Newest Fad, Reducing Light Pollution, Gains Steam

We’ll start off with the question, is light actually “pollution”? Or is simply a result of living a modern lifestyle, so that people can go out after dark, instead of huddling and hiding in shacks against the predators of the night? Anyhow, once again, a good, sensible idea is taken to Stupid

The push to turn down the lights in American cities is gaining broad support from several unlikely allies – from conservationists and builders to city planners and the military.

Dark-sky legislation – laws requiring such measures as shielding outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution – has been embraced by about 300 counties, cities and towns.

More than 50 state bills have been introduced in the past two years, and seven were enacted. Eighteen states –Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming – have adopted dark-sky legislation in recent years, according to Bob Parks, executive director of the Tucson-based International Dark-Sky Association

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From an aesthetic viewpoint, this is not actually that bad of an idea. The military supports it, especially in Texas, as the story goes on to point out, because it is hard to simulate what it’s like to fight in a 3rd world guano hole, sorry, developing nation, especially from the air. And, hey, it’s wonderful to look up at the stars and see lots and lots of stars. And there is nothing wrong with saving some energy and money, especially when it is your tax dollars. Aiming lights, especially ones like street lights, downwards, will reduce the overall amount of light needed, and reduce energy costs. One article I read about this a few months ago discussed putting inexpensive shields over street lights that will reflect most of the light that is lost with current types downward, lighting a broader area. Overall, a good idea. Nothing wrong with energy efficiency, reduced costs, a more revealing skyline, and not messing with wildlife nighttime patterns.

Buuuuuuuuuut, of course, that really isn’t why the mostly liberal groups have pushed this meme, and labeled it “pollution”

“It’s a broad environmental issue, and it’s also a safety issue,” Parks says. “It’s a pure waste of energy, dollars, and it contributes to greenhouse emissions. … For every watt of electricity used needlessly, somewhere a coal power plant is generating that electricity.”

Our old friend climate alarmism. So, of course, what we need is ……. more government regulation!

Smaller cities have been more aggressive in changing outdoor lighting laws. Southampton, N.Y., recently passed an ordinance after more than a two-year tug of war that pitted environmentalists against citizens concerned about safety. The law sets wattage limits and the hours that outdoor lights can be left on.

“Cities and local governments can adopt policies … but it’s more forceful if the state legislature comes in,” says Melissa Savage, program director in Washington for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Yay, government! Unshockingly, these enviro-weenies want to put a nebulous, cult like belief in man-induced global warming, and not messing up the sleep patterns of squirrels, over the safety of citizens. Is it any wonder that liberal cities tend to have much more violence and crime than conservative cities? I blame……Jonn Lilyea and Allahpundit, who both live in Big Cities, which have tons of streetlights.

PS: It’ll be fun when the alarmists whine about not being able to go out at night to their big fundraisers because it is too dangerous, thanks to reduced ambient light at night. They’ll certainly be the first ones mugged: predators tend to prey on the weak.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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