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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5424947 - 09/17/12 07:52 AM

If you think you've heard the viewpoint of pessimisim in this thread so far I humbly disagree... For my fears are far worse.

I'm worried that we're much more likely to see giant space mirrors lighting up the night than we are likely to improve light pollution to any meaningful degree anywhere. All the minuscule efforts of little communities deciding to make a difference will be obliterated.

But my post here and now is not solely to share my pessimistic outlook on light pollution... But rather to say if anyone seriously decides to undertake "open ear" as a protest art project, I would love to make a substantial donation. There has to be some way to beat it into their skulls that they're ruining the world with their light.

Light pollution isn't art, is more like arson, it destroys, taking something away, likely forever.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5425931 - 09/17/12 05:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

the demographics of amateur astronomy, at least in the U.S., seems to consist primarily of well-off, well-fed older white males,




Seeing the membership just here on CN, I strongly disagree with this. Most of the members work hard for their astronomy equipment, and are far from well-off.




Sorry, Carol -- the statement is unquestionably true. We at Sky & Telescope know this from reader surveys, from attending club meetings all over the country, star parties, and trade shows...





Tony, I think Fred's statement is "unquestionably true" only because it's unquestionably vague: the terms "primarily", "well-off", "well-fed", and "older", are so broad and relative that the statement can be considered true according to the interpretation you choose to apply.

S&T reader surveys, club and star party participation, and trade show attendance are biased samples of the amateur astronomy community. We'd even have difficulty agreeing on the defining characteristics of an amateur astronomer.

I have no concrete evidence, but after many years of reading posts on CN, my impression is that the amateur astronomy community is not quite so badly skewed.

Geoff

Edited by barasits (09/18/12 08:02 AM)


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Tori]
      #5426094 - 09/17/12 07:43 PM

Quote:

If you think you've heard the viewpoint of pessimisim in this thread so far I humbly disagree... For my fears are far worse.

I'm worried that we're much more likely to see giant space mirrors lighting up the night than we are likely to improve light pollution to any meaningful degree anywhere. All the minuscule efforts of little communities deciding to make a difference will be obliterated.




The idea of mirrors in space lighting up the world was recently revived by a source that CN policy prohibits me from mentioning. But it's not a practical idea and I consider it virtually impossible if only because its intent would be suspect and therefore politically destabilizing in the international arena.

Let's not underestimate the "minuscule efforts of little communities"! I remember in 1980 when Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) first appeared. One woman started MADD. It took a long time and MADD faced powerful opposition but they've been effective in reducing deaths from drunk driving. Look around and you'll find many other examples. The status quo relies on our pessimism and inaction

Quote:

But my post here and now is not solely to share my pessimistic outlook on light pollution... But rather to say if anyone seriously decides to undertake "open ear" as a protest art project, I would love to make a substantial donation. There has to be some way to beat it into their skulls that they're ruining the world with their light.

Light pollution isn't art, is more like arson, it destroys, taking something away, likely forever.




I was using Open Ear as a way of trying to determine why noise pollution seems to be easier for people to grasp than light pollution. It would be interesting to find out on what grounds Open Ear would be rejected by the city or the funding agency. Lack of artistic merit no doubt. At any rate, we need to come up with more creative ways to attract attention to the problem.

Geoff

Edited by barasits (09/17/12 11:30 PM)


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5426388 - 09/17/12 10:24 PM

After having some issues with some postings, I am reluctant to dive too deeply into linking people to information outside of authorized resources, so, I will hint, instead.
There is an observatory in Philadelphia that is housed in the Franklin Institute. It is called the Bloom Observatory. They are associated with the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society.

They have emailed me and informed me that IDA links are now "front and center" on their homepage. I took a look and low and behold, the link is right next to the link to "Open Air Philly"!

I wrote a response to them and stated my thoughts. It is well worth understanding the gross misjudgment that seems connected to the idea they have.

Anyway, I assume I may have already unwittingly crossed lines I don't understand. Please feel free to manage as required. Apologies in advance. Thanks.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5426499 - 09/17/12 11:51 PM

Quote:


Tony, I think Fred's statement is "unquestionably true" only because it's unquestionably vague--not unlike finding truth in the writings of Nostradamus.




...and with this turn in the conversation, I bid you all a good evening.

(Having my comments compared to the works of a necromancer is a new one... I'll add it to my life list.)


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5426611 - 09/18/12 12:54 AM

Quote:

...and with this turn in the conversation, I bid you all a good evening.

(Having my comments compared to the works of a necromancer is a new one... I'll add it to my life list.)




I've edited the offensive language and offer you my humble apology.

Geoff


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5427327 - 09/18/12 12:48 PM

Quote:

Now you've gone and made me feel nostalgic.

This is the same debate I had with people over forty years ago. Things were bad and getting worse. Should we respond in anger. Had we made any difference. Was anyone on our side.

I'm going to put on some Dylan and see if I can't make this feeling last.

Geoff




The more things change, the more they stay the same.....


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5427546 - 09/18/12 02:28 PM

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5427760 - 09/18/12 04:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff




And just what kind of response do you expect???

You made a suggestion so ridiculous that it stands no chance of getting any consideration whatever - and you expect something more than a "boilerplate" response.

You could, on the other hand, have made a suggestion that was sensible and practicable. Such as, that they make a donation to some entity that is trying to raise awareness with regards to light pollution.

That MAY have had a glimmer of hope of doing some good. But, I'm sure your way made you feel better.


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5427971 - 09/18/12 06:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The more things change, the more they stay the same.....




All too true! The most exasperating part of this is that despite the similarity of the experiences I keep making the same mistakes.

By the way, I still haven't received a response from the Knight Foundation about the suggestion, which one of your posts inspired, that they donate the same amount of money they spent on Open Air to refit street lights in Philadelphia with full cutoff fixtures. I had expected to get a boilerplate reply by now.

Geoff




Quote:

And just what kind of response do you expect???




I think I made that clear when I said I expected a boilerplate reply.

Quote:

You made a suggestion so ridiculous that it stands no chance of getting any consideration whatever - and you expect something more than a "boilerplate" response.




No, I think I made it clear that I wasn't expecting anything more than a boilerplate reply. And I'll have you know that the suggestion you called "ridiculous" isn't even in the top ten stupid things I've done so far this week.

Quote:

You could, on the other hand, have made a suggestion that was sensible and practicable. Such as, that they make a donation to some entity that is trying to raise awareness with regards to light pollution.




I think your suggestion is great.

Quote:

That MAY have had a glimmer of hope of doing some good. But, I'm sure your way made you feel better.




Rather than spend time criticizing me, why not write to the Knight Foundation about your suggestion.

The tone of your post is hostile. If there is something I have written that offended you, I apologize.

Geoff


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5428543 - 09/19/12 12:50 AM

In an informative and constructive conversation with the chief astronomer at the Bloom Observatory this morning, it was agreed that he will present the suggestion, to the city fathers of Philadelphia, that at a point midway through the Open Air Philly event, the city should turn off all lights in an effort to see if the Milky Way can be made visible to the entire population of the region. Who knows if this will happen, but civil dialog with the key people in the area is creating positive feedback. There is lots to do in reforming the insights of those who are not fully aware of the implications of light pollution, but a steady hand on the rudder will keep the effort heading in the right direction.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5428561 - 09/19/12 01:00 AM

Tom, once again; thanks! That would be exciting, if it was to come about!

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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5428581 - 09/19/12 01:11 AM

One can only hope for the best... Thanks, Carol.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5429092 - 09/19/12 11:48 AM

as if man's feable attempts could even come close to matching the beauty of the night sky......

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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5429273 - 09/19/12 01:53 PM

"I'll have you know that the suggestion you called "ridiculous" isn't even in the top ten stupid things I've done so far this week.

Rather than spend time criticizing me, why not write to the Knight Foundation about your suggestion.

The tone of your post is hostile. If there is something I have written that offended you, I apologize.

Geoff"


The following is quoted directly from the Knight Foundation website:

"Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged."

Jus as a point of information, this is a foundation that is
active in all the cities in which the Knight family owned newspapers. So, it is a much broader scope organization than just Philadelphia.

A further injection of facts :

This project is actually under the auspices of the Fairmont Park Art Association. This organization has applied to, and is deriving funding for the project, from the Knight Foundation.

First of all, I'm not hostile. I just believe you get more flies with honey than with vinegar. Your suggestion (and I still regard it as ridiculous) was clearly not intended to elicit a serious response.

So why make a suggestion so far out that it gets dismissed out of hand and trivializes your argument?

Also, why has no-one bothered contact the prople actually sponsoring this exhibition?

I don't disgree that (valid) complaints to knight or FPPA are called for. That's the way minds get changed - through an exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Through an understanding of how factors that might not have been thought of affect the environment and other people. It's the way polite, rational society does business.

Nope, not hostile - just discouraged that you chose the low road in dealing with this problem.


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429324 - 09/19/12 02:19 PM

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter. thanks. Tom
As a bit of info, if the posted links are reviewed by those willing to post on this thread, it will become clear that much discussion and dialog has been established between the artist, the organizers, the Audubon folks, astronomy clubs and organizations in the area, the city of Philadelphia, New York, the art community in both cities, other environmental groups and on and on. The posts here on CN that are personal and misdirected only discredit the entire discussion here and it will soon be irrelevant to discuss the subject on CN as the meaningful dialog will become worthless. Just a thought regarding practical matters....


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5429338 - 09/19/12 02:27 PM

Quote:

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter.




Speaking with Moderator hat on; I agree!

Everyone, let's leave the personal issues aside & get back on track.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5429371 - 09/19/12 02:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Is it at all possible to get back on track with the original post about this topic. Perhaps a side bar with the personal issues can happen with hope that the constructive dialog can remain isolated here. There is lots of pertinent information on this thread that is being buried by irrelevant conversation that is distracting from the subject matter.




Speaking with Moderator hat on; I agree!

Everyone, let's leave the personal issues aside & get back on track.




except for the fact that the discussions above have been focused on HOW we deal with light pollution issues. Dealing with those we feel are causing light pollution in a non-constructive way can not only be ineffective, but indeed, harmful to our cause.

From my perspective, they are less personal issues than issues related to how to effectively bring our message to those who don't share our enthusiasm for the dark.

YMMV!
In any case, I'm done.


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429535 - 09/19/12 04:36 PM

Thanks, Carol. I thought this CN discussion, here, was centered the Open Air Philly event and news coming from the guys involved. I think the hope was to inform people about what was going to happen knowing we cannot stop it at this point. Not the philosophy behind it. We realize the philosophy, I believe, and we well represent the choir in all respects.

I feel a bit hampered with the difficulties in openly sharing the content of conversations I have had with a lot of concerned and active organizations working to deal with this particular subject. From the Audubon folks to the astronomy guys, lots is being discussed and the links that have been provided elsewhere in this thread will lead to other places where additional content can be located. In particular is the fast moving discussion that comes from the people directly affected by this event and their plans to be actively involved in educational outreach while the searchlights are being used. There is a big sidewalk astronomy event that will focus on Lunar observing and the chant that viewers will be exposed to, coming from the amateur astronomers, will surely reflect words of reason and insight. They are trying to do the best they can with what they have to deal with. IDA has information and can provide materials to give to people thus sharing information that may prove to be first of any awareness opportunities for most of the city folk in Philadelphia.

For me, I have met, via internet and telephone conversations, a large group of fellow dark sky enthusiasts I would never have met otherwise. This is, in a small way, positive that comes as result of the negative. So, not all bad.

None the less.... winning this war will not be an easy task and Open Air is only one battle. Thanks, Tom


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5429700 - 09/19/12 06:41 PM

You mean you thought my basement built EMP Pulse gun idea was better?

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