

Parking is available at The Little Church of the West – 4617 Las Vegas Boulevard South. Beginning at 10:15 a.m., a shuttle will transport attendees to and from the site. Television news trucks will have access to bus/taxi zones on site.

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Las Vegas Freeze Approaches– 16-Foot Polar Bear Appears!

The Palazzo in Las Vegas is uniquely celebrating the holiday season with artic décor complete with a larger-than-life 16-foot polar bear poinsettia sculpture that raises awareness about conservation of polar bears and Arctic habitat. 

While guests of The Palazzo Las Vegas will enjoy the usual sunny weather for the holiday season, from December 9 through the New Year they’ll also encounter the winter décor display anchored by a special Arctic visitor: a 16-foot tall polar bear mother and 6-foot tall polar bear baby, made entirely of a specially-developed white poinsettia named “Polar Bear.”

The “Polar Bear” Poinsettia is developed exclusively by Ecke Ranch, the largest grower in the world of poinsettias.  The strong white coloration of the “Polar Bear” Poinsettia with its bracts of deep green veining is the perfect topiary fur for the polar bear display. The custom, hand-sculpted and hand-painted heads and paws, constructed by Design Solutions, bring the bears to life.  The mother and baby bear, consisting of approximately 10,000 poinsettias planted in sphagnum moss and weighs in at approximately 5,000 lbs. The bears snuggle on a custom-sculpted ‘arctic ice float’ that hovers over a water feature located at The Palazzo Atrium. 

In addition to the larger-than-life polar bears, The Palazzo embraces the holiday season with Arctic inspired décor elements that combine to create the breathtaking winter wonderland display. The gardens are filled with a variety of unique poinsettias and 25-foot silver tip pine trees; an 80-foot whimsical vine transitions to holiday with oversized pine cones, holiday berries, poinsettias and twinkling holiday lights; over 225,000 cranberries donated by Ocean Spray float above a water feature creating a sea of cranberries and snow will elegantly fall from above the décor adding to the Arctic theme. 

The white “Polar Bear” Poinsettias have an important message to promote awareness of polar bears and the loss of their Arctic habitat due to climate change. Ecke Ranch is donating a portion of the proceeds from each poinsettia cutting sold to Polar Bears International (PBI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the worldwide conservation of polar bears through research and education.  This event will serve as the official launching pad for Ecke’s “Pay-it-Forward for Polar Bears” campaign which benefits PBI.   

“In a part of the world that never sees snow, it can be challenging to explain why the most important initiative that we can undertake at this time is saving polar bear habitat in the Arctic. Polar bears need sea ice for their survival, and so does the rest of the planet. The Arctic is a key regulator of the global climate system, and loss of Arctic sea ice will impact people and wildlife around the world. So when we save the polar bears, we save so many other species from butterflies to frogs,” said Robert Buchanan, president of Polar Bears International. 

“Currently the world’s CO2 level is at 385 parts per million (ppm) and growing at an average of two ppm per year. Scientists believe that the tipping point in the Arctic is around 400 ppm. Once this level is reached, the domino effect may not allow the summer ice to return for tens of thousands of years. This of course will not only affect wildlife but the ocean currents and humans in the end. This is not an irreversible situation. Individuals can and must make a difference. It can be as easy as packing a reusable bag when you shop, buy carbon off sets for your flights and purchasing products with limited and/or recycled packaging,” continued Buchanan. 

On December 9, The Palazzo will host the unveiling of the Arctic-inspired winter décor display to kick-off the holiday season and raise awareness about conservation of polar bears. The event will take place at 5 p.m. in The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium and the general public is welcome to join in the celebration.

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Political Bigwigs in Las Vegas Tomorrow for National Clean Energy Summit

Lots of high-energy political figures will be in Las Vegas on Aug. 10 at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0, flapping their jaws in discussions on how to build a clean energy economy. 

In addition to former President Bill Clinton (also rumored to be having a stag birthday in Las Vegas tomorrow- not on the taxpayers’ dime), former Vice President Al Gore and California ‘Terminator’ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the event will also be a cornucopia of public officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.   

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the forum will focus on creating jobs through investments in green power. 

Recent surveys, however, show Americans are turning a cold, if not freezing shoulder to global warming, and are especially irate when it comes to considering or enacting legislation that might result in higher power bills or contribute to the continuing erosion of jobs.

The event begins at 10 a.m. inside the Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Tickets for the event cost $150.  For more information, visit www.CleanEnergySummit.org.

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A Little Less Juiced Sin City

Although reportedly ‘safe and sane’ energy juice drinks are now alternatively swigged in copious amounts nightly by Paris Hilton and her clan to keep them up all night and partying hearty, it’s nice to know that less juice of yet a different type can also be a good thing in the City of Entertainment.  

Although many states reported little or no change in energy use during Earth Hour, officials at NV Energy report that earth-hourenergy consumption during the March 28 one-hour event [click on prior Las Vegas Backstage Access articles: 1  2] in the Las Vegas Valley dropped roughly 3 percent below a typical Saturday night. 

Although virtually every Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Strip powered down their exterior lights for an hour during that evening, it’s really difficult to accurately determine how much of that power drop might have come from conservation-minded residents turning down or off their lights as the company doesn’t differentiate between power use along the resort corridor and residential consumption. 

But saving energy really wasn’t the goal of Earth Hour.  Rather, the idea was a call for world action for climate change, letting policymakers know the people mean business on the issue. 

Las Vegas means business on climate change initiatives and saving energy costs.

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Las Vegas ‘Turns Off’ for Earth Hour

To the uninformed, looking out their window in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. may appear like a prelude to Armageddon or perhaps Apocalypse Las Vegas- dark and sinister, with none of the normal blinding neon to excite the senses. earthhour2

In reality this is not the end of days, merely Las Vegas’ non-hedonistic (say what?) participation in Earth Hour, a global attempt by the World Wildlife Fund to focus worldwide attention on the growing problem of climate change.  

So far, more than 2,200 cities and towns in 81 countries have agreed to go dark in this environmental activism movement. 

And this year, Earth Hour has particular importance to America:  Not only do we have a new president who appears to take climate change seriously, but the U.S. has a chance to redeem itself after former President Bush ceremoniously dissed Mother Earth when he refused to sing the Kyoto global warming agreement in 2005. 

In Las Vegas, hotel marquees on and off the Strip and signs (including the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign), Fremont Street Experience, and all businesses and residents are being encouraged throughout the Las Vegas Valley to participate and take a bold stand on climate change using their light switch as a ballot,  casting a vote for environmental action in the first global election on climate change- giving Las Vegas a chance to expand our definition of green beyond greenbacks, green felt and Green Valley. 

Las Vegas is one of 10 Earth Hour flagship cities.  The effort on the Strip is led by Harrah’s, but even MGM Mirage also has agreed to shut off its lights.  (Just so no one is misled, it’s just the marquees that will go dark, not the lights in the casinos.) 

Here are some Las Vegas locations to capture the experience: 

Earth Hour Las Vegas Official Media Center

The VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, offers a stunning view and vantage point of the Las Vegas Strip. VooDoo Lounge will give complimentary admission to all guests until 9 p.m. for those wishing to participate in Earth Hour.

 “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign

Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager, and World Wildlife Fund’s Nick Sundt are scheduled to “turn off” the sign at 8:30 p.m. using a six foot tall light switch. 

Fremont Street Experience

Lights will go out on the Viva Vision canopy and hotel casino marquees at 8:30 p.m., proceeded by an Earth Hour video presentation and countdown. Glow necklaces will be given to first 5,000 guests. 

A list of Las Vegas participants to-date, and additional events and activities can be found at www.earthhourlv.org.

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Neon Planned Outage on Las Vegas Strip

It’s a very rare occurrence when Las Vegas Strip neon marquees intentionally go dark.  The odds are better for hittingearthhour a Megabucks jackpot.  But on a usually bustling Saturday night, March 28, at 8:30 p.m. local time, running for one hour, Las Vegas casinos, businesses, and residents are being asked and urged to turn off their lights and join 240 cities in 70 countries in support of a global call for action on climate change. 

The event marks one of the few times Strip lights have been darkened for specific occasions, such as the deaths of presidents and entertainers.   The last time was for the funeral of iconic entertainer and Las Vegas resident Robert Goulet on November 9, 2007. 

The World Wildlife Fund is asking all businesses, government agencies, and individuals to dim or turn off lights for their Earth Hour event.   Las Vegas has been designated as a flagship city.  Earth Hour will begin in Fiji, in the Southwest Pacific, and will move across our planet, culminating on the West Coast of the United States.

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