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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5905909 - 06/06/13 12:37 PM

Quote:

Hear, hear! This is why holier-than-thou statements irk me so much.




OK...

I am partially responsible for the light pollution...

There's a question that each of us might ask ourselves.

Jon


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5905924 - 06/06/13 12:45 PM

Everyone cares about different things. The most you can do is try to politely educate people about the things you care about and hope some of it rubs off.

I don't think it's an indicator of the degradation of humans, their spirits, or anything else. It's just human nature that you can't care about everything, and as was mentioned, many people don't have much experience outside of cities to compare anything to.

Every single person does "stupid" and "unreasonable" stuff each day. Multiple times. Some of it will bother one person, while another (including the person doing it) won't think anything of it.

That's life as a human.

Edited by Ebyl (06/06/13 12:45 PM)


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Mxplx2
sage


Reged: 09/12/12

Loc: PA USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5906060 - 06/06/13 01:46 PM

Is it more light pollution by itself or more people needing lights? I'm old enough to remember when the population in the U.S. was 180 million. It's over 300 million now and all afraid of the dark (or maybe of eachother), hence more lights.

Edited by Mxplx2 (06/06/13 01:47 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5906101 - 06/06/13 02:07 PM

Quote:

Everyone cares about different things. The most you can do is try to politely educate people about the things you care about and hope some of it rubs off.

I don't think it's an indicator of the degradation of humans, their spirits, or anything else. It's just human nature that you can't care about everything, and as was mentioned, many people don't have much experience outside of cities to compare anything to.

Every single person does "stupid" and "unreasonable" stuff each day. Multiple times. Some of it will bother one person, while another (including the person doing it) won't think anything of it.

That's life as a human.






Very well said..

Everyone does the best they can...

Jon


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5906144 - 06/06/13 02:22 PM

Something to keep in mind:

Gas stations open at all hours.
Grocery stores open at all hours.
Many businesses needing to be open at all hours to deal with an electronically connected world.

Street lights required to be on at all hours for those people who have to shop at 2am.

Lawsuits because of accidents that happened in the dark.


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: schinia]
      #5906263 - 06/06/13 03:23 PM

Driving a vehicle down a public road and using traffic lights at intersections fall outside my definition (and I think, for example, the IDA's definition) of light pollution. (Provided the lights are properly aligned and shielded, of course.)

Almost all interior lighting also falls outside my definition of light pollution. People may be interfering with their own natural cycles of sleep, but that's their business. I can imagine exceptions to this, where interior lighting should be held to the same standard as exterior lighting (e.g. no "light trespass").

I'm even willing to give a pass on light reflected from ground surfaces, provided the light itself is behaving properly - not too bright for the need, and full-cutoff - provided the surface needs to be illuminated at all.

To me these limits on what I call "light pollution", and a few more, like light intruding on others' property, define a balance between the benefits of lighting and the drawbacks.

In one sense it is true that any artificial light at night that escapes into the atmosphere outside a closed space is light pollution. But I don't see the need for dark skies as an absolute need overriding all others, and I don't see calling people driving vehicles at night "light polluters" helpful to making the skies as dark as possible.

We each emit CO2 when we exhale. Since the EPA now considers CO2 a pollutant, are all human beings now subject to derogatory terms?

I've been down this road with ardent environmentalists before, and the logical conclusion is the extermination of the species - nothing else is sufficient.


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panhard
It's All Good
*****

Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5907655 - 06/07/13 10:17 AM

We could get along quite nicely with half of the street lights on streets where there are other forms of lighting. Car dealerships and plazas are the first sources of light that comes to mind.

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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5907667 - 06/07/13 10:24 AM

Quote:


That's why it is so important to encourage people, especially young people, to get to a black or gray zone sky--to see the beauty of the night sky, to see it's possibilities and wonder. Continuous observing under a white zone sky produces a skewed vision of what astronomy can be, increases acceptance of diminished skies, and suppresses a vivid sense of the need for change....




The vast majority of urban/suburban teens and early twenty-somethings lack ANY ability to recognize anything in the night sky beyond superficial familiarity with the moon. Bright as Jupiter is in the months when it's up in the early night sky, vanishingly few can recognize even that, or even recognize Venus as something other than simply a very bright star. They do probably remember the Big Dipper from some trip to a rural location, but that's about it as far as constellations.

The natural dark night sky (or even a moderately light-pollution compromised version thereof where the major constellations are still easily recognizable) is simply not part of their experience, except for infrequent brief outings to rural areas (and even then it's not something that truly engages their attention beyond "isn't that lovely to see so many stars").

I really wish this wasn't so, and the several dozen to couple hundred who will occasionally turn out for public outreach events encouragingly tempt me toward optimism, but the hard reality is that we're not successfully engaging more than a small fraction of the public toward increased awareness of and interest in the true night sky.

Edited by FirstSight (06/07/13 10:26 AM)


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
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Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5907692 - 06/07/13 10:38 AM

OTOH, there are a few perverse bonuses in being among the relatively few who know the night sky. In the current (June '13) night sky, you can astound people by pointing out that the yellowish "star" high in the southern sky is the planet Saturn. As long as you find a graceful way to segue conversation into pointing that out, and the person(s) you're talking to at least superficially appreciate the loveliness of the evening sky, you can usually elicit a pleasantly astonished reaction from them (no s**& that's Saturn?)

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5907733 - 06/07/13 11:10 AM

Get some people to truely dark skies and you'd better bring a lot of toilet paper.....

I have a nephew who likes his binoculars to view the moon and Jupiter and will take looks in the scope at home when I set it up....but if I ask him if he wants to go to the dark site.....not interested at all at "being out in the middle of nowhere"....go figure....


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5908325 - 06/07/13 04:37 PM

Lots of black skies in my region. Can't see anyone moving there or the few towns growing very fast. No jobs, little water, far from civilization. Few people going out there as it is a bit of a hassle driving a few hours just to see the stars.

Safety wise you are on your own if you happen to encounter a criminal or predator. It is still more dangerous near the populated regions as they have enough light to target their next victims and a higher density of criminals to encounter. As local safety budgets are cut, the criminals are getting bolder due to early releases and lack of patrols or legal consequences.

I have lots of wonderful memories of sleeping in my backyard looking up into the sky and seeing lots of stars and the milky way. Now I can only see the brightest stars.

I hope the LEDs don't enable the lights to get even brighter because of safety demands and lower energy costs. Even directional lighting will bounce back up off the ground if bright enough and in the bluer spectrum.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5908334 - 06/07/13 04:42 PM

Quote:

I hope the LEDs don't enable the lights to get even brighter because of safety demands and lower energy costs. Even directional lighting will bounce back up off the ground if bright enough and in the bluer spectrum.




That's a sobbering thought. Darn

Jon


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5908589 - 06/07/13 07:08 PM

Pogo said it best: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5909311 - 06/08/13 07:48 AM

Quote:

We each emit CO2 when we exhale. Since the EPA now considers CO2 a pollutant, are all human beings now subject to derogatory terms?




Many of us also emit large quantities of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas.

Seriously, though ...

Either side of this, taken to its logical extreme, becomes ridiculous. Of course it's reasonable to place restrictions on the amount of light pollution that individuals create, just as it's reasonable to prohibit people from blasting loud rock music out their windows at 3 a.m. Equally obvious, prohibiting all light pollution is neither practical nor morally defensible.

Balance in all things.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5909800 - 06/08/13 01:42 PM

Quote:

Equally obvious, prohibiting all light pollution is neither practical nor morally defensible.






One man's irritant is another man's comfort and security. Prohibiting the use of artificial light is obviously not defensible, but attempting to prohibit light pollution (or any other kind of unwanted contamination or intrusion, for that matter) certainly is. Also indefensible is the failure of or outright refusal of the powers-that-be who have passed reasonable light-pollution ordinances to enforce them.


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5910089 - 06/08/13 04:51 PM

Tony, I agree, that was exactly my point. We have to balance priorities as individuals and as a society.

Hank, I think governments do great harm to their citizens when they have laws and do not enforce them, for whatever reason, on whatever topic. If they can't or won't enforce it, then they should get it off the books.

Lee


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Dennis Kuefner
member


Reged: 05/30/13

Loc: South Central Minnesota, USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: schinia]
      #5913648 - 06/10/13 05:36 PM

Talk about remembering the way it was. Those of us old enough remember an era before interstate highways, malls, strip malls, businesses open 24/7, businesses open on Sundays. During the week businesses would close in the evening and would only be open half a day on Saturday. Seems we are paying the price for success and advancement. Yes there are still pristine areas, lets try to save what's still there. I have been to places where you could read the Wall Street Journal by the light of the milky way. Currently I in a yellow/green area which is fine. I have it better seeing than those city dwellers but still poorer than others. Remember that this problem has been around a while. Remember when they built "the perfect machine" the 200 inch they already ruled out Passadena for light pollution from L. A.

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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5913776 - 06/10/13 06:53 PM

Quote:

Tony, I agree, that was exactly my point. We have to balance priorities as individuals and as a society.

Hank, I think governments do great harm to their citizens when they have laws and do not enforce them, for whatever reason, on whatever topic. If they can't or won't enforce it, then they should get it off the books.

Lee




They need those laws on the books so they can selectively enforce 'em as they see fit.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5914281 - 06/10/13 11:12 PM

Quote:


They need those laws on the books so they can selectively enforce 'em as they see fit.




+1.

Fred


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: not like it used to be new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5920306 - 06/14/13 10:18 AM

"We'll start enforcing them as soon as the money to not enforce them quits coming in"

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