Author Topic: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?  (Read 588 times)

ryepittimy

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Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« on: December 23, 2017, 11:54:50 PM »
I am posting this at General Astronomy and not in Light Pollution because I see this approximate sentiment written over and over again in this informative article (and not there at the LP forum, and also the men and women who say it here don't really post in LP possibly).  About Once per Week or so, something like this gets stated:

"The best light pollution filter is a tank of gasoline.  Get yourself to some dark skies"

This really bothers me.  Rather than saying, "Function to decrease light pollution indoors AND search for dark skies" we are effectively telling folks, "No point in trying to decrease light pollution near you.  Drive away from it - that is your only real option."  And we have been great about driving away from it over time also: Look at the development of light pollution over time.  Yes they are largely estimates, but it is a great guide to what is occurred, and what we're not doing to combat this.  How long do you think you're likely to drive away from it?  When the 2025 map stays true, there will not be ANY excellent areas to see east of the Mississippi River, and you're going to need more than a tank of gasoline west of it to get everywhere and rear with 'great' sky:<strong>The astronomy community will not perish from lack of young folks interested because they don't care about distance.  It will die because children will not understand what is IN the sky to see.  They'll never have seen stars with their own eyes.  </strong>

So the question is: What do you do besides driving away from it?  Or more to the point, what do you do?   This thread in the LP forum I composed a while back provides some thoughts of how I think we are approaching LP decrease in the incorrect way, and provides a much better method for speaking about it.  But what if, Rather than posting here on CN on real cloudy nights, and after you have completed your celebrating list prep for the next clear night, you spent one hour each month and:

- Changed a light fixture?
- Swapped out a fresh bulb?
- Talked to someone about better sleep based on the ideal types of light?
- Went into a local political assembly and determined who you might talk to about lighting?
- Joined/started a local light pollution decrease group?

Have you looked to understand where to get those tools?  I do.  I have changed fixtures and bulbs, spoke to other people about light at night, and sometimes even gotten streetlights near me shifted.  But for those of you who DO combat light pollution or make changes - great for you; I do applaud you.  This post also is not about you.  But there's a related question to those who don't or have not - do you need various tools that will help you with this?  If so, what?  Ask for what you need.  I will gladly work to create materials with this - but only in the event that you want them.  If no one cares to do anything, I will not waste my own time.  I am busy too.  I have a 'real' job that takes up regular working hours.  I get that.  But talk when you can.  Yes, it is hard.  Yes, it is a long, slow, frustrating process.  But how many hours are you currently spending driving into a dark sky site?  Couldn't that be better utilized observing, rather than driving danged far?

I think I only get sick of (depressed from?)  Seeing the "Fill up your tank with gas" answers, because it will not be all that long before there will not be everywhere left to drive... all while you're not doing anything to prevent it, just driving away from it - and ever further over time in that.  Sending $35 into the IDA each year is not sufficient; so DO something.  It is my hope that this post creates some powerful answers, because I'd love to find people really get angry about this issue, rather than the near-total apathy I feel like exists at the amateur astronomy community with this issue.




lehroldwebbdep

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 02:24:01 PM »
Just a friendly reminder that the Sun Moon & Planets are totally unaffected by light pollution.  If awesome mind boggling perspectives of those celestial targets do not get the kids interested, then there's something else to worry about, in my opinion.

The Planets would be the only game left in town for most folks, myself included, so the time to get with the times I would say.  The Planets are humanities destiny.  The excellent freezing Moons of these gas giants probably harbor life.  What can be more persuasive than that?  Stars!  Who wants em'?!

Adam Rice

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 10:48:01 AM »
Light pollution won't change as long as we have unchecked population growth and a widespread security paranoia about the dark. In the time range between 1950 and today the population of the USA has TRIPLED.

fronenfiten

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 01:56:00 PM »
Time to move to Mexico.

tecretalhei

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 04:16:02 PM »
It all comes down to this: Business + Crime = no contest. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't try our best.

Best wishes,
Frank

settmagganen

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 03:27:06 AM »
Not to mention all the wasted energy it takes to produce all this needless light.

Derrick Matlock

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 03:46:11 PM »
Planets can be neat for the few that have telescopes available, but I don't think they will have the an impact like the milky way can on young minds.

Tony Patton

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 10:25:23 PM »
Maybe more and more people will understand that light pollution affects more than just the night sky. We are beginning to understand how light pollution affects the animals to include people. We stop building projects when we discover it might affect a natural habitat of an endangered species. The more we learn about light pollution, the more we will see how it also is affecting wild life, and even people. Maybe then the Feds will begin enforcing light pollution just as they do for the air and water.

anficonco

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 07:11:09 AM »
People are by nature, afraid of the dark. They like lights at night. Many think a highlylit up city is very pretty.I have only seen light pollution get worst in my 68 years, never less, always more. I hate to say it but I don't see it ever getting better.

Theodore Inlaw

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 08:07:30 AM »
Quote
People are by nature, afraid of the dark. They like lights at night. Many think a highlylit up city is very pretty.I have only seen light pollution get worst in my 68 years, never less, always more. I hate to say it but I don't see it ever getting better.


If it ever gets better, it will probably be the result of a catastrophe..   

While I sympathize with Magic's hopes and desires, it's also a question of priorities, it's one of many issues facing mankind.

Jon

Noe Subeydhi

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 11:43:30 PM »
Dear God, look at that map for 2025.

awesrasa

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 06:16:00 AM »
Quote
People are by nature, afraid of the dark. They like lights at night. Many think a highlylit up city is very pretty.I have only seen light pollution get worst in my 68 years, never less, always more. I hate to say it but I don't see it ever getting better.

from above, I don't see it ever getting better until we can't afford an extra kilowatt hour. my neighbors see me out with my scope, they've looked thru it before. they turn the lights on, I don't hold much hope for humanity as a whole, sorry magic.

ecapwaiwa

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2018, 07:21:43 AM »
Wow... it's a den of apathy and hopelessness around here....

Have any of you ever read this quote? "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

I don't know about you, but I happen to believe it.

But if you believe light pollution will only get worse, then guess what? It will. So it's really up to you. Are you someone who believes that small steps by many people can make a difference? Or are you a hopeless person who doesn't care if the sky gets worse for your kids and grandkids?

therpomercu

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 12:00:51 PM »
It frightens me. I just got interested in astronomy this year. (Always been interested, since a child but I'll say bought my first scope this summer) I'm in north eastern Ohio, and I can say I have never seen the Milky Way at night. I made a comment a few weeks ago on this forum about having trouble finding M31. I can't get enough stars available to get a fix. And I agree with op that something needs to be done, or else I and the next generation will never see some of the things that you, more seasoned veterans, have. I've begun doing research on the internet about ways to fight the problem, so I ask please keep putting up your links and advice so the younger generations can learn what needs to be done, and Thank You!

James Bradmon

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 01:13:51 PM »
Quote
Wow... it's a den of apathy and hopelessness around here....

Have any of you ever read this quote? "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

I don't know about you, but I happen to believe it.

But if you believe light pollution will only get worse, then guess what? It will. So it's really up to you. Are you someone who believes that small steps by many people can make a difference? Or are you a hopeless person who doesn't care if the sky gets worse for your kids and grandkids?


You know, idealistic quotes and shaming people for a quite realistic outlook are not going to change anything. Some problems can be influenced by a small group or even a single person, but those people are catalysts for a much larger public sentiment. Light pollution is just not that kind of issue... No one is dying or having their rights oppressed or causing children to starve. There are FAR more important issues that gain little public traction simply because not enough people are affected. And light pollution only matters to astronomers and the relatively few people who have a light-related sleep disorder. Pretty **** few people indeed.

As far as our posts here, you're simply being melodramatic. I don't see apathy or hopelessness at all, I see realism... and besides a lot of people here do do what they can, including me. But because its an issue of personal property and deeply ingrained human behaviors, so its not even close to a simple thing to change.

Most white light steep sky astronomy is increasingly done in space, where it makes a whole lot more sense, AO notwithstanding. We as amateurs are a fractional sliver of a microscopic niche group of people with very little pull, dwindling numbers and no organization to attempt to foment change. The mass of humanity simply does not care and they will undoubtedly ignore the voices of a few tens of thousands of scatter hobbyists over their own fear of the dark and need to feel protected.
The best thing we can hope and work for is that protected lands remain protected for all types of uses, including astronomy.