Author Topic: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?  (Read 598 times)

Bryan Sonian

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 05:46:52 PM »
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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 MeadI 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?
magic, I appreciate your efforts to combat light pollution. I've battled lots of things throughout the years, some small, very small victories, but sometimes you just can't fix stupid.

Ryan Wilton

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 06:23:29 AM »
I once was able to see more stars than I can count from downtown L.A. That happened during the early morning hours of January 17, 1994.

Robert Bass

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 01:30:38 AM »
I'm glad you brought this discussion to the general forum, magic612.

It'll be interesting to see what others think on this issue.

Personally, I'll have to side with the others who feel little can be done. My experience with my employer and their new lighting scheme and my utter failure to make a difference was a hammer blow to me.

However, you can't catch a fish if your line isn't wet.

A tiddler or a lunker, I still have to put in the effort if I want to catch anything.

And there are a few fish in my neighborhood I'd like to fry.

akbrevecop

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2018, 03:20:27 AM »
Thanks for the reminder post. I'm fortunate to live in a spot with almost-dark skies, and the view always 'wow's' our more urban guests, but I admit to not spending much time mentioning things I have done, things they could perhaps do in their own homes and neighborhoods, to make a difference.

creasseinicomp

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 12:51:42 PM »
Unfortunately, although it is a very high priority for us, nobody else really gives a ****. Some progress is being made, but it's like making a beach one grain of sand at a time. However, a lot of the new construction and renovations gives us hopes that one day we may at least bring the LP under control, but it will take time.

Ed D

tranasrixpans

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2018, 03:16:59 PM »
This is an important topic and glad you brought it to this forum. I have been reading intently on the Light Pollution forum for a while and I have made some changes to fixtures around my home in response. Just yesterday I convinced my wife that our new deck light, right smack dab in the middle of The City of Boston had to be full cut off. Realistically will this do anything to curb light pollution...? Well NO! But as an astronomer I have "walk the walk" if I "talk the talk". Can I do more? Absolutely! Have I done so... Well unfortunately not enough... I joined the IDA (International Dark Sky Association) and I felt that was a good first step. I hope to try and do more to educate people but as some have said light pollution really only gets a small percentage of the population fired up.However this doesn't mean that we can't make a difference. All be it small. The only thing I can equate it to is resetting our mindset. Much like recycling has been ingrained into our society. I'm sure you will be hard pressed to see people today just throwing their trash on the street, or not asking where the recycling bin is? Light pollution could be something similar if we can make steps to try and let people know the benefits of reducing it. If we can educate, passively most of the time, but push more for active efforts then this can really take root. It only takes a catalyst.. Yeah LED is much less power hungry, but that doesn't mean it needs to be used wastefully. I have seen the building construction industry respond heavily into renewable materials, reduced energy output and even Dark Sky Fixtures. In my past 24 years experience I have seen an industry respond with open arms. It only took enough people to get on board and a few to take the reigns and guide others. Now it's easier than ever to design and build a "green" building. For that I am proud!Please don't give up fellow Astronomers! There is a push out there to improve our environment holistically and light pollution CAN ride this wave. It just needs small steps to fully integrate. Myself as an Architect I advocate on every project for the need for Dark Sky Compliant fixtures on all projects. And I am not shy about telling the client or contractor that I am passionate about this because of my Astronomy hobby. However I back it up with the statement that it is the right thing to do! And you know what.. Everyone agrees.So keep up the fight and just don't give up. If you are an Astronomer, change that light to full cut off even though it will make no difference in the amount of light everyone else puts out! You HAVE to be the example, you may even be surprised who follows.

Matt Hodge

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2018, 04:55:40 PM »
Quote
Quote
My experience with my employer and their new lighting scheme and my utter failure to make a difference was a hammer blow to me.

My town's 'transfer station' (what used to be the town dump) recently installed LED lighting. One would think that would be a good decision, at least energy-wise. Unfortunately, someone came up with the theory that for the same wattage as before, LED's produce a LOT more light. I'll never convince them to turn 'em ALL off when the dump is closed, which is of course all of night time except Wednesday evenings until 7 PM, but maybe I can successfully suggest timers on one or two of the three now in use.....

tessacubadc

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 07:37:32 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?

I have mentioned to you and this forum before that my city up here in the north last year converted to full cut off LED lighting and it made a very significant difference in the amount of light escaping into and polluting the night sky. If this is the issue then for now, at least, I am OK with this change bearing in mind it isn't and may never be like it was back in say 1960 and before when I was young. In those days at my parents home in a suburban setting of North Bay, population 20,000, the night sky on those clear nights would be classed as Bortle Class 1 today with low intensity street lights hung on every 3rd or 4th post and at intersections and no large industries to concentrate more light. When my friends and I looked up and saw the Milky Way in all it's glory we didn't even know what it was but it was awful bright and wonderful to us just about teenagers. I have also heard / read that the LED light is detrimental to wild life and bird life alike, disrupting their normal / natural habits and physical make up but to be very honest the many white tail deer, occasional moose / bear  etc. that I see wandering up and down the middle of the street in front of my suburban home every night sure don't look or act any different including the young of the year tripping along following mom. This lighting issue is rapidly changing, almost daily, what is good today has been replaced next week and I truly hope and honestly think that it is following along the right path but there may never be a complete solution, at least in my / our time, that will satisfy everyone as we are always striving for more and better and we can see this in our great hobby. So I personally, at this point in time, am going to sit back, research, see what comes about and let those that have the hard drive to change the world, change the world ! I will support them however I can as I think it has to be done by some one but not by me !

ivirlocri

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 08:32:34 PM »
For the 'bright lighting deters crime' viewpoint, how about a two-photo poster that the caption reads:

Which bicycle is more likely to be stolen?

The red one - photo shows a brightly lit bicycle leaning against a wall

Or...the green one - photo is totally black

and, in small letters: bright lights encourage crime.

guisamcipen

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2018, 09:04:50 PM »
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but my club and IDA have made some inroads in our efforts to combat LP in our town. This was evidenced by the conversion of the typical cobra lights on a nearby intersection to full cutoff LED. I was amazed at the results. The first time I noticed it my first thought was, "Where are the lights?". I could see the intersection but not the lights that lit it. It wasn't until I was nearly under the lights that I realized the change. Slowly, I've noticed more street lights being switched over. While all this is well and good, there is the downside. Urban sprawl is rampant in my neck of the woods, so while the city is doing it's best to conserve electricity and light, it's being offset by new development and more lights. Also, LED's emitt a continuous spectrum of light thereby rendering our light pollution filters useless. So, while I applaud the efforts of those who fight the good fight, I'd rather invest my time and money driving to a nice dark site.

sennessningwilch

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2018, 03:57:52 AM »
That light pollution map projected to 2025 seems a bit optimistic; given current global trends, a somewhat likelier version is shown below.
Attached Thumbnails

ransgesislu

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2018, 05:50:58 AM »
Quote
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.

Well, I didn't think I was shaming anyone - just being realistic about how people's attitudes were.

"Light pollution is just not that kind of issue"

Not true. I would invite you to please read the link I posted above in my original post, with the words "This thread over in the LP forum I wrote". I has a way to approach this that has NOTHING to do with amateur astronomy, and EVERYTHING to do with talking to people about an issue that affects every person on this planet who sleeps. So we can make this about a wide audience... IF you're interested. You can be mad at me for posting this - that's fine. I hope it gets a fire lit under a few people. We need to work together on this - even if ALL you do is change your own light bulbs. Some people on these forums spend thousands of dollars - sometimes $500 on an eyepiece. Can they spend $8 to change a light bulb in their lamp post so light is directed down? I know what light bulbs to use. Can they spend $20 to change a fixture on their house? I found that fixture at Lowes, and put it on my own house.

"Walk the walk" as Daniel Guzas said. That's not being melodramatic or idealistic. It's taking concrete steps, and having a "can-do" attitude instead of a defeatist one. Make you mad? Okay - be mad. Most people who do get mad about me saying this are probably the ones who haven't done anything and don't want to do anything. They're happy driving away from it, I suppose.And the mass of humanity WILL care, when they realize that all that blue-rich LED light is screwing with their melatonin, and causing them to get poor sleep. But what do I know - I've only been in sales for 19 years, and know how to sell. And I won persuasive speech competitions in college. So I might know a thing or two about persuading people. And with my original post, it was to get attention. Well, I got some. Good. We need that.

And interestingly, if you look at comments after my second one, there's some enthusiasm there, some encouraging words and signs. Melodramatic? Maybe. I'm a theater guy. So what? I've also changed lights on my house, and been working on this issue for the past six years, spending a lot of my free time working to change the issue for others. And now I realize it's about more than that: It's about sleep. Everyone sleeps. Read that thread I posted. We can make this about EVERYONE, not just amateur astronomers. Don't even mention astronomy! Seriously. Just learn about the issue a little more, as I posted in that thread, and then go ask someone if they're tired in the mornings, and if they'd like that changed.

That's how we'll win at this. If you think I'm wrong, fine. Just don't underestimate me on this. I WILL make sure we change how people see light at night.

Count on it. I just hope I can count on a few amateur astronomers to help me.

veworltonuc

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2018, 10:48:52 AM »
I realize that it's not possible for most to escape completely from the effects of light pollution, but just getting out of the worst of it and using nebula filters does make a big difference for the better. I sure as Hell do not enjoy driving for two hours or more just to get to the observing site, then setting up everything. The weather here is usually too unpredictable for much of the year to justify driving that far, so I observe from a light polluted area that is conveniently close but far away enough for me to at least see SOME challenging objects. Driving 100 miles punchy and tired is just a good way to get into a crash on the way home, and the logistics of a such an expedition are impossible unless I have a day afterwards where I can sleep. So yes, we cannot drive away from light pollution completely. The farther we drive, the less often we observe................that is why all of my telescopes see a lot more use at home than anywhere else in the middle of a red or a borderline red/white zone. What's the point of spending as much or more time driving than observing under the stars anyway?

TarasAttached Thumbnails


Chris Young

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2018, 12:10:31 PM »
Quote
Quote

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.

Well, I didn't think I was shaming anyone - just being realistic about how people's attitudes were.

"Light pollution is just not that kind of issue"
Not true. I would invite you to please read the link I posted above in my original post, with the words "This thread over in the LP forum I wrote". I has a way to approach this that has NOTHING to do with amateur astronomy, and EVERYTHING to do with talking to people about an issue that affects every person on this planet who sleeps. So we can make this about a wide audience... IF you're interested. You can be mad at me for posting this - that's fine. I hope it gets a fire lit under a few people. We need to work together on this - even if ALL you do is change your own light bulbs. Some people on these forums spend thousands of dollars - sometimes $500 on an eyepiece. Can they spend $8 to change a light bulb in their lamp post so light is directed down? I know what light bulbs to use. Can they spend $20 to change a fixture on their house? I found that fixture at Lowes, and put it on my own house.
"Walk the walk" as Daniel Guzas said. That's not being melodramatic or idealistic. It's taking concrete steps, and having a "can-do" attitude instead of a defeatist one. Make you mad? Okay - be mad. Most people who do get mad about me saying this are probably the ones who haven't done anything and don't want to do anything. They're happy driving away from it, I suppose.And the mass of humanity WILL care, when they realize that all that blue-rich LED light is screwing with their melatonin, and causing them to get poor sleep. But what do I know - I've only been in sales for 19 years, and know how to sell. And I won persuasive speech competitions in college. So I might know a thing or two about persuading people. And with my original post, it was to get attention. Well, I got some. Good. We need that.

And interestingly, if you look at comments after my second one, there's some enthusiasm there, some encouraging words and signs. Melodramatic? Maybe. I'm a theater guy. So what? I've also changed lights on my house, and been working on this issue for the past six years, spending a lot of my free time working to change the issue for others. And now I realize it's about more than that: It's about sleep. Everyone sleeps. Read that thread I posted. We can make this about EVERYONE, not just amateur astronomers. Don't even mention astronomy! Seriously. Just learn about the issue a little more, as I posted in that thread, and then go ask someone if they're tired in the mornings, and if they'd like that changed.
That's how we'll win at this. If you think I'm wrong, fine. Just don't underestimate me on this. I WILL make sure we change how people see light at night.
Count on it. I just hope I can count on a few amateur astronomers to help me.
How do you know many of us haven't already gone to lights / bulbs / dimmers / timers etc in our homes that reduce light pollution / energy consumption ? I know I have done my part !

chuckgemslerswe

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Re: Do you really think you can drive away from it forever?
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 11:50:39 PM »
Quote
How do you know many of us haven't already gone to lights / bulbs / dimmers / timers etc in our homes that reduce light pollution / energy consumption ? I know I have done my part !

I don't know. But if you read my very first post, I did already say:

<p class="citation">Quote"Now, for those of you who DO fight light pollution or make changes - good for you; I truly do applaud you. This post also isn't about you."

[/quote]

So I believe I covered that, yes? Good for you if you have. Thank you.