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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: careysub]
      #6240316 - 12/08/13 06:36 AM

Quote:

My contribution:

Define light pollution in people's mind in terms of light shining directly into their eyes at night.

No one likes that. It is annoying and a safety hazard as well since it reduces visibility.

Push for "safe , efficient lighting - shine light where its needed".




I agree 100%. Many, many people know and hate light trespass. That's the appropriate handle.


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rustyprice
member


Reged: 12/17/13

Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: careysub]
      #6261098 - 12/18/13 11:42 PM

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that the idea of light pollution hadn't crossed my mind much until very recently. Reading this forum and seeing the pollution map have really had an affect on me. I grew up in the country and just happened to spend summers in one of the few blue spots east of the Mississippi, I've always assumed 'light pullution is a city thing' if that thinking makes sense. I recently watched a TED talk where they did a study of techniques to decrease energy consumption, what was found was that the only effective method was sending out monthly reminders that said "your neighbor is doing better than you", people really respond to competition and the fear of being inferior in funny ways. Final thought, people have to see value in not light polluting, this I assume is mostly done through outreach and education. There are lots of folks out there right now trying to be as green as they can be, but light pollution is rarely brought up, my guess is most of these people would probably do their part if they simply knew what to do and why.

-Rusty


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
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Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: rustyprice]
      #6261674 - 12/19/13 10:50 AM

We definitely don't want to use fear mongering type of language. Although it's kind of amusing to me to imagine an ad campaign like: "Your lighting makes you feel safe... but there's a murderer lurking in the shadows caused by your bright spotlights... your cancer risk is rising... you can't sleep properly and will die a horrible death..." (All done in a very deep, ominous voice) Certainly if people see that too much lighting can have a negative impact, not just on the night sky, but on their wallets, their health, and their safety, we can hope to see improvement. The only problem can come from the electric and lighting companies themselves, who have very deep pockets and can hire the very best ad agencies, etc, to easily outdo any possible public service ads.

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: aatt]
      #6284677 - 01/01/14 12:44 AM

Quote:

Lighting may be linked to increased cancer risk and if that is verified and the connection between the two disseminated broadly, then maybe we will make more progress.



These days people with agendas claim EVERYTHING gives you cancer!

That type of over the top claim gets a lot of eye rolls and will marginalize you really fast. These days everyone with a political agenda has used hyperbole to the point that people just tune it out. Life goes on and no one is going to equate their porch light with cancer.

Personally I think that real world experience will convince more people than anything else. Invite your neighbors and friends to a star party which will open up opportunities to explain light pollution.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6284686 - 01/01/14 12:54 AM

These days you can't turn on a TV or radio without being bombarded with transparently manipulative "public service" announcements and commercials making over the top claims. Anymore I just turn them off or mute them. I agree that outdoor lighting is really a quality of life issue. The vast majority of people are worried about making ends meet, not street lights. Claims of cancer and higher or lower crime rates are probably impossible to quantify if you believe them at all.

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bogg
sage


Reged: 11/17/09

Loc: Bruce County Ontario
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6285708 - 01/01/14 02:54 PM

Yes so many public service announcements that turn off is very quick. I remember hearing about a campaign that didn't say anything bad but just said that your neighbours are doing better than you, and they increased recycling by 20% within the first month of the program. Maybe a campaign that said your neighbour is saving more energy and can afford that bigger, better whatever would work.

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aatt
sage


Reged: 07/26/12

Loc: CT
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: bogg]
      #6285983 - 01/01/14 05:02 PM

I would not suggest over the top or unsupported claims. The fact that many things give you cancer may contribute to general despair-why bother if everything kills you? The fact that many things we do cause cancer is symptomatic of our general idiocy in regards to our lack, as a species, of scruples regarding chemical use and disposal.But if there a link, it can't hurt to disseminate the info. If people are bombarded by chemicals and their immune systems are overtaxed, that lack of melatonin might be the tipping point health wise.All of these issues:light trespass,quality of life, money and environmental and personal health issue need to be addressed.If people are inured to threats in our hyper paranoid culture, then they are. That should not be an argument for inaction.

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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6286110 - 01/01/14 06:09 PM

Quote:

Invite your neighbors and friends to a star party which will open up opportunities to explain light pollution.




How did that work for you? What light pollution reduction gains did you experience from that?


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: aatt]
      #6290773 - 01/03/14 11:35 PM

People live longer and longer and longer in spite of all the gloom and doom fear mongering!

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6290806 - 01/03/14 11:49 PM

How did that work for you? What light pollution reduction gains did you experience from that?




It might get your neighbor to do something about that 1000 watt search light aimed at your back yard!

The alternative seems to be heavy handed tactics such as laws to outlaw whatever you don't like. Now don't get me wrong, darks skies are a worthy goal but tactics like that can backfire. These days is seems everyone with a pet cause wants all their likes subsidized and their dislikes outlawed. Every agenda group out there has paid lobyists looking to outlaw many, many things you and I enjoy. Enough is enough.


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aatt
sage


Reged: 07/26/12

Loc: CT
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6291803 - 01/04/14 12:54 PM

True. People are living longer and longer, but cancer rates are very high compared to historical levels.This is not due to the fact that the burgeoning population of elderly folks are getting cancer either.I think that laws regulating lighting are absolutely appropriate.Has generating any awareness created the shift or political will to do something about light pollution? Not yet and it does not look good for the future.Does my neighbor enjoys his floodlights? I seriously doubt it. He is probably plopped down in front of the TV rather than looking out lovingly at the wall of light over his driveway. He, like many others, are probably unaware of the lights or are taking false comfort in the "force field of light" that magically repels intruders.

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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: aatt]
      #6291953 - 01/04/14 01:57 PM

Peoples innate fear of the dark is the issue. Crime, especially in big cities drives people indoors and to put bars on the windows and lights on the yard, which are natural reactions. As far as cancer, I seriously doubt any verifiable scientific case could ever be made, putting that as your cause won't gain any traction and could end up painting amateur astronomers as kooks in the fringe.

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magic612
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6292775 - 01/04/14 09:28 PM

Quote:

As far as cancer, I seriously doubt any verifiable scientific case could ever be made




Because I am a eternally-curious person, on what scientific basis are you making this claim? What scientific facts lead you to have such doubts?

Personally, I'm inclined to believe science, because I do amateur astronomy, and I believe how far stars really are from us, based on science. I believe what they are made of, based on science. Therefore, I am also inclined to believe well-respected researchers such as Dr. David Blask, Dr. George Brainard and Dr. Charles Czeisler write scientific papers based on scientific studies of the harm light can cause.

Besides, people believe politicians on FAR less evidence and facts (usually based on... emotionally powerful language - see how we come full circle?). So I will try to re-direct this discussion back to what I originally asked about: Emotionally powerful language that can MOVE people's ideas about light. Yes, fear is a powerful motivator, and as much as adults don't want to admit it, a lot of them ARE probably afraid of the dark.

So why can't we find ways to combat that, rather than brushing it off before even trying by suggesting we'd be branded as "kooks"? Plenty of people out there DO believe science. The point is, how can WE, the amateur astronomy community, those with some of the best understanding of this issue, word it in ways that will move people to make changes? And as Tony Flanders rightly pointed out, people already make decisions based on emotion. It's not manipulation. It's using basic sales techniques. If we want to move people's minds on this issue, we need to use sales techniques, or you know what will happen? We'll keep losing more of the night sky.

I don't find that a very satisfying direction to go. So TCW, what ideas do you have that will have traction? I originally asked, "What phrases can we come up with that will create short, memorable, emotionally-powerful messages to get our argument into the public sphere? I would be glad for you to share your positive ideas which we can use to drive this message home more effectively.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6294562 - 01/05/14 06:41 PM

Try a campaign telling people street lights give them cancer and what results you get. Personally I think it is impossible to separate out the effects of artificial light from the trillions of other environmental factors. What are you going to use as a control group? Aborigines in the deepest Amazon with 30 year life spans?

Every agenda group out there be they vegans, radical environmentalists, animal rights and others make preposterous claims endlessly all claiming "scientific" veracity. Invariably their "studies" end up being unrepeatable if not out right frauds. I choose a little common sense. If light gives us cancer then there is no hope! But hey give it a go if you think you can gain traction with that one!


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6294702 - 01/05/14 08:01 PM

Quote - How did that work for you? What light pollution reduction gains did you experience from that?

I for one was introduced to Astronomy by a teacher and became a life long enthusiast and lover of the night sky and I don't think it is a stretch to say almost everyone on CN's forums was introduced by someone. One by one people can be swayed by the best argument of all - the Night Sky! If you want emotion try the summer Milky Way, M42 or Saturn in a good scope.

We are on the same side and love the beauty of the Night Sky and I dare say all of us on the forum do too!

The only political solution I can think of that has worked is called North Korea although I doubt "dear leader" is an astronomer!


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Phil Cowell
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/24/07

Loc: Southern Tier NY
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6294756 - 01/05/14 08:37 PM

Quote:

Try a campaign telling people street lights give them cancer and what results you get. Personally I think it is impossible to separate out the effects of artificial light from the trillions of other environmental factors. What are you going to use as a control group? Aborigines in the deepest Amazon with 30 year life spans?

Every agenda group out there be they vegans, radical environmentalists, animal rights and others make preposterous claims endlessly all claiming "scientific" veracity. Invariably their "studies" end up being unrepeatable if not out right frauds. I choose a little common sense. If light gives us cancer then there is no hope! But hey give it a go if you think you can gain traction with that one!




If you refuse to except any data from research well that's your choice. Folks said smoking was harmless too and industry spent billions in disinformation campaigns. Same with Arsenic in the drinking water is not bad for humans as in mercury in the air even if the data shows it is. With enough money thrown at it by industry facts get masked for a considerable period of time, but in the end the truth tends to win out and the industry has to change or move to the third world to try the same tactic. As an example it took over 50 years with the tobacco industry., but they finally lost.
Over time the adults eventually step up just sometimes their a little slow off the mark.


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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6294925 - 01/05/14 10:00 PM

Quote:

Quote - How did that work for you? What light pollution reduction gains did you experience from that?

I for one was introduced to Astronomy by a teacher and became a life long enthusiast and lover of the night sky and I don't think it is a stretch to say almost everyone on CN's forums was introduced by someone. One by one people can be swayed by the best argument of all - the Night Sky! If you want emotion try the summer Milky Way, M42 or Saturn in a good scope.

We are on the same side and love the beauty of the Night Sky and I dare say all of us on the forum do too!

The only political solution I can think of that has worked is called North Korea although I doubt "dear leader" is an astronomer!




You didn't answer the questions. What light pollution reduction did you achieve? Please share your data and results. And I'll also reiterate my other question: What are YOUR IDEAS that will gain traction?

We got your other message loud and clear - you think the cancer message is a waste of time. Great - got it, you don't need to repeat it a third time.

But what ARE your ideas? Please share with us. If you don't have anything constructive, please let the rest of us continue the discussion without the repetitive distractions.

Thank you.


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TCW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/05/13

Loc: The North 40
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6294945 - 01/05/14 10:11 PM

So can you share quantifiable, verifiable reductions in light pollution from your actions? Do tell.

I gave you my idea. If you want heavy handed government "solutions" count me out. Mock all you want but convincing people one at a time is the best way. Good luck to you.


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aatt
sage


Reged: 07/26/12

Loc: CT
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution [Re: TCW]
      #6295039 - 01/05/14 11:03 PM

Considering that streetlights/highway lights are taxpayer funded, I would think that a government solution is entirely appropriate.Residential lighting-I think light trespass should be also mitigated with ordinances. Someones' right to light their property should end when they start lighting mine.

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magic612
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution [Re: aatt]
      #6295121 - 01/05/14 11:58 PM

Quote:

Considering that streetlights/highway lights are taxpayer funded, I would think that a government solution is entirely appropriate.Residential lighting-I think light trespass should be also mitigated with ordinances. Someones' right to light their property should end when they start lighting mine.




Indeed, and this is the point. The government in most places where people access this forum are democracies. Therefore, WE are the government. WE get to decide what's right and what's not.

I like Carey's and Tony's point: Light trespass. But to educate on that, I think we need to tie that in to something that is a motivator. My thinking lately has been: SLEEP. 100% of us sleep. And many people not well - Ambien and other drugs are used to help people sleep. Blue-shifted spectrum lighting from computers and other LED screens / lights has been shown to reduce melatonin, which adversely affects sleep.

I think that's perhaps one of our best avenues to making inroads with the wider population on this - then we can use safety / crime / cancer / other issues to bolster the case.

Perhaps something like this:

For deep sleep, aim for deep darkness.

Or... something like that. Then we can talk about how light is used, and misaimed or misdirected, and discuss better sleeping as a result of better darkness in our natural surroundings, while still maintaining the safety people believe they need.

I just strongly feel like we need a very coordinated effort on this, that is very focused (pun intended, I suppose) on one aspect of the problem that we can drive home over and over and over to have as much impact as possible. All the other points can then be used to bolster the case - but we need one that EVERYONE knows about and cares about, and would be willing to make a small change to their own homes to make a difference that isn't terribly costly.

Sleep / light trespass seems to be it, perhaps.

Thoughts?


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