Author Topic: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?  (Read 127 times)

Chris Jiles

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Title change: <strong>If I had the ability to ban nuisance lighting.  </strong>

If I where terribly influential (and maybe very wealthy) who would I begin talking to about banning nuisance lighting ?  The Department of Energy ?  If not, who ?  ...I want to start a calm but persistent war.  I would need the aid of all the astronomy clubs and CN.
Problem: Too a lot of us are apathetic.  Perhaps even a little spineless.  I was thinking about creating a massive deluge of petitions delivered to the correct agencies.  Perhaps we can use one of these simpler to utilize petition sites like Credo (undecided).  There's another one using a butterfly as it's symbol, but I do not like it.  Everyone would have to get off their duff and sign the petition or petitions.  Could I use some help ?  Sure.  Come on everyone, what do you believe ?

Alan

Yeah I know we can not totally get rid of it but we might make a noticeable difference .



Marlin Riewer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 10:40:17 AM »
Alan,

 The most important ways to fight LP is with public education, and with anti-LP laws. People, including many politicians,just don't understand the issues (environmental, health, efficiency, and oh yes, viewing a beautiful night sky). In the USA, the most impact would come from local and state government, because they control the law that impacts most offendinglighting. The Federal Government has much less impact, with the exceptionbeing lighting on Federal land - mostly national parks, federal prisons, and military bases (airports? OSHA lighting regulation for gas &amp; oil drilling?). Another potential Fed impact would be lighting along the borders, mostly the southern border. Beyond government, you can approach business leaders. For example, Wal-Mart is already aware of LP and uses shielded parking lot lighting, but other businesses are not.

erbarmauhump

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 10:07:10 AM »
I wonder if there could be a way to get a one hour moratorium by law where all outside lighting has to be shut off. Naturally, this would have to be on a more local basis. Have it at a time when there are good things in the sky for people to just look up and see. (I know, any sky could do, but some times are better than others). Then, during that hour, encourage people to just go outside and look at the sky to see what they are missing.

izweekwardmas

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 01:40:43 PM »
Re: "One hour moratorium" That would be like pulling teeth without novacaine. People are afraid of the dark.

Anton Yardley

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 09:32:55 PM »
You can't really stop allot of it for safety reasons. What I would do is make laws that advertising and architectural lighting should be turned off at 10:00. I would also havemotion detectors made mandatory for parking lotsthat are lit all night with no or an occasional car in them. The motion detectorswould also turn on at 10:00. Then there would be laws making full cut off fixtures mandatory. Laws against lights pointing up. Laws limiting brightness. Then I would get a lawyer to fight law suits from the utility companies, people that had something bad happen because they couldn't see, the list would go on....

Christopher Hess

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:24:44 PM »
I HATE new laws in general, and many other people are starting to resent the nanny state regulating every detail of our daily lives. I think that in the long run, (and unfortunately, the long run isn't a quick fix,) the best route to lessen light pollution is public education. If the general public can be brought to understand that their safety isn't dependent on just the QUANTITY of light, and how much safer and more pleasant their neighborhoods can be with well shielded lights of a reasonable brightness, and how much energy can be saved at the same time, real progress can be made. Public attitudes and peer pressure have probably worked as well or better than any laws or government regulation to reduce smoking, excessive drinking, and littering, etc.
 Occasionally, there's a good newspaper or magazine article, but it can be a problem for us "little people" as individuals to use those routes. Sometimes the subject can be brought up in other, non-astronomical newsgroups in the course of a related discussion. Of course, we don't want to be obnoxious with off topic posts in other groups, but occasionally a conversation in another group can move in a direction where such things can be brought up. Also, other groups will often have an "off topic" or "rants" forum, as does this one.
 Marty

ocgisfulctel

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 03:59:00 AM »
Pima County AZ/Tucson addresses light pollution.

http://ilsr.org/rule...llution/2466-2/Scott

rubnirootcount

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 06:43:09 PM »
The lighting code for Tucson, Arizona, has been successful and serves as a good example. If I had to start from scratch, I would have two rules. The first would be that the direct beam from a light source may not escape your property on the sides and rear and may not extend past the middle of the street in front. The second would be an intensity limit at your property linefor reflected light. My latest peeve is electronic billboards. They are much brighter than the old fashioned kind.

Mayur Wilson

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 11:47:23 AM »
There's a lot of talk about educating the public, but I don't see it on ABC, CBS, NBC etc at prime time. I don't see it on the front page of any major newspapers.
That's about what it would take to get some real results. Sure I watched The City Dark, but the local PBS station aired it at 10 P.M.  People are starting to turn off the television at that time.
I don't think people really want to be educated about it and believe it or not a lot of people don't even use computers like the guy up the road . . . What about him ? Well he has about 40 acres with a multitude of dead tractors and cars on it. He has no less than 4 of the old 175 watt yard lights. I think we're up against a bunch of stubborn, inconsiderate people with tiny I.Q.s
Someone mentioned a safety issue so I'm putting in a time exposure photo taken from my rural home. About 75% of the lights you see are on privately owned land, and are not needed for safety. They just like to leave them on for some blasted . . . . . now I'm going to get angry, so I'll just show you the photo which is only about 1/5 of the panorama.

Note: A lot of these lights are below me. The view is West toward Colorado Springs. If anyone wants to use the photo, be my guest

rentireacen

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 01:39:06 AM »
Quote
I HATE new laws in general, and many other people are starting to resent the nanny state regulating every detail of our daily lives. I think that in the long run, (and unfortunately, the long run isn't a quick fix,) the best route to lessen light pollution is public education. If the general public can be brought to understand that their safety isn't dependent on just the QUANTITY of light, and how much safer and more pleasant their neighborhoods can be with well shielded lights of a reasonable brightness, and how much energy can be saved at the same time, real progress can be made. Public attitudes and peer pressure have probably worked as well or better than any laws or government regulation to reduce smoking, excessive drinking, and littering, etc.
 Occasionally, there's a good newspaper or magazine article, but it can be a problem for us "little people" as individuals to use those routes. Sometimes the subject can be brought up in other, non-astronomical newsgroups in the course of a related discussion. Of course, we don't want to be obnoxious with off topic posts in other groups, but occasionally a conversation in another group can move in a direction where such things can be brought up. Also, other groups will often have an "off topic" or "rants" forum, as does this one.
 Marty


Marty,

First, refer to the long discussion of sources of LP that we just had.

I'm convinced that the major cause of sky glow (but not local LP - as in the guy next door's yard light - but that is a minor issue for me) is street lighting, with large business lighting and sports lighting as the next cause. Both of those can only be addressed by new laws (already covered in some states and localities).... because .... the street lights are owned by the governments (for the most part) and all they do is follow the law. While some businesses (Wal-Mart for example) have been responsible enough to install shieldedparking lot lights, most will only respond to a legal requirement, with the same being true of schools, etc. In my area (at least just to the south in PA) an new and MAJOR source of LP is gas frack'ing. When our local public observatory requested that they not flare nearby wells on dark of the moon weekends they basically said "get lost". I'm convinced that the LP from the energy industry (frack'ing in our area) can be controlled - but they are not going to do anything unless forced to by law.

As for "regulating our daily lives" - if someone is shining light on *my* property without my permission, and refuses to stop when I ask them to shield their lights, I most certainly want a light trespass law to control that. I see it as no different than a law to keep their animals off my property, or keep sound down to a reasonable level, etc.

Jason Hillyer

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 07:50:52 PM »
Quote
Pima County AZ/Tucson addresses light pollution.

http://ilsr.org/rule...llution/2466-2/Scott

Pima county can pull that off because they have so many observatories there. The rest of us are out of luck.

xacypcheati

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 06:13:10 AM »
Quote
Quote

I HATE new laws in general, and many other people are starting to resent the nanny state regulating every detail of our daily lives. I think that in the long run, (and unfortunately, the long run isn't a quick fix,) the best route to lessen light pollution is public education. If the general public can be brought to understand that their safety isn't dependent on just the QUANTITY of light, and how much safer and more pleasant their neighborhoods can be with well shielded lights of a reasonable brightness, and how much energy can be saved at the same time, real progress can be made. Public attitudes and peer pressure have probably worked as well or better than any laws or government regulation to reduce smoking, excessive drinking, and littering, etc.
 Occasionally, there's a good newspaper or magazine article, but it can be a problem for us "little people" as individuals to use those routes. Sometimes the subject can be brought up in other, non-astronomical newsgroups in the course of a related discussion. Of course, we don't want to be obnoxious with off topic posts in other groups, but occasionally a conversation in another group can move in a direction where such things can be brought up. Also, other groups will often have an "off topic" or "rants" forum, as does this one.
 Marty


Marty,

First, refer to the long discussion of sources of LP that we just had.

I'm convinced that the major cause of sky glow (but not local LP - as in the guy next door's yard light - but that is a minor issue for me) is street lighting, with large business lighting and sports lighting as the next cause. Both of those can only be addressed by new laws (already covered in some states and localities).... because .... the street lights are owned by the governments (for the most part) and all they do is follow the law. While some businesses (Wal-Mart for example) have been responsible enough to install shieldedparking lot lights, most will only respond to a legal requirement, with the same being true of schools, etc. In my area (at least just to the south in PA) an new and MAJOR source of LP is gas frack'ing. When our local public observatory requested that they not flare nearby wells on dark of the moon weekends they basically said "get lost". I'm convinced that the LP from the energy industry (frack'ing in our area) can be controlled - but they are not going to do anything unless forced to by law.

As for "regulating our daily lives" - if someone is shining light on *my* property without my permission, and refuses to stop when I ask them to shield their lights, I most certainly want a light trespass law to control that. I see it as no different than a law to keep their animals off my property, or keep sound down to a reasonable level, etc.
Points well taken. Even while typing my first post in this thread, I was thinking it would be nice to have some legal recourse against a selfish, delusional jerk neighbor that wants floodlights pointed outwards from every corner of his house. Still, I think the most basic foundation for reducing light pollution is public education. When the majority of the public is against some type of behavior, and that behavior is visible and obvious, it becomes much easier to eliminate or minimize that behavior.
                                       Marty

miswalltile

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 05:42:07 AM »
Sadly, I must side with poster 'wavefront' on this issue. If we just step back for a moment and look dispassionately at the situation it quickly becomes apparent that any belief of our ever having a major impact on today's light pollution situation on a countrywide basis is just so much pie in the sky dreaming. While our arguments in favor of light pollution's restriction may sound logical and fully justifiable to us on many levels, to the general public it is only viewed as so much hare-brained ravings of environmental radicals, or a hobbyist lunatic fringe. One can never hope to challenge this problem significantly through sweeping government legislation.Just look at a broadly scientifically validated challenge facing Americans today like global warming/climate change. A 2013 survey by the Yale University School of Forestry &amp; Environmental Studies found that about a quarter of all Americans still don't even believe climate change is real and their numbers are growing! At the same time only a half of the U.S. population feel "somewhat worried" about the consequences of it in their lifetimes! In a society with that sort of environmentally irresponsible mind set how can you seriously expect folks will give a hoot when it comes to imposing major restrictions on outdoor lighting/light pollution? As long as our urban sprawl continues and Americans have an innate fear of the dark nothing will change for the better.

My compliments go out to those who are willing to fight the good fight, but at the same time I already know the final outcome of the battle.

BrooksObs

kocewaffre

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 121
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 12:09:04 AM »
Just a quick warning before this goes further, this topic is about light pollution. Comparing it to other issues may seem fine but those can become extremely volatile as viewpoints are very polarized. Thus, please make further posts about light pollution and leave the other subjects out of the discussion.

sdelbapaglo

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: If I had the power to ban nuisance lighting where would I start ?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2018, 07:13:48 AM »
Quote
Just a quick warning before this goes further, this topic is about light pollution. Comparing it to other issues may seem fine but those can become extremely volatile as viewpoints are very polarized. Thus, please make further posts about light pollution and leave the other subjects out of the discussion.


Bless you.