Read the passage to understand it first. Then try the quiz below to see if you can identify the time. Focus on the x-words, of course!
Earth Hour is celebrated around the world every year. It is meant to draw attention to how much energy we use in the form of electricity and to call attention to climate change. People are asked to turn off all their lights, electronics and other appliances for one hour and enjoy the dark or use that time to participate in some kind of public gathering. In many areas, events are organized to publicize Earth Hour and get people talking about electricity and how it is not only produced but also both wasted and conserved.
The picture above was taken in Queens, New York during the 2013 Earth Hour. The Empire State Building is usually lit up in different colors, but here it is almost totally dark. It may be hard to see because most of the lights were turned off, although not all of them. Traffic lights were kept on for obvious reasons.
The whole idea of Earth Hour is criticized by people who say turning things off for an hour once a year will not do much to slow down climate change. It is a symbolic action, not a solution to the problem of how electricity is generated and used. Many photos are posted online before and after Earth Hour, which means that electricity is involved after all. Some show messages that are spelled out by a group of people holding many small candles. Unfortunately, whenever anything is burned, carbon is released into the atmosphere. As a result, you could argue that more carbon is added to the air every time a candle is lit for Earth Hour.
Clearly, we do need to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere; it is predicted to stay dangerously high for years. Yet if our attention is only focused on carbon going up in the air, we miss the chance to take effective action in the other direction. Of course we should work on conserving energy and using more renewable sources of it, but we should also consider how farming and gardening are connected to carbon. When soils are improved, more carbon is trapped safely underground. The more the most appropriate plants are grown all over the world, the more carbon is kept out of the atmosphere and used in a healthy process. If you are invited to participate in Earth Hour this year, please support plant life at the same time. When you plant a seed or get a houseplant, you help get carbon out of the air and into the roots and the soil.
Note: The passage above was written with the DTN form in mind, so it might not sound completely natural. The point is to let go of the idea that the “ed” ending always refers to the past. If there’s a BE x-word first, then the x-word shows the time. In traditional grammar, BE + DTN is called the passive form. The focus is on whatever happened, not who did it.
am, is, are = NOW
was, were = BEFORE