View Full Version : Light Pollution

24-02-2009, 08:54 PM
I just came across this article:

New Zealand town is in the dark — and proud of it (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_new_zealand_embracing_the_dark)

And it reminded me that there was a time I was massively for combatting light pollution. I don't know about people here, but I live outside of Stratford and it is truely and ugly site seeing a big artifical orange glow ignite the night sky.

What is worse, is we could quite easily see some spectacular night skies if we reduced light pollution. I've been to New Zealand, and the one thing that really struck me was the wonderful night skies you could see there. I'm sure there's all sorts of "health and safety" concerns to having less light, and people generally feel safer. But we're sacrificing sooo much!

Of course, there's always the argument that less electricity being burned will help save the environment, and our tax pennies.

Who's with me?

Mr O
24-02-2009, 10:28 PM
When you think about the past ways and analyse a few of the modern issues we see the following concerns at the fore.
CO emmisions are needing to be cut drastically, lights burning all night are a proven method of doing exactly that.
Do we need lighting after 11-11:30pm? for instance.
Well no; H&S issues are purely misguided judgment calls worrying about people stubbing a toe in the dark and people who work the system making ridiculous claims in a litigation based society to make yet another free buck.
I personally live in a street where there is a light every 20-30m.
Residual light from every third light would be more than enough at night for any citizen to find his, or her, way around.
Wow!! A 66% reduction in power consumption!
Why do we have the lights on after 11pm?
What sort of people are we accomodating after 11pm?
Last orders walk outs who have had a little too much to drink maybe? You certainly see few people going for late evening loving walks in this day and age.
OK, we never used to get sued for lack of lighting, once again people have got used to the convenience of being able to walk home in near daylight.
Sorry, but when I used to leave my friends as a kid it was a scary walk home if you hit the 10:30 shut off for half a mile.
Who does it encourage?
Who wants lighting to hang around after 11:30 for example?
I think your own morale compass would answer that; and if it can't then hopefully you're still a very small minority.
I know, the sort of people I see after that time get told to clear off as their either drunk and loud or looking up to no good, they have no good reason to be hanging around by my house.
So my vote?
At least shut off 66% of lighting, use the money saved in heavily built up problem areas to increase police presence or shut them off all together and give the troublemakers nowhere to linger. Knowing how much I pay for electricity surely a 1 mile square block would more than pay for an officers time each night for 3 hours or so?
Can we really argue it is easier for a burglar to scope out a house with no lighting in the street or is it we are lighting the way?
People shouldn't feel safer with light, after all the back of the house is usually dark for illegal entry.
How many people would be discouraged from going out bumming around if they had to come home in the dark? Are the big tough thugs scared of the dark? Would your kids stay out late if it went black at 11pm
Too simple really? Or is it just me?
Sorry to be so reactionary, but the thought of the politically correct, H&S, do-gooder response to come just gets my hackles up.
Mr O

24-02-2009, 10:40 PM
Personally Mr O. I'm with you 100%, H&S is born of the attitude that people can't be responsible for their own actions, and you can now blame people and sue them for an astounding lack of common sense.

Personally, I'd be very much surprised if any of our local councils have the nerve to stand up against this monster. But the only thing councils listen to more than H&S, is overwhelming public opinion, so this is where we must make our stand.

24-02-2009, 11:46 PM
As a Kiwi I understand exactly what Will is saying about New Zealand. I came from a farm. No street lights and the night sky - when there were no clouds - can only be described as awesome. The Milky Way is magic.

25-02-2009, 08:20 AM
I've found a couple of good links from sites dedicate to the cause, so to speak. :)

need-less light pollution (http://www.need-less.org.uk/)
CfDS - The Campaign for Dark Skies. An Anti Light Pollution Organisation. (http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/)