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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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magic612
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Emotionally powerful language for light pollution
      #6140658 - 10/16/13 10:59 AM

I was reading an article about the government shutdown (and I'm not inviting a discussion of that, I use it only as a means of making my point), and I read the following sentences:

Quote:

Language needs to create emotional reactions in order to have impact. Psychologists tell us that emotion works with cognition, to help us with attention, retention and motivation. If the message doesn't resonate emotionally, people won't notice it, much less remember it or be moved to action.




That kind of struck me in terms of the way we discuss light pollution. What words are we using that have an emotional impact, so that people pay attention, retain what we say, and are motivated to change their own lighting/behaviors - or even more importantly, get involved? What phrases do we use so people will notice, remember, and be moved to action?

I would argue we are failing on this point. Although some in the lighting industry, and even larger businesses and some municipalities, are seeing the benefits of better lighting techniques and implementing them, the growth of light pollution has continued, largely because those who do NOT know about poor lighting techniques keep putting up bad lights which contribute to the problem. 99% of lighting fixtures I see available in home improvement stores do not shield light properly.

As LED lighting costs come down, we are going to lose the ability to talk about lighting in terms of cost, as the electricity required to run them is even less than incandescent / other types of lighting. Fortunately, they are directional, but only if we MAKE THAT POINT, and get it to STAY in people's minds, are we going to make a difference. Otherwise, there will be brighter and more LED lights out there, lighting up the night even more than what we have now.

What phrases can we come up with that will create short, memorable, emotionally-powerful messages to get our argument into the public sphere? Any ideas we can use to drive this message home more effectively?

Should we focus on sleep? Safety? Security? Crime? All of the above, but in a coordinated way? How can we craft our message so it is emotionally-charged, and therefore, memorable?


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Kfrank
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Reged: 12/20/08

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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6140722 - 10/16/13 11:36 AM

Well, for starters, I'd guess that the majority of humanity do not regard light as a pollutant. So we've got a big job right there.

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mak17
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6141050 - 10/16/13 02:37 PM

I always think about the thousands of substandard roads and bridges in this country and the billions wasted on light pollution over the past 30 years or so. The thought of not being safe while driving on unresponsibly lit but crumbling roads and bridges, dark but def stirs emotions. Everyone can agree its better to switch off some lights and use that money to rebuild our infrastructure.

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wargrafix
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: mak17]
      #6141153 - 10/16/13 03:24 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with you all. The problem with light-spilling streetlights is that it tires out your eyes while driving, making driving conditions even more unsafe. Proper illumination is not the same as overly bright lights.


Connecting this concept with the average person is a challenge because for all the advancement of civilization, will still believe that there are monsters in the dark other than criminals.


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bangbangexplode
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: wargrafix]
      #6141565 - 10/16/13 06:57 PM

I think some sort of "friendly neighbor" slogan would get to some people. Lighting not only affects the property owner but his or her neighbors. Properly shielded lighting can mean happier neighbors (no light trespass = better sleep, etc.)

Unfortunately light trespass is so widespread that it isn't even seen as a problem. In city neighborhoods and densely packed suburbs you have cobra-heads at *every* telephone pole. The people living in these houses don't even know what it's like to experience darkness. They think light pouring into their windows at night is normal because it's just always been that way, instead of asking the question "why is a light meant to illuminate the street shining into my house?" I sometimes complain about the streetlight that shines onto my house and people will just say to put up black-out curtains People just don't care. This is a great thread that brings up an excellent point. How do we get normal people to care about something like this? It affects all of us but most don't even notice or think twice about it.


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derangedhermit
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: bangbangexplode]
      #6141792 - 10/16/13 08:56 PM

Recent studies show that strong emotions do not work with cognition - in fact the opposite: people cannot think clearly on topics where they hold opinions strongly enough to trigger their emotions.

Turning a civic issue into an emotionally loaded topic seems something many people these days are only too willing to do. The result is a polarized shouting match where there is no room for sensible solutions based on common interests. Thinking is limited to sound-bite knee-jerk retorts.

But if you want to join the slogan-shouting masses scratching each other's eyes out, that's your choice. If you get good at it, call local TV news, they love that stuff, especially if you can incite violence.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6141997 - 10/16/13 10:43 PM

Quote:

The thought of not being safe while driving on unresponsibly lit but crumbling roads and bridges, dark but def stirs emotions. Everyone can agree its better to switch off some lights and use that money to rebuild our infrastructure.




This is an interesting thought; juxtaposing images of bridges that have collapsed while showing overlit areas that are glaringly bright is an interesting idea to keep in mind. Maybe something to that.... good thought.


Quote:

I think some sort of "friendly neighbor" slogan would get to some people. Lighting not only affects the property owner but his or her neighbors. Properly shielded lighting can mean happier neighbors (no light trespass = better sleep, etc.)

Unfortunately light trespass is so widespread that it isn't even seen as a problem....[it's seen as] normal because it's just always been that way, instead of asking the question "why is a light meant to illuminate the street shining into my house?" I sometimes complain about the streetlight that shines onto my house and people will just say to put up black-out curtains People just don't care. This is a great thread that brings up an excellent point. How do we get normal people to care about something like this?




Well, that's why I'm asking the question. I wonder what language we can use that will get people's attention in a way that is constructive, but pull at an emotional thread so that they WILL remember it.



Quote:

Recent studies show that strong emotions do not work with cognition - in fact the opposite: people cannot think clearly on topics where they hold opinions strongly enough to trigger their emotions.




That's a different topic. I agree that when people are emotionally overloaded they don't have good cognition skills. That's entirely different than creating a marketing idea and words that cause an emotional reaction in someone to move them to action.

Almost no one buys a new car because they NEED one. They buy it because they WANT it. That's emotion over logic. In fact, that's basic sales (read "How to win friends and influence people" or "How to master the art of selling" if you don't believe me), and that's really all I'm saying. I'm not at all suggesting we work to get people so mad they can't think straight. I'm saying, for example, to get someone to think, "Hey, that IS wrong that there's a streetlight shining in my kid's window... and there's something I can do about it too? Good... maybe I will, because I can find information to help me." That's why I made this other thread, for example.

What I'm referring to here is getting someone to an emotional reaction that invites a positive response (in a sales/marketing kind of way), not sloganeering on a TV shoutfest. Those are entirely different things. Let's please keep this on the former point, not the latter one - nor conflate the two as being the same. Thanks.


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derangedhermit
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6142135 - 10/17/13 12:37 AM

The other thread shows you have been patient and polite in your interactions with all the locals involved. "Good on ya", as Australians may still say.

Enforcing your own (excellent IMHO) chosen behavior patterns on others, once you get them roused, and in the face of less-than-respectful responses, may prove difficult.

Best wishes in your efforts.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #6142463 - 10/17/13 08:54 AM

Quote:

Enforcing your own (excellent IMHO) chosen behavior patterns on others, once you get them roused, and in the face of less-than-respectful responses, may prove difficult.




As I discovered with my rather intransigent neighbor, it was more a matter of ME being roused and finding myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the continual stonewalling I received from him. But that's also why I ask the question: What language can we use? What did I overlook in that particular situation? What could I have said differently? Perhaps nothing; and indeed, that particular problem may very likely require intervention at the local political level to produce results (and then that may rouse him after all, and not positively).

But my point remains: We can use language to sway people's opinions, and often in ways that run counter to instinctive fallback reactions. What we need to do is (and I hate using this phrase because it's so overused, but it's appropriate) is to create a new paradigm with respect to lighting. And in so doing, what language can we use that makes people have an emotional reaction, and stop and think, "Yeah, that IS the right thing to do?"

They may not take action right away. But if we have changed their mind, it is shifting the paradigm.

For example:

What if we had a campaign of, I don't know, a short YouTube video. Perhaps it showed someone dealing with light shining into their window, even after they have put up light-block curtains. In other words, they've already done their part, but this light keeps them awake. If we point out that studies are showing this light is related to breast and prostate cancer, those who have been affected by those types of illnesses will have an emotional reaction. They will realize, "Hey, there's a connection between these two things!" And we can then provide a quick education about how simple this can be to fix: A shield over a light, a fixture that aims down, a light with a timer, or motion sensor.

That's what I mean: We need to hit upon a point that MEANS something to others. Light pollution means something to amateur astronomers, but what is the response from others? "Drive out to the country if you want to see the stars!" What's the subtext there? "That's YOUR problem, not mine, and I need the light for security / safety / etc."

We need to shift that. We need to point out that cities in the U.K. that have turned off all their streetlights saw crime DROP. People have almost ubiquitous cell phones now. That gives everyone a flashlight/torch. If not, how much is a flashlight now? $1? $2? It's a nominal cost compared to lighting everything all day long. The issue of sleep is another one, which relates to the melatonin issue. That one ties in with the breast and prostate cancer issue. The AMA has a resolution out there thanks to Dr. Mario Motta that talks about lighting at night with respect to older persons and glare. Lots of things to touch on, but what's the best way?

So I'm asking for what ideas we can use to create the emotional connection with turning lights off, to get people to NOT be "scared of the dark," to get them to think, "Yes, dark at night IS better" and for a valid, emotionally-appealing reason. A car salesman can argue logic all day long, and make zero sales. We can argue logic all day (or night!) long on light pollution, and get nowhere too. We need to hit the emotionally-appealing notes coupled WITH the logic to shift the lighting paradigm that exists.

We do that? We'll see movement on this issue in people's minds. I'm just looking for what those notes are or might be, and there will be different things that appeal to different people. The more we can identify, the more we can touch on.


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George N
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6145569 - 10/18/13 08:36 PM

…for what it’s worth:

The experience with TV adds trying to get folks to increase re-cycling of bottles, cans, etc found the following: Adds trying to convince people that re-cycling was good for the environment resulted in no noticeable change in re-cycle rates. Adds showing local people actually re-cycling *did* improve the rate. Apparently people are motivated by seeing others “do good”.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: George N]
      #6145931 - 10/19/13 12:51 AM

Quote:

…for what it’s worth:

The experience with TV adds trying to get folks to increase re-cycling of bottles, cans, etc found the following: Adds trying to convince people that re-cycling was good for the environment resulted in no noticeable change in re-cycle rates. Adds showing local people actually re-cycling *did* improve the rate. Apparently people are motivated by seeing others “do good”.




I'd say that's worth quite a bit... good insight, George! Thanks!


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TCW
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6212170 - 11/23/13 08:44 PM

Using emotional language appeals (obviously) to emotions and not the intellect. Many people like me resent this manipulation and would prefer arguments that focus on economics (energy savings) and other factual information. Manipulation turns people off.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6212662 - 11/24/13 05:56 AM

Quote:

Using emotional language appeals (obviously) to emotions and not the intellect. Many people like me resent this manipulation and would prefer arguments that focus on economics (energy savings) and other factual information. Manipulation turns people off.




In other words, you need to be manipulated at a more sophisticated level. There's a quote about lies and statistics that comes to mind ...

All of us make decisions based on emotions -- as well we should. Intellect is useful for matching up actions with goals, but it can't generate goals all on its lonesome. You can't get an "ought" from an "is."


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TCW
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6215242 - 11/25/13 02:16 PM

Manipulation is wrong. You can educate people and maybe invite them to view through your scope and perhaps an opportunity will open up to explain the negative effects of light pollution. Getting snarky does not lend credibility.

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gdd
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6218299 - 11/26/13 10:34 PM

Quote:

Using emotional language appeals (obviously) to emotions and not the intellect. Many people like me resent this manipulation and would prefer arguments that focus on economics (energy savings) and other factual information. Manipulation turns people off.




Our intellect tells us what we NEED.
Our emotions tell us what we WANT.

Gale


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6218651 - 11/27/13 06:00 AM

Quote:

Manipulation is wrong. You can educate people ...




In my cynical old age, I don't see a clear line between manipulation and education. I always aim to help people think for themselves -- but it's something that most people are profoundly reluctant to do. Educating -- literally, leading people out (of their self-imposed shells) -- doesn't just happen; it's something that has to be strategized, sort of like fighting a war. Manipulation, in other words.

And while aiming primarily at helping people think for themselves, there's no way around the fact that I also want them to see things from my point of view. You can admit that fact or not, but you'll always do it.

I think the main thing is to be honest with yourself, and then you will also be honest with others. In this case, it means admitting that there are both up and down sides to outdoor lighting. And that lack of evidence that lighting deters crime is not at all the same thing as evidence that lighting does not deter crime. And that while light pollution may have very minor ecological downsides (not so minor for sea turtles -- but they're the rare exception), it's primarily a quality-of-life issue.

Edited by Tony Flanders (11/27/13 06:45 AM)


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FirstSight
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6218911 - 11/27/13 09:52 AM

After you've finally persuaded your neighbor they're safer without lights, don't sneak up behind them one night and shout "BOO!"

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aatt
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: FirstSight]
      #6219254 - 11/27/13 12:44 PM

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.

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darknesss
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: aatt]
      #6220573 - 11/28/13 12:02 AM

Use emotional language like "Baby rabbits/kittens/puppies can't fall asleep at night because of your lights that use energy produced by RADIOACTIVE nukular reactors and those evil CO2-spewing coal plants".

Edited by darknesss (11/28/13 12:03 AM)


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careysub
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6239560 - 12/07/13 05:48 PM

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".


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Tony Flanders
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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Reged: 11/05/13

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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [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
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [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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TCW
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: aatt]
      #6295147 - 01/06/14 12:24 AM

If light trespass is anyone's light visible from your property how are you going to enforce that? In other words if you can see a light from within your property line it should be illegal? If so I have a 50+ mile radius under my thumb. Entire cities will have to go dark! As an aside what percentage of the population are astronomers, amateur or not?

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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: TCW]
      #6295620 - 01/06/14 10:22 AM

The "yardstick rule" has been used elsewhere with success, and is simple to for anyone to assess.

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magic612
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Epiphany: Connect indoor shades to outdoor lights new [Re: magic612]
      #6299780 - 01/08/14 10:55 AM

Wow... I just had an epiphany. Here's one that I think should work well - I'll make a graphic when I get a change to take a few photos and put a picture together, but feedback on this idea would be appreciated.

Imagine a typical Facebook-type meme. Two pictures; one of an indoor lamp with a shade on it, with most of the light going down, shielding the eye from the glare of the bulb. On the other side, a poorly shielded outdoor lamp, and these words on it:

"You shield your eyes from direct lighting glare inside your house; why not the ones outside?"

Doesn't mention astronomy. Connects indoor "good" lighting with that which is outside. No mention of cancer, just a simple, logical point that people don't usually connect.

Yes? No? Tweaks to make it better?


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csa/montana
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Re: Epiphany: Connect indoor shades to outdoor lights new [Re: magic612]
      #6299863 - 01/08/14 11:41 AM

When I saw the title, I thought it was a new thread. Changing the title of the thread will be confusing for readers.

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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollut new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6299871 - 01/08/14 11:47 AM

People change post titles all the time though in other forums here though...??? And if it's so confusing, why does the forum even allow us to change post titles?



I didn't think it would be so confusing for people, but I changed it back.


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csa/montana
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollut new [Re: magic612]
      #6299882 - 01/08/14 11:57 AM

Sorry; it just caught me off guard, as I'm been following this thread with interest. I was posting as a member, not as a moderator. Feel free to change it.

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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollut new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6299896 - 01/08/14 12:08 PM

No problem - any thoughts on the meme idea?

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rgm40
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollut new [Re: magic612]
      #6300719 - 01/08/14 07:38 PM

Take lesson from PETA. Have some scantily clad bikini girls stand on the street corner with signs

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glennshiller
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #6300727 - 01/08/14 07:41 PM

Light pollution is a growing problem and will not get better unless state, county, and city officials who regulate street lighting understand the impact that their lighting regulations have on our night skies and on the fuel consumption needed to generate the electricity for the lighting. I urge you to support the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The IDA strives to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Join now and become a member of the local IDA group near you. We have to start now. Light pollution will only get worse.

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alrosm
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Reged: 07/27/10

Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6300982 - 01/08/14 10:03 PM

I understand what you are trying to do but after what I saw in neighborhoods the last 2 years, I think it's an uphill battle.

There is only one solution and it is to move to a quieter and more isolated place.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: glennshiller]
      #6301130 - 01/08/14 11:45 PM

Quote:

Light pollution is a growing problem and will not get better unless state, county, and city officials who regulate street lighting understand the impact that their lighting regulations have on our night skies and on the fuel consumption needed to generate the electricity for the lighting. I urge you to support the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The IDA strives to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Join now and become a member of the local IDA group near you. We have to start now. Light pollution will only get worse.




This is exactly what I am trying to do - get people motivated to do these things. But we can work together, here, to parse language and methods of attacking this problem as only we, amateur astronomers, know how.

BTW, I am a member of the IDA. I work regularly with Scott Kardel, the Managing Director. He often posts the videos I make in IDA newsletters or on Twitter. I spend my own time every week, which take me 8 - 10 hours for each video, that are seen by 2,000+ people each week. Presently I am close to 600,000 total video views. I think I'm making an impact. I always mention light pollution. Every single one of my videos has the IDA's information in it. I also know and work with Audrey Fischer, my local state's IDA point person. So I'm involved, and doing what I can.

But we all need to get more involved, even if it's an hour a week, or an hour a month. This forum is a wonderful place for us to share ideas and strategies. There has been some great feedback here in this thread alone. So let's use those ideas, come up with words and language that is effective and doesn't just sound like, "Oh, Dave just wants to see more stars so I have to turn off my lights!" We need to make light pollution and light trespass matter to NON-amateur astronomers. And the only way we're going to do that is by working together - both with our local IDA chapters, if one exists near us, and/or on our own if not.

We're only going to do that with language and techniques that will have an impact. That means reaching people at an emotional level. That's just basic sales, folks. If we use logic and facts, we'll get nowhere. That's why I started this thread. Let's keep working on effective, emotionally powerful language.

We need to make the most of the voices we have here, and work together, and encourage each other, and share what ideas can make an impact, by doing it in the smartest, most effective ways possible. And that will involved emotionally powerful language, that captures people's minds and makes them think. That's how will start moving public opinion in our favor.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: alrosm]
      #6301135 - 01/08/14 11:46 PM

Quote:

I understand what you are trying to do but after what I saw in neighborhoods the last 2 years, I think it's an uphill battle.

There is only one solution and it is to move to a quieter and more isolated place.




And if you look at rural locations far away from cities, the light pollution is just going to follow people who run away from the problem. We need to run at it, or it's going to overtake all of us.

Yes, it's an uphill battle. I'm only in my 40's. I figure I've got a lot of decades worth of fight in me on this "uphill battle."

Who's with me?


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richard7Moderator
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6302572 - 01/09/14 05:19 PM

It sounds like a good idea Dave except why not try to approach it from the standpoint of a decorator. Decorators use only the type, size and style of lamps that highlight what they want you to see inside the house so why not outside.
Glare reduction is a big part of decorating so....


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: richard7]
      #6303231 - 01/09/14 11:08 PM

Good point, Richard!

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tbuzzi1
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: Kfrank]
      #6307836 - 01/12/14 10:37 AM

My neighbor, three houses down just installed what looks like a thousand watt yard light on his third floor roof. It makes my backyard look like a prison compound. I am going to approach him with the idea that my wife and I like to sit out on our patio in the evenings and enjoy our dark yard and the stars, which we do (did). It is part of our together time as we are both very busy during the day. I think he/she can respond to the importance of shared couple time. Failing that I will have to go to the town administration as we do have light trespass ordinances but-that will most likely start a "range war" which is totally non-productive. Once a neighbor (via "big brother") thinks you are telling him how he can live he will dig in his heels and than.....
As my proactive wife likes to say, do something positive for yourself in the situation. I stumbled cross a thread in the forums about building a light weight portable light shield for around an observing station. It changed my feelings from being a victim with no recourse to someone positively working on just another problem and has enabled me to be able to approach this neighbor with the body language, etc. of just a neighbor expressing a request. Not demanding anything.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: tbuzzi1]
      #6318228 - 01/17/14 10:08 AM

This thread is a good indicator of what a simple change in language can do (Light Efficient Communities). It's the kind of thing I've been working to get at in this thread.

What other ideas can we come up with? How can those of us in the U.S. and other countries model what we do based on what was successfully accomplished in Alberta Canada?


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wargrafix
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6318282 - 01/17/14 10:35 AM

what we need are summon-able meteorites to take out streetlights.

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Jon Rista
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: careysub]
      #6340116 - 01/28/14 02:25 AM

As much as I hate to say it, there is always the environmental approach. If there is anything that resonates with people, it is environmentalism. I'm not an adherent to anthropogenic climate change myself, I think climate is primarily guided by the earths relationship with the sun...

That said, the most civilized nations on earth burn an EXCESSIVE amount of power lighting our cities, our suburbs, and even our small towns at night. I'd say the best way to get the masses to turn against light at night, it would be to link the amount of power consumption for...what, gotta be at least a couple hundred million street lights in the US alone, let alone Europe...to power plant emissions. Simply turning off those lights...or at the very least turning off a majority of them, would have a HUGE impact on both energy consumption as well as light pollution.

LP would still exist...I don't think you can do anything about large metropolitan regions...downtown will always be brightly lit. But the size and extent of LP bubbles should shrink, become more compact, consume less of our wonderful nightly horizons.


Along the same lines, maybe more advanced and efficient night lighting could be used as a replacement. Low-energy lights could be used to replace bright high energy lights used to light metropolitan areas. Maybe some kind of mass motion sensing could be used to control stages of illumination. During the most active levels of the night, light levels could be kept higher...as the night wanes, and fewer people are active, the average rate of motion and commotion could be used to reduce the power of metropolitan light.

Similar tactics could be used for suburban areas. Earlier in the night, when there are more people out walking the streets, a brighter level of light (but perhaps still dimmer than your average sodium lamp) could be used. As the number of pedestrians and cars drops, the light levels could be dimmed, maybe even turned off altogether (cars still have headlights). Maybe keep a low level of illumination around street intersections for safety purposes, but keep it shielded, keep it diffuse, avoid directing and reflecting skyward as much as possible.

Edited by Jon Rista (01/28/14 02:30 AM)


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alrosm
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: magic612]
      #6382226 - 02/18/14 06:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I understand what you are trying to do but after what I saw in neighborhoods the last 2 years, I think it's an uphill battle.

There is only one solution and it is to move to a quieter and more isolated place.




And if you look at rural locations far away from cities, the light pollution is just going to follow people who run away from the problem. We need to run at it, or it's going to overtake all of us.

Yes, it's an uphill battle. I'm only in my 40's. I figure I've got a lot of decades worth of fight in me on this "uphill battle."

Who's with me?




I understand but for me what is important is direct light pollution, you need to be a little bit isolated and that's enough, I m in an orange zone, the problem is not for me to live in an orange zone but the neighbor's behavior.
I had the opportunity to live in a very safe area and I was amazed of the level of fear and suspicion, when in fact nothing was happening, you just cannot fight against that.


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magic612
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Re: Emotionally powerful language for light pollution new [Re: alrosm]
      #6395143 - 02/24/14 10:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I understand what you are trying to do but after what I saw in neighborhoods the last 2 years, I think it's an uphill battle.

There is only one solution and it is to move to a quieter and more isolated place.




And if you look at rural locations far away from cities, the light pollution is just going to follow people who run away from the problem. We need to run at it, or it's going to overtake all of us.

Yes, it's an uphill battle. I'm only in my 40's. I figure I've got a lot of decades worth of fight in me on this "uphill battle."

Who's with me?




I understand but for me what is important is direct light pollution, you need to be a little bit isolated and that's enough, I m in an orange zone, the problem is not for me to live in an orange zone but the neighbor's behavior.
I had the opportunity to live in a very safe area and I was amazed of the level of fear and suspicion, when in fact nothing was happening, you just cannot fight against that.




I refuse to have a defeatist attitude.


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