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The Illuminati Project Pushes For Dark Skies In 2009

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the daddy-what-were-light-bulbs? dept.

Earth 315

An anonymous reader writes "2009 is the 400th anniversary of Galileo's observations of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter published in Sidereus Nuncius ('Starry Messenger'). To improve scientific literacy, the NOAO and NASA are promoting dark-sky initiatives in 2009 to draw attention to the problem of light pollution which obscures nearly all night sky colors and objects except for the moon and a few bright stars and planets. Project Illuminati is a Flickr project by James Cann to showcase the beauty of light pollution to raise awareness and educate fellow Earthmates to lower energy consumption and become more curious about our place in the universe."

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315 comments

Ubuntu (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365441)

Linux for Subhuman Beings [tripod.com]

thirsty for a fuckin firsty!

captcha: avoider

Post-Apocalypse... (-1, Offtopic)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365491)

Skies are very nice.

I am confused... (5, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365503)

They are trying to promote dark skies (which of course show some amazing celestial bodies) by showing how pretty of a red sky light pollution makes???

Re:I am confused... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365623)

They're promoting rape, home invasions, muggings and carjackings.

Nothing provides a more dramatic reduction in crime than a good streetlight.

These meatballs have no right to a dark sky in a civilized area. If they want dark, move to the sticks

Re:I am confused... (5, Interesting)

jadin (65295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365743)

There are a lot of things people can do to stop light pollution without increasing risks.

The easiest example I remember is streetlights that use cones to direct the light at the ground instead of letting it escape every direction including up into the sky. The amount of light we have on the ground remains the same and light pollution is noticeably reduced by this simple example.

Thanks for making me waste a mod point by replying to your knee-jerk response.

- I'm also confused by their campaign choice, let's stop light pollution cause it's so.. beautiful!

Re:Simple Example (5, Interesting)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365867)

In order for the light to remain the same, you'd probably have to reduce the power to the lamp.

Re:Simple Example (4, Insightful)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366013)

Errr, and that's a problem? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Re:I am confused... (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366445)

Yeah, that was a knee jerk response, but a good one. Often You hear advocacy group A advocate their position as if it was the only one around. For the price of a starbucks latte we could put a Man on mars!. Or eliminate Cancer. Or eliminate AIDS. Or Create 1 million high paying jobs.

The point being that there are trade offs... opportunity costs. That isn't an argument for the status quo, but somethings need to be considered in conjunction with other factors. As the parent suggested perhaps there is a way we could cheaply reduce the light pollution while maintaining the current level of crime fighting that it gives us.

Re:I am confused... (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366987)

What about switching to blue lights? I saw some shots of streets where they had switched to blue street lights(Japan, I think) and not only did it seem to help with light pollution but according to the article it actually saw a reduction in crime where the blue lights were in place. They weren't sure why exactly, there was some speculation that it caused criminals to pause as it was harder to judge where they could and couldn't be seen, or perhaps the color simply made it harder for them to judge their target, hell who knows. But if it works we could have a win/win here. Because from the pics I saw there was plenty of light from the blue street lights without the spreading that you see from the white. And as a plus it looks really pretty at night.

Re:I am confused... (-1, Troll)

KudyardRipling (1063612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367355)

It is yet another entity with college (over)education who by virtue of said education think that it is its (pseudo-divine) right to lecture us about our lifestyles. Elitists have no place in a republic.

Let's have fun turning the nanny-staters against themselves: LIGHT POLLUTION SAVES LIVES. If they scream about the the environment (which they are), then we have them where we want them: it is not about saving lives; it is about controlling every aspect of our lives.

Re:I am confused... (2, Insightful)

golfbum (1408137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366651)

illumination effectiveness falls off with the square of the distance from the source. any illumination that comes from a street lamp that comes from an angle much more than 45 degrees from directly down is pretty useless. all it does is act as a beacon to blind folks unfortunate enough to view it. lights are often visible from a half mile away which is completely absurd. of course in addition to light pollution and reducing night vision ability it also pisses away power. gb

Re:I am confused... (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365823)

Hrm, tetchy, I think... you're low on Electrolytes [youtube.com] , have some more! :)

Re:I am confused... (2, Informative)

ppanon (16583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367477)

LED Street lights [ledlights.ca] should help a lot with this. LED illumination is a lot more directional and therefore there should have a lot less wasted photons/energy. As a bonus it saves money [www.york.ca] for the same level of illumination. Pilot projects [eco-can.ca] are already under way.

It's really amazing how much of a difference (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365509)

getting out into the middle of nowhere makes. On a clear night out in Yellowstone, for example, there are so many stars in the sky it can be hard to find constellations you're used to seeing in the city. Really beautiful.

People need to get past the idea that you have to try to illuminate every shadow. All you're doing is ruining people's night vision, and thus making the remaining shadows "darker".

Red lights (5, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365661)

Whenever I explain your point to other people, they look at me like I'm from another planet. I usually tell them that if they really want lights, they should use red lights and explain to them why it doesn't ruin their night vision and why astronomers and photolabs use red lights.

+1 Clever! :) (4, Funny)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366105)

Whenever I explain your point to other people, they look at me like I'm from another planet.

You'll get used to it, eventually... sometimes the easiest way is to just tell them that you ARE ;)

Re:+1 Clever! :) (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367229)

I knew a guy that tried that. At least, I think he was 'trying' it and not really believing it. It didn't work well for him.

Re:Red lights (2, Informative)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366341)

I always believed the color of lights in the photo labs has something to do with the insensitivity of the photo paper.

Re:Red lights (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366723)

You're making me doubt. I'll have to check. I always understood it was because the red light was weaker.

Re:Red lights (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366811)

I believe red lights are used by the military where people need to keep their night vision.

Re:Red lights (4, Informative)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367231)

correct. The pupil is effected (affected? - who gives a fsck) by the blue scale. The use of a red light for night time map reading etc allows the pupil to remain open and there is no visibility lost when the light is switched off.

Try for yourself. Get a torch and a red filter and a blue filter. Go out at night and let your eyes get used to the darkness. Shine the torch through the red filter such that you cannot see any white lite. You will be able to see quite well after you switch the torch off. Now try with the blue filter. Once you switch the torch off you will have to wait until your eyes adjust to the darkness again.

Re:Red lights (5, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367479)

Try for yourself. Get a torch and a red filter and a blue filter. Go out at night and let your eyes get used to the darkness. Shine the torch through the red filter such that you cannot see any white lite. You will be able to see quite well after you switch the torch off.

I tried, this - but not realizing you weren't American, I ended up setting both the red and blue filters on fire, and then badly burning myself trying to switch the torch off.

But is it my fault? I think not - you are the one named fireman sam, so I would have thought you'd have been a bit more responsible!

Re:Red lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26367279)

I also read that red is less noticeable by the enemies, so it's easier to read a map without giving your position.

Related: Y'know, they could bring this concept back to domestic/portable appliances, who fell in love with blue LEDs lately. I hate'em, and I heard there is research showing is the most annoying color for the human eye at night, but I'm to lazy to google it now.

Re:Red lights (3, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367221)

Red lights are used by people with telescopes. This page [stlplaces.com] has a good bit of detail on the biology behind night vision and different colors. The basic summary? If you want fast dark adaptation, use blue-green. If you want to see detail and can afford to lose peripheral vision, use very low level deep red. For general walking-around light. blue-green with enough red to get rid of the night blind spot (or dim white). If you need to see color, dim white.

Re:Red lights (1)

Mozk (844858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367061)

That's true, but it's also true that the rod cells, the cells in the retina primarily responsibly for night vision, are insensitive to red light with wavelengths longer than around 640, especially at low intensities. So your eyes stay adapted to the low illumination conditions even in its presence. This also explains the Purkinje effect [wikipedia.org] whereby in low illumination conditions the cone cells, which perceive color, become inactive, while the rod cells, which are sensitive to greens and blues but not reds, become active, leaving reds to appear duller.

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (2, Interesting)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366075)

I know exactly what you mean. In my younger days my family lived in rural Missouri where they didn't have any street lights (back country roads are like that.....or used to be at any rate). I could go outside on any given night and see the Milky Way. I've since moved central Ohio and now I realize what a problem street lamps are for stargazing. It is a real shame, and I can't help but think about the number of people who have grown up in the city and never experienced a true night sky.

People need to get past the idea that you have to try to illuminate every shadow. All you're doing is ruining people's night vision, and thus making the remaining shadows "darker".

I'm just pitching in the dark here (insert rimshot :-P), but I think the major argument for all the street lights in most places is presumably safety. I know that in the city that I live in there are streets I actively avoid at night (as well as during the day come to think of it) because of the part of town they're in and their lack of street lamps. I would love to see more cities using anti-light pollutions lamps, as this would really be the best of both worlds.

Cost of energy (3, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366131)

As the cost of energy rises in the medium future, I think this will sort itself out. Towns will question why they are spending so much on lighting and cut back. Generally, households use all they electricity they can afford so rising prices will make people cut back. People don't (usually) run the AC in the summer with the front door wide open. People don't like heating/cooling the outside. It's too expensive and wasteful. Similarly, I think people will curb their habits of trying to light entire cities at night.

Re:Cost of energy (4, Insightful)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366631)

Towns will question why they are spending so much on lighting and cut back...Similarly, I think people will curb their habits of trying to light entire cities at night.

And this curbing of their habits will come to an abrupt halt once someone is mugged/assaulted/raped on a normally safe - but slightly darker - street, and the think-of-the-children rallying cry is raised.

The bottom line is that lighting in heavily populated areas does increase safety, by discouraging those who would use the cover of darkness for their crimes. The couple dollars a night it takes to light a mile of street is well worth the cost to those living on, or walking at night on, those streets.

"It's better to light a candle, than curse the darkness."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Re:Cost of energy (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366843)

Towns will question why they are spending so much on lighting and cut back...Similarly, I think people will curb their habits of trying to light entire cities at night.

And this curbing of their habits will come to an abrupt halt once someone is mugged/assaulted/raped on a normally safe - but slightly darker - street, and the think-of-the-children rallying cry is raised. The bottom line is that lighting in heavily populated areas does increase safety, by discouraging those who would use the cover of darkness for their crimes. The couple dollars a night it takes to light a mile of street is well worth the cost to those living on, or walking at night on, those streets.

I am not sure I agree, Public lighting increases the contrast between light and shadow. And shadowed areas are still there.

Re:Cost of energy (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367185)

The bottom line is that lighting in heavily populated areas does increase safety, by discouraging those who would use the cover of darkness for their crimes. The couple dollars a night it takes to light a mile of street is well worth the cost to those living on, or walking at night on, those streets.

If crime was that much of a worry, they would probably be installing blue light. [softpedia.com] In energy conscious Japan, in the area where I was living they were doing exactly that. I just can't see them doing that in the US of A.

Now some people have been recommending red lights. I can only wonder what effect that would have on crime (if any.) I would think that blue light would probably be better than while light for star watching, but not as good as red.

Re:Cost of energy (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367271)

Your comment uses something that he never said (slightly darker), to base your whole argumentation off of it.

The point of this whole thread was, that you can reduce light pollution without reducing brightness on the street at all.
in fact, mirroring the light back to the ground instead of losing it to the sky, will make for more efficient lights. So just installing mirrors will brighten the streets!
Installing lamps that are darker by the same amount, that they gain by reflecting everything to the streets, will make them exactly as bright as the old lights, while saving energy.

That's why some grand-parent post called it a win-win.
But you could not afford not to ignore that, could you? Or else your whole argumentation, and with that, your whole point of view, would collapse like a house of cards. And that you just could not accept.

Re:Cost of energy (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367425)

First off, let's not pretend that light pollution is harmless to human health. The circadian system is at least in part regulated by the amount and type of light that our eyes receive. As for safety, there are several types. As far as traffic goes, street lights are generally positively correlated with safety at intersections, but lighting of roadways between intersections shows mixed results in the studies I've seen.

Back to the main point of your post, though: crime. Ever heard of the Chicago Alley Lighting Project? In 1998, Chicago attempted to test this very theory: that increasing lighting of dark places would reduce crimes like rape and muggings. They took two eight-square-block areas, one for study and one as a control, and tripled the lighting in the study area. Guess what happened? Crime went *UP* in the test area, in all categories -- 77% for property crime, 32% for violent crime, etc -- an overall increase of 40%. The daytime crime rate in the study area dropped 23%. In the control area, nighttime crime only went up 19%, while daytime went down 21%.

Overlighting an area makes the shadows appear darker and makes it easier for criminals to see what they're doing. Extra lighting makes people *feel* safer, but it usually doesn't make them any safer. For public safety, the goal should be not to make as much illumination as possible, but to even out illumination -- not too bright in the bright places, not to dim in the dark places.

Re:Cost of energy (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366831)

As the cost of energy rises in the medium future, I think this will sort itself out.

Using LEDs may help, because they are much more directional and emit light on narrow bands.

Re:Cost of energy (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367283)

I agree with you, but you misunderstand two things:

1) We live in a society where the mentality of security and safety greatly overrides that of efficiency and scientific endeavour.

2) If you've see a city from the air at night, you'd notice that the vast majority of the Orange Hue comes from city streetlights and businesses (large empty parking lots, mostly). Residential lighting is either too dim or too sparse to make nearly as much difference when it comes to lighting up the sky.

The best tact to counter light pollution in large cities is to penalize businesses for having parking lot lights on all night when the business isn't even open at night. That will help, but probably won't have a huge impact. You definitely won't get any politician onboard to kill the city streetlights, though.

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366563)

I am sure the night vision or lack thereof of slashdotters isn't affected at all by street lights.

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366701)

On a clear night out in Yellowstone

Enjoy it while it's there...

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366741)

When I worked at a summer camp a few years ago, all of the staff carried flashlights, but rarely used them, because they were able to walk the trails at night with nothing but ambient light from the sky, even on the darker nights where there was cloud cover and a new moon. About the only time they would get used is when walking with the campers, as a courtesy.

I use Surefire flashlights now, but at the time I carried a Mini-Maglite, with the regular incandescent bulb. I put a pair of AAs in there at the beginning of the summer, and 10 weeks later I went home with the same pair of batteries running that light, and they were just starting to die.

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366873)

When I worked at a summer camp a few years ago, all of the staff carried flashlights, but rarely used them, because they were able to walk the trails at night with nothing but ambient light from the sky

Near a city, thats easy to do ;)

In the Mallee [wikipedia.org] I have been out on nights where Venus was almost too bright to look at, and distant towns could be seen by their halos.

I will inject into this thread (4, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366825)

My annoyance with any and all of you who are reading this and use any kind of bright hurricane light while camping. You ruin my night vision. You dont need your stupid light you fool. Grrrr.

Even on the darkest of nights, you dont need any light to find your way around in the dark. Give yourself a couple minutes to adjust and you will do fine. If you really need light, get a maglite and some blue gels for it. Using a blue gel will let you turn on the light for a second or two while you check for the boogie man, and when you turn it off you'll have most of your night vision back right away.

Re:I will inject into this thread (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367141)

I used to live in the country side when I was I kid and there were no lights. It used to be pitch black to the point where it felt like walking with my eyes closed.

Perhaps in open areas what you say is true however if you're in a wooded area with overhanging trees then you'd have no chance of seeing in the dark.

speaking from experience... (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367515)

Even on a moonless night, in a dense forest, you can still navigate when you are familiar with the area (paths, etc).

It may have something to do with non-visual navigation abilities [slashdot.org] discussed here recently...

Re:It's really amazing how much of a difference (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367037)

yea, i still remember the first time i went stargazing somewhere with practically no light pollution. i was staying at a rural Buddhist temple/monastery in Taiwan for a Buddhist summer camp. Taiwan has a somewhat tropical climate, and i remember it being a warm summer night with a very soothing breeze. the group of us just laid on the roof of the monastery for hours staring up at the star-filled sky. it was absolutely breathtaking.

being able to see the night sky like that really is one of those simple pleasures that i wish more people could experience. i mean, it doesn't cost any money really. all you have to do is get away from the light pollution found in most major cities. but i guess that's becoming harder and harder to do these days.

i remember when i was growing up and my parents and i were still living with my grandma in Taiwan, my dad had a skylight installed in our room directly above the bed so that we could look at the stars at night. back then our home town was still transitioning from a farming community to a medium-sized urban population center. so there was some light pollution, but you could still see the stars at night. and whenever my cousins spent the weekend with us, we'd run down to the local 7-11 and pick up a ton of snacks (Taiwan has a great selection of junk food =P) and just hang out under the "moonroof"--it was funner than watching TV (well, in Taiwan everything on cable after 10 PM is basically porn) or playing video games.

sadly, the last time i went back to Taiwan (~4 years ago) the town had become completely (over)industrialized. i mean, there were already a few factories going up in the area when we were still living there in the early 90's, but by the time i went back the whole place had become a full-blown industrial/commercial district. the air was smoggy; the roads were dirty & littered; the creeks & irrigation channels that once ran by the fields were all either dried up or disgustingly polluted; and you could no longer see the stars at night.

but i guess that's the cost of economic growth...

beauty of light pollution (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365545)

using pretty art to highlight "pollution" seems incongruous. shouldn't it be more intriguing [amazon.com] and a little repulsive [edwardburtynsky.com] ?

As Abraham Lincoln once said: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365561)

RAPE RAPE RAPE

Suddenly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365575)

The dark [goatse.fr] becomes you.

creators: nothing but blue skies from now on (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365577)

do do do do do, do do do............

there's also rumour of a number of possibly difficult days between now & there.

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

we note that yahoo deletes some of its' (relevant) stories sooner than others. maybe they're short of disk space, or something?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081112/ap_on_re_as/as_nepal_buddha_boy;_ylt=A0wNdN1I6RpJfGoBfhWs0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081106/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/meltdown_who_pays;_ylt=A2KIR3MR9hJJ3YkAGhms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081114/ap_on_re_us/obama_catholics;_ylt=A0wNdOs0AR1Jam0AfE2s0NUE
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/23/what.matters.thirst/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
(deleted, still in google cache)http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081107/ts_alt_afp/environmentclimatewarmingatlantic_081107145344
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...your share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

  it's time to get real now. A LOT of energy/resource has been squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, many of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're still in.

http://www.carnicom.com/ (yikes almighty)
http://weatherwars.info/
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

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"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

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Re:creators: nothing but blue skies from now on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366001)

yOU'Re one of the most persistent yet enigmatic trolls here. Instantly recognizable, utterly incomprehensIblE.

Thank you.

Re:creators: nothing but blue skies from now on (2, Interesting)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366957)

Archimedes Plutonium has found a new stomping ground I think. Update on his shares portfolio at 11.

Protecting the sky is possible (4, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365583)

Here in Quebec, one of our parks is actually also protecting the sky. It's a world premier and it is possible. Also, having more efficient lighting saves money so everyone is much more happy from it. http://www.sepaq.com/En/Pages/COM/popUp.cfm?no=588 [sepaq.com]

Re:Protecting the sky is possible (0, Flamebait)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366799)

Here in Quebec, one of our parks is actually also protecting the sky...

I wasn't even aware the sky was in danger! I thought is was just our (and astronomers') view of it that was at risk...
Quick, rally the troops! We only have one sky and if its in danger, we better channel all available resources to make sure it goes on the endangered species list!! Also, we should find a preserve where it can stay until it recovers from the ghastly wounds we've been tearing in it every night.

All joking aside, though, my dad is an avid amateur astronomer living in the middle of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, but you don't see him complaining. The main reason? The far greatest concern for amateur astronomers isn't light pollution (there are tons of fantastic filters/optics you can get to easily decrease its effect), but rather atmospheric turbulence. This is why the Mt. Wilson observatory (just outside Pasadena) is still one of the best viewing areas on the West Coast. Oh - did I interrupt the championing of a new quasi-environmental cause that helps people feel they have purpose in life? My bad, please continue...

Dark Sky Parks (5, Interesting)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365621)

In Galloway in Scotland, the local tourist board is trying to set up a dark sky park. The area that they're planning to open it is apparently the darkest place in Europe.

There are already two in the US, in Utah (http://www.nps.gov/nabr/parknews/news040507.htm) and Northern Pennsylvania (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cherrysprings.aspx). This BLDGBLOG article mentions suggests World Heritage sites for experiencing darkness, set up to protect dark areas: http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/dark-sky-park.html [blogspot.com]

I recently visited Poland (Krakow) and there the level of street lighting was a lot lower, resulting in reduced light pollution. Streets were mostly lit with light reflected from buildings. It's surprising to be able to see the night sky from the middle of a city of 1 million. It's not comparable to countryside darkness by any means, but it really changes the character of a city.

Please turn off the lights! (1, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365645)

They'll attract Vulcans and other alien riff-raff!

Don't fall for their lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365673)

The Illuminati plan to darken the skies for our enjoyment is just a front for their program to take over the world.

Absolutely, lets end civilization (1, Insightful)

GottliebPins (1113707) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365689)

Think how much easier it would be to see the stars if we just stopped making electricity. The night skies would be black like they were a thousand years ago. We could all go back to living in caves and wearing fur, no wait, we can't kill animals, and wearing fur is evil and sit by the fire, no burning wood produces CO2, so we'll sit in our dark caves, huddled together to stay warm and slowly starve to death. But then there wouldn't be anyone to look up at the stars. And that is the true goal of "environmentalism".

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365769)

The goal of environmentalism is to improve the quality of life for human beings -- to ensure that our environment, which by definition is everything that surrounds us, is a healthy and pleasant place to live. I'm not sure what it is about this that raises your ire.

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (-1, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366137)

No, the goal of environmentalism is to gain influence over people, corporations, and governments through loads and loads of bullshit and fear mongering, all while selling carbon credits, foisting inferior products, and traipsing over the corpses of those who starved because of the DDT ban, those who couldn't get adequate medicine because of ever-increasing restrictions, and those who died on the streets after losing their job when their industry was shut down for not being "green" enough.

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366783)

Oh no, you've uncovered our evil plan! And we would have got away with it, too, if it weren't for you darn /.ers!

GMAFB. Environmentalists don't want people to starve to death any more than anti-environmentalists want people to choke to death on pollution. Pretty much everyone (well, everyone sane, anyway) wants steady food production, clean air and water, a healthy economy, thriving wildlife, etc.; we simply disagree about the best ways to accomplish these goals and resolve the conflicts which sometimes occur between them. If you want to talk about specific issues and ways you think we can do better than the current approach, go ahead. If all you can do is throw out blanket accusations, you have nothing of value to contribute to the discussion.

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367413)

If you want to talk about specific issues and ways you think we can do better than the current approach, go ahead.

That's great, get back to me when Greenpeace and the World Wildlife foundation stop lying and want to join in real scientific debate rather then scaremongering.

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365987)

  Wow, somebody's been reading a bit too much political rhetoric. You tell this story 'round the campfire?

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (1, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366059)

You sick fuck. There will no huddling in my cave. Think of the children!

Re:Absolutely, lets end civilization (5, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366219)

Think how much easier it would be to see the stars if we just stopped making electricity. The night skies would be black like they were a thousand years ago. We could all go back to living in caves and wearing fur, no wait, we can't kill animals, and wearing fur is evil and sit by the fire, no burning wood produces CO2, so we'll sit in our dark caves, huddled together to stay warm and slowly starve to death. But then there wouldn't be anyone to look up at the stars. And that is the true goal of "environmentalism".

Are you on a mission to pack the maximum amount of gibberish and straw men into a single post?

Not just about turning off the lights (2, Interesting)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365733)

Light pollution is just one of the by-products of industrialization. Fifteen-hundred years ago the air was a lot cleaner, hence more transparent which means more starlight/moonlight reaches the surface at night, than it is today -less soot, smoke, dirt, suspended aerosols, smog- so much so it is estimated, that the light from the stars alone would have enough to read a newspaper by -had newspapers existed then. If we want to see the sky as Galileo saw it, we're going to need more than just turning off the lights to do so.

Re:Not just about turning off the lights (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366125)

Global dimming [wikipedia.org] doesn't have as much of an effect as you imply. From 1960 to 1990, there was a 4% reduction in light reaching the Earth's surface due to global dimming. Since 1990, global dimming has been decreasing, so there's an increase in light getting through the atmosphere. The total global dimming now seems to be about 10%.

Re:Not just about turning off the lights (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366937)

Light pollution is just one of the by-products of industrialization.

Close to my house the Bolte Bridge [wikipedia.org] is a massive source of light pollution because it is illuminated from below by lights which point up. Environmentalists complained, pointing to design standards which specify how such lighting should be done, but noting came of it.

Sometimes we just have to not do stupid things, like pumping light into outer space, which has plenty of light already.

Go where it's dark (3, Interesting)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365741)

There are plenty of areas around which are void of lighting. Often times lights are necessary for safety and although you may be able to encourage people to use mirrors and what not to maximize the amount of light hitting the ground rather than going up into the sky, you're not going to have much luck getting populated areas to turn down the lights much. Lighting helps avoid crime.

You can't have a dark city.

The government should just make sure they have large enough plots of land that keep the cities far away so people can go visit and view the dark sky.

Re:Go where it's dark (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365873)

yes, but you can be smarter about it.
My street could loose 1/3 the street lights and it wouldn't impact crime.
Lights with caps, lower light that shine across a street instead of down, and so on.

Re:Go where it's dark (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366689)

"Lighting helps avoid crime" - absolutely false.

http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/crime.html

At best you are just moving the crime.

Re:Go where it's dark (3, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367103)

Light is way more effective (and cheaper) than surveillance cameras. The real issue about the light
pollution is that most street lights are old and are positioned wrong. They should target the floor, and the light should not spread in every direction (which is useless anyway). Better street lights would both reduce costs and light pollution.
However, it is extremely costly to replace all the street lights in a city.

Tucson, AZ tries... (4, Informative)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365793)

Tucson has been working on this for years to protect various local observatories. It's also the home to the international dark sky association: http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.do [darksky.org]

They have a city ordinance making it illegal to have a light shining upwards - all lights (street lights, security lights, porch lights, etc) have to have a reflector. It's apparently pretty easy to police - bare bulbs are highly visible from the police helicopter.

Seems to be kinda silly to spend your lighting budget trying to illuminate the universe anyway.

sprawl (5, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365799)

My neighbors are typical americans - they came out into what was the countryside (our house was in the middle of nowhere for decades, now it looks like suburbs.)

After they built their McMansions, closer together than some of the houses in the city, using up the woods and fields I used to romp in, they installed huge arrays of sodium-vapor lighting on their houses, which they leave on 24 hours a day. For "security," or to make it homey, or whatever.

I used to go in the back yard to stargaze, I could even see the aurora borealis sometimes - in NY! We never even bothered to replace the outside floodlight over the driveway for years after it died, but the latest thing for all these new people seems to be to have a gazillion lights. Houses, cars, SUVs, three-wheelers, all festooned with lights - long driveways lined with bright lights left on at all times.

I don't get it. Why do people move out to the country if they don't want it to be like the country?

Re:sprawl (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365889)

So they can have their big house, duh.

Re:sprawl (2, Interesting)

Nethead (1563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365971)

I don't get it. Why do people move out to the country if they don't want it to be like the country?
Because they like the city even less. It's not safe for their spoiled miniconsumers and there is no room there to build their new starter-castle and pico-estate. They want to live the soap-opera lifestyle and do so by incurring deep debt. Just wait a few years and I have a feeling that a lot of those estates will be dark or at least most of the lights busted and unrepaired.

Re:sprawl (2, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366189)

Funny you should say that. The house that the worst guy built in the field next door - destroying a field, wetlands, the area that deer used to cross in, where wild turkeys used to congregate in scores, where there was a stream with fish, all destroyed and moved... just finished building his monstrosity a year ago.

The place took almost two years to build, and he finally got to move in. Suddenly there's a "for sale" sign out front. I wonder what happened.

So, beautiful wild land full of nature and wildlife was destroyed to make room for a soon-to-be-vacant house.

Re:sprawl (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366625)

Suddenly there's a "for sale" sign out front. I wonder what happened

So buy it (you can probably get it cheap) and tear it down. Break up the slab or fill the basement and nature will fix the rest in a few years. If you were there before the neighborhood, you shouldn't have any lawn or deed restrictions to worry about.

Easier (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366893)

Just buy it, put a covenant on it, and sell it.

Re:sprawl (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367497)

Well, hey, at least nobody will need to build any more houses near you for a while.

Re:sprawl (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366199)

I have a feeling that a lot of those estates will be dark or at least most of the lights busted and unrepaired.

If you go to many of the DC suburbs, you can see this now.

Re:sprawl (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366143)

I don't understand this myself. It should be dark at night.

I also think it is false security. If the lights are on, they can see you. If the lights are off (and your eyes dark adopted) you can see them.

Re:sprawl (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366181)

Seems to me you should've looked into owning the woods and other pieces of land you loved so much.

People need places to live.
Ask them to turn down the lights if it bothers you that much.

Re:sprawl (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366601)

People need places to live? True. Though the population in this area is dropping, and has been dropping for over 50 years... and there are over 26 THOUSAND vacant homes in the nearby city, and everyone is complaining that the young leave, and people say things like "last one out, turn off the lights..." and the inner and outer-ring suburbs are being abandoned as people move into the sprawl in what was once rural and farming land. So, at least here it's not "people need some place to live," so much as it's people constantly wanting newer, bigger homes and a lack of planning to build those where the new vacancies are popping up. So here we are with a declining population, yet increasing sprawl, and huge swaths of the city turning into urban prairie, where you'll see literally two-square blocks in the city with only one or two occupied houses in them.

Flagstaff (5, Informative)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26365937)

Flagstaff, AZ, home to the Lowell Observatory has had a black sky ordinance on the books for 50 years now and it works wonders.

There is plenty of lighting for the town and yet you can see stars like you should be able to see stars.

Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26365951)

This is like arguing against cutting down trees in the city...

There are no trees in the city and people like to keep their lights on.

If you like the forest and stars more than you like the convenience of the city, move out of the city.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

A mugger speaks... (5, Funny)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366025)

... as a knife wielding teenage gang member I welcome any dark sky initiative - and I can assure you that all my victims will be seeing stars when I've finished with them (shortly before they die in a pool of their own blood ...)
At last, the needs of amateur astrologers, penny pinching local councils, and muggers finally coincide! Happy days!

Re:A mugger speaks... (4, Interesting)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366649)

The problem is that you only get dark corners if there are lights nearby. If not, people will see you move around in the dark.

Re:A mugger speaks... (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367539)

I used to live in the country and we could walk around playing all night at least three weeks a month. I completely agree, Unless it is a cloud covered new moon no one is going to be hiding in any dark corners.

I don't see any fnords (2, Funny)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366029)

Or is this a different Illuminati Project ?

Re:I don't see any s (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366221)

Or is this a different Illuminati Project ?

You don't see the s? I can see the s just fine.

Everyone throw a rock at a streetlight! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366071)

A little domestic terror could solve this problem! Umm... on second thought, maybe not.

The name game (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366083)

Project Illuminati is a Flickr project by James Cann

Is it something in his genes that compels a Geek to give a worthwhile project a name that carries a lot of excess baggage?

Re:The name game (2, Informative)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366217)

The (primary) meaning of Illuminati:
1. People claiming to be unusually enlightened with regard to a subject.

Just because people associate a word with something other than its meaning doesn't mean we should stop using the word. In this instance, I think it's quite a clever piece of word-play.

...or maybe (2, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366425)

they're going to take over the world while the lights are off. I don't think it's worth the risk.

Quick, to PetitionOnline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366107)

I bet if you start a petition with PetitionOnline, that will instantly solve all your problems.

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy (1)

mhrivnak (752549) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366355)

http://www.astronomy2009.org/ [astronomy2009.org]

2009 is also the International Year of Astronomy.

From their website... "The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery."

Earthmate? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366485)

Earthmate? What's an Earthmate? Is that like an Earth girl posing in the Proxima Centauri edition of Playboy?

Must Fight the Illuminati (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26366489)

No! Don't you people see that the Illuminati are trying to take over the world by having us turn off all our lights, so they can sneak up to us in the dark. Then they will give us one vision of a bright light (LED Flashlight) before they slay us.

Terrible Photos (2, Interesting)

nullchar (446050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366569)

Only the first [flickr.com] photo of the Group [flickr.com] is any good at "showing" light pollution. The rest are terrible.

Thats a great idea... (5, Funny)

dkarma (985926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26366663)

railing against light pollution by taking pictures showing how beautiful it is... kind of like raising diabetes awareness by building a giant sugar sculpture.

National Parks threatened by light pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26367011)

Increasinlgy , the night skies of national parks are being degraded by light pollution. Death Valley is one park that is/was famous for the quality of stargazing of its night skies. I'm interested in astronomy, but I live in a city so I don't get to see any stars unless I get into a very remote area. So I checked out DEath valley... I went on a backpacking trip there a few weeks ago. The nights were moonless so star gazing should have been optimal. But most of the stars in the eastern sky were drowned in the dome shaped glare of a nearby city. There was even a pillar of light, a well defined cylinder, projecting straight up in the glare. It turns out this was Los VEgas, some 80 miles away, and the PIllar of light was the 325,000 watt light beam mounted on Luxor CAsino.

They should use comparison photos (2, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 5 years ago | (#26367029)

like this one taken on the night of the 2003 blackout, and on the following night
http://www.skynewsmagazine.com/pow/pow94.jpg [skynewsmagazine.com]

What the fuck is an Earthmate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26367285)

Must we keep making up words?

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