Friend Chanda (Hi Chanda! Glad I finally found something that ticked you off enough to make you speak up!) rightfully upbraids me on a point that’s been nagging at me since I posted the Google Black story:
I mean, my god(s), it’d be nice to see the freaking Milky Way again no?
Darn betcha, and I should have followed my instincts and at least mentioned the Dark Sky movement, which I am wholly sympathetic to, and which has nothing to do with the Google Black / Earth Hour insanity.
Light pollution is a serious problem for all of us who see the sun as our nearest star, and the night sky as an ocean of suns.
Without question, lights help us feel secure. Whether in our houses, our cars, or on our sidewalks, we bask in the protective glow of lights. The IDA does not seek to eliminate such useful and necessary forms of lighting. Instead, it just hopes to modify the current excessive lighting practices. Following through with such efforts can conserve energy, reduce harmful glare on the road, and of course, allow for a purer view of the night sky. The IDA, though, is trying to convince local and state governments to light intelligently and, coincidentally, economically.
Of course, simple thrift dictates turning out unused lights, and being as efficient as possible. I’ve even installed a few CFL’s, although I have some problems with that particular solution to the insane wastefulness of ordinary incandescents. I eagerly await good-looking LED lamps, or even something more exotic.
What I do have a problem with is people wanting to turning out their lights to, in my view, protest civilization. Instapunk eloquently rebuts that trend:
Think about it. Your idea of progress is watching the lights go out on civilization? It’s never occurred to you that the beginning of the self-absorbed obsession you have with yourselves occurred in the torchlight of the aged twenty-somethings who finally had the post-sunset leisure time to invent social criticism (i.e., art) in the Lascaux caves 15,000 years ago?
But you’ve used your so-called rationalism to turn everything 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Your ancestors equated light with life. You’ve tricked yourselves into equating light with death.
Read the whole damning thing. That’s what ‘Punk, Beck, Tremayne, the Grouch, and I and many others were railing about yesterday.