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Don’t Ignore That Light So if the Check Engine light comes on and it’s steady rather than flashing, what do you do? The most obvious answer, of course, is to get the engine checked. But many people do nothing, perhaps fearing an expensive repair bill. Some drivers with older cars want to squeeze out as many remaining miles as possible without visiting a service garage. But before they can pass their state’s vehicle inspection, they have to get the light turned off. And a state inspection is a good motivator for dealing with the problem. If the light is lit, there’s a good chance the car is releasing excess pollutants or consuming too much gas. Please enter any additional information that may help our technician locate the light for repair. U.S. federal agencies may also enforce standards and process complaints within their areas of jurisdiction. For instance, in the case of light trespass by white strobe lighting from communication towers in excess of FAA minimum lighting requirements[13] the Federal Communications Commission maintains an Antenna Structure Registration database[14] information which citizens may use to identify offending structures and provides a mechanism for processing citizen inquiries and complaints.[15] The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has also incorporated a credit for reducing the amount of light trespass and sky glow into their environmentally friendly building standard known as LEED. By an accident I turned off the camera when the picture wasn’t fully out and I pulled it out but now it flashes red loading lights and doesn’t even take pictures The purpose of this paper is to elucidate light pollution as a normative concept, and focus specifically on its increasing role in shaping, or framing, future regulatory efforts, and decision-making processes. The goal is not to condemn or approve of the use of light pollution from an ethical perspective, nor is it to arrive at definitive answers for the ambiguities inherent in the concept. Rather, I begin by accepting the term as the dominant concept for describing a novel environmental problem, and critically reflect on its ethical significance and potential limitations. While the implications of light pollution are far-reaching, here I will focus specifically on light pollution as it relates to urban nighttime lighting. Such an analysis can be seen as an example of an issue discussed within this journal by Elliott (2009 Elliott, K. (2009). The ethical significance of language in the environmental sciences: Case studies from pollution research. Ethics, Place & Environment, 12, 157–173.10.1080/13668790902863382[Taylor & Francis Online] [Google Scholar]), namely the ethical significance of language and terminology choices for framing environmental policy decisions and debates. While Elliott discusses very different types of pollution, the themes highlighted are quite relevant for an examination of light pollution. Elliott—who draws from a more pragmatic branch of environmental ethics that I adopt here—describes the usefulness of practical ethics for policy discussions. Philosophers can help to create and define the moral space within which policy decisions will be made, and so can contribute to upstream policy decisions. Elliot (2009 Elliott, K. (2009). The ethical significance of language in the environmental sciences: Case studies from pollution research. Ethics, Place & Environment, 12, 157–173.10.1080/13668790902863382[Taylor & Francis Online] [Google Scholar], p. 170) explains that, To precisely measure how bright the sky gets, night time satellite imagery of the earth is used as raw input for the number and intensity of light sources. These are put into a physical model[26] of scattering due to air molecules and aerosoles to calculate cumulative sky brightness. Maps that show the enhanced sky brightness have been prepared for the entire world.[27] In the attic there are three switches. Each switch controls one of the lights in the basement. A street light fault is classed as an emergency if the light’s wires are exposed, if the shade is broken or hanging off or if the problem is caused by a road traffic accident.  If you think the problem is an emergency, please call Contact Warrington on 01925 443322 and the team will aim to inspect the light within two hours. Measuring the effect of sky glow on a global scale is a complex procedure. The natural atmosphere is not completely dark, even in the absence of terrestrial sources of light and illumination from the Moon. This is caused by two main sources: airglow and scattered light. You can report a dark or broken street light below. A more recent discussion (2009), written by Professor Steven Lockley, Harvard Medical School, can be found in the CfDS handbook “Blinded by the Light?”.[50] Chapter 4, “Human health implications of light pollution” states that “… light intrusion, even if dim, is likely to have measurable effects on sleep disruption and melatonin suppression. Even if these effects are relatively small from night to night, continuous chronic circadian, sleep and hormonal disruption may have longer-term health risks”. The New York Academy of Sciences hosted a meeting in 2009 on Circadian Disruption and Cancer.[51] Red light suppresses melatonin the least.[52] Unfortunately, research is showing that in the U.S.A. fully two-thirds of us live under skies so bright we have lost the view of the Milky Way. And this loss comes mostly from just plain bad lighting – lighting that is not even doing a good job of showing us things we need or want to see on the ground. 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]) mention the tricky issue of ‘shifting baseline syndrome’. As nights get brighter, people have a new conception of what ‘normal’ levels of light are, and base their evaluations of acceptable levels of brightness on this. A focus on needs could help to overcome shifting baselines. But, such an approach risks omitting the preferences of local stakeholders, and as such may create technocratic and paternalistic policies. This may contribute to downstream value-level conflicts when regulations are enacted. For example, safety is a central facet of nighttime lighting and an important value intertwined with urban nightscapes. While the correlation between increased lighting and increased safety is contentious, research suggests that lighting influences feelings and perceptions of safety (King, 2010 King, C. (2010). Field surveys of the effect of lamp spectrum on the perception of safety and comfort and night. Lighting Research & Technology, 42, 313–329.[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]), and that feelings of fear increase at night (Li et al., 2015 Li, Y., Ma, W., Kang, Q., Qiao, L., Tang, D., Qiu, J., … Li, H. (2015). Night or darkness, which intensifies the feeling of fear? International Journal of Psychophysiology, 97, 46–57.10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.04.021[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar]). Such findings represent a challenge for needs-based nighttime lighting efforts. Attention to the preferences of local stakeholders becomes critical to the creation of regulations that will be supported and successful. The frame creation model discussed above (Dorst, 2015 Dorst, K. (2015). Frame innovation: Create new thinking by design. Cambridge: The MIT Press. [Google Scholar]) is but one approach that incorporates the values and desires of stakeholders; a variety of other participatory or value-focused design strategies could also be effectively utilized to address conflicts of this nature. Report a street lighting problem When artificial light affects organisms and ecosystems it is called ecological light pollution. While light at night can be beneficial, neutral, or damaging for individual species, its presence invariably disturbs ecosystems. For example, some species of spiders avoid lit areas, while other species are happy to build their spider web directly on a lamp post. Since lamp posts attract many flying insects, the spiders that don’t mind light, gain an advantage over the spiders that avoid it. This is a simple example of the way in which species frequencies and food webs can be disturbed by the introduction of light at night. 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