Author Topic: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"  (Read 200 times)

Michael Thompson

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 09:34:28 AM »
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Two important factors in light pollution are population density and the technological factor.

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Yes - a good "rule of thumb" is: "number of people is proportional to level of light pollution", and "public works" (public lighting) is proportional to the "economy".

In an article in today's NY Times it notes that while the big cities of the Northern Tier of states are allbecoming more dense in their urban centers, and less "suburban", the Southern and Sun Belt cities are still becoming more "suburban". The Northern cities are growing "up", while the Sun Belt cities are "spreading out".I'm sure that over the coming years the level of LP will follow.

Nearly every county in "upstate" NY continues to have population decline (and forest level increase). The same is true in "interior" New England. Much of this relates to economic decline. The result has to be less LP, at least in the long run. ......same with Detroit.
Now you are undoubtedly correct in regard to up state and western NY, George, but as for New England, save perhaps the remote northernmost parts of VT, NH and ME, I can vouch to the fact that urban sprawl and accompanying light pollution continue to expand..........

BrooksObs[/quote]
Northern CT is getting worse by the year-I second that the entire region is getting worse. My families vacation area in New Hampshire has gotten significantly worse in the last two years, .......

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The coastal regions of New England, except Maine do show some population growth, but a good deal less than the remainder of the USA.

Mass is growing the fastest, but still slower than the rest of the USA. Maine actually had more deaths than births in some recent years and a declining, aging, pop,and the population of Vermont has not changed in 16 years - declining recently; the VT population is also getting older. Even southern NH has stabilized in pop as people have stopped moving there from the Boston area. (refer back to my original posting about lack of additional suburban growth in the Northern USA).

Read the following Dec 2016article on aging and stable population leading to economic stagnation in northern New England (with pop details by state): http://www.presshera...conomic-growth/

This population analysis (https://united-state...ols/10072001/0/) shows a steady decline in the rate of increase in New England in general, and again, all of the remaining increase is confined to the costal areas.

Since LP tracks directly to population and economic level, this has to have a noticeable impact on the area's LP in future years. Combine this with the spread of shielded LEDs, the likely spread of "smart systems" adjusting the light level of each individual streetlight to match weather, time and traffic, and the fact that it is super easy to change the light output of a LED streetlight - I think that there is hope for a general stabilization of LP in the Northeast, if not an actual decline.

In the case of New York, while this comes as a shock to the people of NYC and the immediate area generally south of the Catskills, the metro region is geographically a pretty small part of the state - where again, for most of the state population decline has been happening for over 20 years, matched by a rapid increase in forestation and abandonment of 19 out of 20 family farms that existed100 years ago - leading to an explosion in wildlife and a return to mostly forest species - the moose is back, the wolf is probably back (ADK "coyotes" are mostly wolf DNA now), the bears are increasing numbers and range rapidly, the lynx is back, there is a consideration of re-intro'ing elk from PA, even the state DEC is noticing the cougar sightings - while the birds from the great plains are declining. The same population declineis true of much of Northeast PA and the entire northern third of that state. The one "bad news" issue in PA is actually not that bad right now - gas frack'ing has largely ended (because of the low price of natural gas) meaning all of the massive LP from the industry is mostly gone - for now. Alas, it will probably return.

Jay Garcia

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 10:10:19 AM »
Here's another analysis of New England population from the "New Eng Journal of Higher Education" - good news if you like livin' in the woods, bad news if you wanta job while livin' there - or you worry about getting to an emergency room: http://www.nebhe.org...ors-demography/

I don't think it is a stretch to consider these population trends when projecting the future of LP in the region - again, especially inthe New Englandinterior - away from the big cities.

I don't think it is a surprise that if you want to find dark sky, you need to get away from people. No matter what section of North America you move to to find dark sky, it will mean a reduction in the amenities of "modern life" - and living closer to the 19th century lifestyle. For example, where my 2nd home is in Hamilton Co NY there is only one small grocery store (an hour away), and zero drug stores or doctor's offices. The nearest hospital is almost a 2 hour drive in good weather (and a Walmart is farther). It's a 50 mile drive to find cell phone service. There are plenty of liquor stores .

Rodney Slater

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 11:51:19 PM »
Detroit's LP is bad, and it is a drive to find dark skies.  This has not changed my entire life and I only expect it to get worse.

Sean Schaefer

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 08:22:55 PM »
Success story?

retaweawebs

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 04:11:22 AM »
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How badly did Detroit's light pollution increase in the past few years? Any SE Michigan observers want to chime in? And was the increase more because of the LED's, or the fact that large portions of Detroit didn't have streetlights for a while?

Clear Skies,
Phil


Ohhhhhh... So THIS is what happened! I had no idea. I have been observing from my location in a NW suburb of Detroit (Farmington Hills bordering Novi) and I have noticed over the past couple years or so that no matter how good the CSC has been, I was not reaching the same NELM that I used to for my backyard skies (on a good night used to be ~4.7 zenith NELM). I have been observing consistently from my home since 2012.

I would guess that my skies have degraded 1/2 a magnitude due to this change. I have an SQM but really don't measure my skies at home consistently. One data point I can remember is a reading around 18.8 about 3-4 years ago. I wonder what a reading on clear, moonless night would look like today?

Chad Fithian

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Re: "The Detroit Success Story Visible From Space"
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 12:46:30 AM »
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Quote

How badly did Detroit's light pollution increase in the past few years? Any SE Michigan observers want to chime in? And was the increase more because of the LED's, or the fact that large portions of Detroit didn't have streetlights for a while?

Clear Skies,
Phil


Ohhhhhh... So THIS is what happened! I had no idea. I have been observing from my location in a NW suburb of Detroit (Farmington Hills bordering Novi) and I have noticed over the past couple years or so that no matter how good the CSC has been, I was not reaching the same NELM that I used to for my backyard skies (on a good night used to be ~4.7 zenith NELM). I have been observing consistently from my home since 2012.

I would guess that my skies have degraded 1/2 a magnitude due to this change. I have an SQM but really don't measure my skies at home consistently. One data point I can remember is a reading around 18.8 about 3-4 years ago. I wonder what a reading on clear, moonless night would look like today?
Has this problem been fixed?

http://www.mlive.com..._ford_fiel.html