"Dare the world to save the planet," the World Wildlife Fund challenges us on its website, www.worldwildlife.org."Participate in the world's largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour."Turn off your nonessential lights 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 31 "in a collective display of commitment to a better future."It's an appeal that radiates all the warm, fuzzy goodness of the adorable panda bear that's the WWF's symbol.Five years after the idea caught on in Sydney, Australia, as a symbolic gesture of commitment to environmental responsibility, Earth Hour has gone global to locales large and small.Fort Worth's on the list of cities committed to turning out the lights, as are Nashville, Tucson, Ariz., and Snoqualmie, Wash.Expect the Illinois governor's mansion to go dark for an hour, along with Chesapeake Energy's building in Fort Worth, the Ghirardelli Square sign in San Francisco, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square, St. Louis' Gateway Arch, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah's and Horseshoe casinos all over.Students plan to get in the act, of course, at places like the University of Arizona, East Tennessee State and Marist College.Businesses, too: Bloomberg, Capitol One, L'Oreal, Gap, even Zodiac Valet Trash in Addison.Organizers aren't advocating a shut down of traffic lights, airport runway beacons or exit safety signs, thank goodness. They're talking about computers, TVs, desk lamps and outdoor lighting.Hold that switch just a minute.They expect big screens to shut off just as the second of two Final Four basketball games is getting started? It could be Kansas and Syracuse, or North Carolina and Ohio State even, with a chance to play for the men's NCAA championship on the line. And fans are supposed to light candles and go all kumbaya?The WWF lists the National Hockey League as an Earth Hour participant, which is in line with the league's go green efforts, including a pledge to "restore 1,000 gallons of water to a critically dewatered river" for every goal scored this season. (bit.ly/ynZkxo)But what will happen at the 10 NHL night games scheduled for March 31? Professional athletes have such superb muscle memory they probably can play with their eyes closed. But a puck would be hard to see by flashlight.Can you tell the folks behind this international event don't understand American priorities so well?The last weekend in March was chosen, WWF's FAQs say, because of the comparable sunset times as the Northern Hemisphere transitions to spring and the Southern Hemisphere to fall. That doesn't entirely make sense if everybody's supposed to observe the hour at 8:30 p.m. in their own time zone, not all simultaneously.But here's another thought: Why make it just a flickering symbol of commitment?Turning off the lights in Texas could do more to reduce combustible energy in July, August, or as summer transitions to fall in September. Why? Because that's when the air is stiller than a rattlesnake waiting to pounce and natural gas is the fuel most used to generate electricity.In March of 2011, wind provided 11.6 percent of the state's energy, that source's highest share of the year, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.On March 26, 2011, last year's Earth Hour, was especially blustery, and 8:30 p.m. was near the windiest part of the day.In other words, why turn off the lights when the cleanest energy source is most plentiful, instead of when it's not?Make a promise on March 31, if you will, to change your energy-guzzling ways. But those who truly want to "take personal accountability for their impact on the planet" will ration their AC in August. Dare ya.