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We design, install and maintain street lights on most public highways. See our street lighting policy [pdf, 80.71Kb] . Light pollution is the adding-of/added light itself, in analogy to added sound, carbon dioxide, etc. Adverse consequences are multiple; some of them may not be known yet. Scientific definitions thus include the following: A typical kerosene lamp is made by taking an empty bottle or tin can, putting a wick in the middle, filling it with fuel and lighting. Using kerosene for lighting is extremely inefficient, dangerous and expensive, and it has extensive health and environmental drawbacks. We began with a problem (we have too much light at night) and a related question (how much artificial light at night is appropriate?). We now have the origins, context, and detailed definition in hand for the concept of light pollution. With this, we can return to the question of framing outlined in Section 2, and scrutinize the ethical significance of increasingly relying on light pollution for policy decision-making; we can assess the answer light pollution provides for our question. Increased regulation and alternative design approaches will be necessary to address the myriad of undesired effects uncovered in contemporary research. And, light pollution offers a framing to orient responses. Furthermore, in it’s broad understanding of causes and effects, light pollution accommodates a variety of interpretations, allowing for a multiplicity of regulatory and technical solutions. Dark sky ordinances and new laws already exist, which often include detailed technical specifications.99. Morgan-Taylor (2014 Morgan-Taylor, M. (2014). Regulating light pollution in Europe: Legal challenges and ways forward. In J. Meier, U. Hasenöhrl, K. Krause, & M. Pottharst (Eds.), Urban lighting, light pollution and society (pp. 159–176). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. [Google Scholar]) provides a brief analysis of current regulatory efforts in Europe. France is cited as having perhaps the strongest law to date, which requires non-residential buildings to switch off exterior lights and window displays between 1am and 7am. Other examples cited include regions of Italy that have taken a technical approach, prohibited lights above a specific brightness to project above the horizontal. Additionally, an online appendix to the article by Kyba et al. (2014 Kyba, C., Hänel, A., & Hölker, F. (2014). Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting. Energy & Environmental Science, 7, 1806–1809.10.1039/C4EE00566J[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]) lists all known regulations and ordinances that are currently in place, as well as their motivations and targets.View all notes However, it is pertinent to reflect on the framework in which these decisions were made, and to consider how light pollution will shape future initiatives. Creating a coherent and effective frame for the challenges of nighttime lighting carries its own idiosyncratic considerations. Beyond functionality, the symbolic meanings of lighting technologies have played an active role in determining their uses and acceptance (Nye, 2006 Nye, D. E. (2006). Technology matters: Questions to live with. Cambridge: The MIT Press. [Google Scholar]). Throughout history, perceptions of nighttime lighting have consistently blurred the literal and the symbolic; intertwined actual lighting with metaphorical notions of the values that lighting embodies (Schivelbusch, 1988 Schivelbusch, W. (1988). Disenchanted night: The industrialization of light in the nineteenth century. (A. Davis, Trans.) London: University of California Press. [Google Scholar]). This is not entirely surprising, as metaphors are pervasive in our everyday language (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980 Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We live by. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]) and politics (Stone, 2002 Stone, D. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company Inc. [Google Scholar]). A metaphorical concept allows us to see one thing in terms of another—in this case, to see some outputs of artificial lighting as a ‘pollutant’ of the night sky, our bodies, and ecosystems. Like sound pollution, it is a powerful framing that will shape how we think, speak, and act with regards to nighttime lighting technologies. Conceptual metaphors are useful but also can be troublesome, because Senator Bernie Sanders took the spotlight Monday in a live-streamed town hall focused on inequality. The event came a couple of days after an op-ed in The Guardian in which he criticized “corporate media” for ignoring the rise of oligarchy in the US. However, if this were the case, then scientists would still have to treat the universe as though it were ancient and so the actual date of creation is irrelevant. For some creationists, the possibility of God being deliberately deceptive is uncomfortable. (For example, did human-observed supernovae ever actually occur?) This solution also raises the problem of deciding when God created the apparently old universe – was it 6,000 years ago, or last Thursday? Moreover, many young-earth creationists also believe in the imminent destruction of the universe, which raises the question of whether stars farther away than 10,000 or so light-years ever actually existed to begin with. The 350 year project of illuminating our nights has produced a challenging situation. The desire for more and better lighting at night has left us with an overabundance of artificial illumination, and has produced a novel problem. The realization of lengthening the day is increasingly perceived as a loss of the night, and a new frame has emerged to give shape to these concerns. The story of light pollution goes back much further than the 1970s, in juxtaposition but nevertheless linked to the technical and social history of modern nighttime illumination. Importantly, the concept of light pollution re-frames certain aspects and uses of nighttime lighting technologies. If we return once more to the driving question (how much artificial light at night is appropriate?), we can appreciate that the concept of light pollution provides a new starting point, and not an end point, for discussions about the future of nighttime lighting.1010. I would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for this insight.View all notes Sea turtle hatchlings emerging from nests on beaches are another casualty of light pollution. It is a common misconception that hatchling sea turtles are attracted to the moon. Rather, they find the ocean by moving away from the dark silhouette of dunes and their vegetation, a behavior with which artificial lights interfere.[67] The breeding activity and reproductive phenology of toads, however, are cued by moonlight.[68] Juvenile seabirds may also be disoriented by lights as they leave their nests and fly out to sea.[69][70][71] Amphibians and reptiles are also affected by light pollution. Introduced light sources during normally dark periods can disrupt levels of melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates photoperiodic physiology and behaviour. Some species of frogs and salamanders utilize a light-dependent “compass” to orient their migratory behaviour to breeding sites. Introduced light can also cause developmental irregularities, such as retinal damage, reduced sperm production, and genetic mutation.[53][72][73][58][74][75] Inspection of the area surrounding Madrid reveals that the effects of light pollution caused by a single large conglomeration can be felt up to 100 km (62 mi) away from the center.[28] Global effects of light pollution are also made obvious. The entire area consisting of southern England, Netherlands, Belgium, west Germany, and northern France have a sky brightness of at least 2 to 4 times above normal (see above right). The only places in continental Europe where the sky can attain its natural darkness are in northern Scandinavia and in islands far from the continent. Unless your car starts smoking or stalls completely head over to an auto parts store and have them run a diagnostic to find the cause of the check engine light. Call ahead and make sure they can handle your make and model, since some cars have special computers. Once you’re at the store, they’ll come out and plug a small computer underneath your dashboard and read back a code stating what happened to the car. ¹ http://physics.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-health.html ² http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/15/nutrients-better-sleep.aspx ³ https://www.sciencenews.org/article/darkness-melatonin-may-stall-breast-and-prostate-cancers ⁴ http://physics.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-environ.html A side note here: I grew up in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx, and during the 1960s, I could see quite a bit of the night sky from my backyard. But today, the city has gotten brighter. Much brighter. So bright, in fact, that now I can easily read a newspaper at night near my childhood stomping grounds without a flashlight. And the skies at my old Adirondack campsite have gotten noticeably brighter, too. What was once a sea of stars against a pitch-black background now looks more like a shade of charcoal gray. 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