Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We are all of us in the gutter

... but some of us are looking at the stars.

Personally, I think most street lights are unnecessary, too, but I'm a big guy in a safe suburb (and I'm not afraid of coyotes other than on behalf of my small dog).

Most clear nights, I can still see the Milky Way, but sky glow is increasing. Practically all of my neighbors have outdoor fixtures that not only leak light to the side but have glass-paned tops, so it's hard to show significant benefits of my insistence on opaque tops. Even mine probably don't meet dark skies criteria, so I leave them off most of the time.

There's no alternative to law to saving the night sky - other than major economic collapse. Even though the blessed darkness of the night sky is a pet cause of mine, I have a hard time ranking it high on my list of urgent concerns.

Update (9/26): Out under the full moon last night, I wondered why we don't turn off streetlights on clear moon-lit nights. It's plenty bright to drive, and streetlights only make shadows darker and easier to hide in.

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