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Column: Join in on “Earth Hour 2019” tonight

Earth Hour 2019 is a challenge designed to bring awareness to climate change and other problems facing the planet. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Hey, DMV, what are you doing Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.? I hope wherever you are, you will be able to participate in “Earth Hour 2019.” This is an annual worldwide event that brings attention to our planet and nature.

Participating is as easy as turning off all lights to save energy and reduce light pollution. We are going to turn off all topside ship’s lights on board Azamara Pursuit. As a result, the guests and crew will be treated by me to an hour of stargazing in the dark skies of the Atlantic Ocean to experience what ancients mariners did — a jet black sky at sea.

We need events like this to remind us that we — humans — are just part of the planet, not its rulers or the sole lifeforms that inhabit it. We are the first generation of humanity to KNOW that we are destroying species and their habitats and inflicting great harm on the planet itself — and ourselves — through climate change.

Humanity must act responsibly toward the planet by eliminating plastics in the ocean, drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions and protecting forests, seashores and wildlife habitats. Consider this thought: Planet Earth does not need us — we need Planet Earth.

Currently, we are the only known planet in the entire observable Universe that has life. Our planet is a very, very special and vulnerable place. We need to become better caretakers of our planet or suffer the real and devastating consequences of not doing so.

The current condition of our planet isn’t fake news, a conspiracy of the elite or a hoax by China. It is real and verifiable in the scientific data collected daily by scientists around the world. Sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are rising and ice is diminishing.

Humanity and its governments must take appropriate action now to mitigate and eventually reverse the above trends. To not do so puts all life on this planet at peril.

So whatever you are doing tonight at 8:30 p.m., pause for an hour to think about the planet that gives you life, what you can do to help protect it — and ultimately ourselves.

Follow me at Twitter @skyguyinva and my daily blog at www.whatsupthespaceplace.com to keep up with the latest news in astronomy and space exploration. You can email me at skyguyinva@gmail.com.

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