May 21, 2017:
When I was growing up, I used to see stars in the night. Now my children see stars in the planetarium, or we go 100s of miles away from the city to see stars.
Most cities are glowing up with the bright light these days and it is hard to see stars and constellations. These bright lights confuse birds, and they smash into buildings and get injured or die. Artificial light also confuses animals and they end up at wrong places risking their lives. For example, turtle babies can move towards the city instead of the ocean and die of dehydration and by predators. When we are flying at night time, instead of looking up at stars we look down to see city lights.
Some studies showed that light has harmful effects on the brain and eyes. It can help in development and growth of cancer cells. Exposure to light at night also decreases melatonin production and interferes with the sleep cycle.
Very bright and glowing bill boards are coming in the city. How can people sleep in that bright light? And what about the ill health effects of these?
What is the solution?
- Direction of light can be changed by mindful designs and shielding. Much of the light from bulbs goes up in the sky. If light is shielded from above it will go in the direction of earth and therefore there will be less light pollution of sky.
- Intensity of light can be adjusted to minimum required.
- Spectrum of light is important too. Blue light goes more towards the sky. Red, orange areas of light spectrum go less towards the sky.
- A bill should be passed to ban light exposure in some areas and situation. e.g. if someone is lighting bulbs in their home, they should cover their windows so that light does not show up outside.
- Many buildings and schools leave all lights on every night. I do not understand the reason for that. There should be a penalty for unnecessary light exposure.
- There is need for realtime light intensity, color, duration adjustment. Smart light system is necessary.
- Please stand up and speak up for yourself, for our children and for everyone- fellow humans, birds,animals etc.
We have to give our next generation the opportunity to see sky or the mystery of universe. It is their right and our responsibility.