Sat. March 28th at 8:30 p.m. is Earth Hour - Communities Worldwide to shut off lights for one hour
by Zarakyah Ben Ahmadiel
Office of Environmental Affairs
On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm, Soul Vegetarian Restaurant will be taking part in what promises to be an amazing an inspiring event in the fight against climate change—Earth Hour, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund.
By simply turning off all non-essential lighting for one hour at our locations and facilities across the world, we will join tens of millions of concerned citizens and corporations throughout the world in calling for action to save our planet for future generations.
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights for an hour. By 2008, this movement had grown into a global campaign with over 50 million participants throughout the world. This year, over 1 billion people are expected to participate. Even international landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square will stand in darkness.
Earth Hour represents the world’s attempt to stem the overwhelming tide of global warming and energy overconsumption. In this alarming show of symbolic solidarity, The Kingdom of Yah will raise the standard by introducing the B’rasheet idea into the environmental consciousness of the world. By our participation in this global trend, we can present the international landmark of Soul Vegetarian Restaurant to the world and the global city of Dimona, Israel can join international cities the likes of Beijing, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Las Angeles, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, and Toronto.
As the stewards of The Creation, we must come to understand the impact of our actions in the continued sustenance of the earth and its inhabitants. Currently the U.S. consumes 4,000 terawatt-hours of electricity per year (TWh/yr) That's 4,000 billion kWh/yr. Americans use more electricity per capita than almost anyone else on the planet. Our usage of electricity is derived primarily from non-renewable and ecologically destructive sources such as oil, coal, and nuclear power. In particular, restaurants use five times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, consuming roughly 500,000 kWh of electricity. Therefore, albeit small, the impact of Soul Vegetarian International turning the lights out for at least an hour is quite significant. We must further understand that the consumption of energy by way of the usage of electricity not only puts the environment at risk, but also millions of lives that are affected by the extraction of the base resources and the socio-political consequences, i.e., Darfur, Iraq, etc.
It is written that Israel’s responsibility is to be an example, an ensign to the nations. In the Hebraic understanding, not only does this represent the presentation of Yah’s Image, but also infers the actual embodiment of an idea. Furthermore, from the word tmunah, we are also reminded that we have a peculiar responsibility. We must come to understand that our portion is not like the others, that we must recognize our charge to protect the varied species that compromise Yah’s Creation. In this instance, with the provocative similitude of our collective participation in Earth Hour, our charge to be the light of the world will be best illustrated by turning the lights off.
“The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name”
At Soul Vegetarian East in Chicago, we will host a special candlelight dinner in honor of Earth Hour. From 8:30 until the closing of the restaurant, we will have live acoustic entertainment from renowned soul singers Yaw and Khari Lemuel and an informative presentation on the importance of environmental consciousness by Zarakyah Ben Ahmadiel.