Author Topic: Light Pollution Saddens Me  (Read 264 times)

Dennis Collins

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Re: Light Pollution Saddens Me
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 08:20:30 AM »
Light pollution enables us to understand what it was like for Native Americans. Just a slow, steady process of being defeated like a sports team that goes 0-16. Every observing site I've ever used gets a little brighter every year.

I think LED lighting is accelerating the damage - it makes it far cheaper to light the outdoors. Governments love to install street lighting up the wazoo as a spending boondoggle.

In this area it's a big fad for homeowners to spend a fortune on landscaping and then have a lighting array to light it up at night so they can see from inside the house.

We're lucky in the northeast to have northern Maine nearby. It's still dark if you find a place with no people! But some of the smaller towns up there have light domes now, for truly black skies you have to get away from the nearest small town.

otisover

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Re: Light Pollution Saddens Me
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 02:17:00 PM »
It is true that the history of lighting is that whenever improvements in efficiency take place, much of the anticipated
reduction in energy consumption is lost to increased light pollution instead. Unless amateur astronomers do something differently than they have in the past, history will repeat itself. I put this squarely in the lap of amateur astronomers, because if we don't speak up, who will?

The invention of the interstate has allowed us to put off the day reckoning for decades. Interstate highways allowed us to travel farther faster to dark sky sites than would have otherwise been possible. Now with many people literally driving HOURS to get to a dark sky site, some people can't get to one at all.

noerivatat

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Re: Light Pollution Saddens Me
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 03:08:38 PM »
Quote
It is true that the history of lighting is that whenever improvements in efficiency take place, much of the anticipated
reduction in energy consumption is lost to increased light pollution instead. Unless amateur astronomers do something differently than they have in the past, history will repeat itself. I put this squarely in the lap of amateur astronomers, because if we don't speak up, who will?

The invention of the interstate has allowed us to put off the day reckoning for decades. Interstate highways allowed us to travel farther faster to dark sky sites than would have otherwise been possible. Now with many people literally driving HOURS to get to a dark sky site, some people can't get to one at all.

I don't know about putting the onus on amateur astronomers. The professional,royal,government astronomers who most obviously were viewed as important by the government had to move as cities got brighter.Astronomy may still get millions of dollars but it is really seen as unimportant by the vast majority in or out of authority.

Looking at the stars is viewed as something only done by a few oddballs now,and it has been that way for many years.There are too many people too invested in profiting in some way from more and more and more lights to expect a return to dark skies. Indeed even expressing a desire for darker skies leads to derision and catcalls in many venues or forums. Responses include "move to North Korea" and they use the light pollution map as a POSITIVE indication of wealth and great economic activity,rather than seeing the waste of energy.

I see only two likely scenarios for less bothersome lighting:reductions based on public belief that bad lighting somehow ruins your health(there are some studies pointing that way) and pressure to save money through better,not just brighter, lighting.But most think brighter lights ARE better. And it will take horrendously expensive electricity rates to cause people today to cut back on "security" lighting. The attitudes of people today are vastly different from my grandmother's admonition to "turn off the light if you're not in the room" and other thrifty habits.

Jeremy Fokused

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Re: Light Pollution Saddens Me
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2018, 12:19:51 PM »
I live in one of the burbs of Indianapolis and all of them are pretty wasted out. Between the lights and my (4) 150+ yr old Oak trees, I am in a challenging situation.