Constellation Dissipation: The Effects Of Light Pollution

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Constellation Dissipation: The Effects of Light Pollution Growing up in a small town in Western Kansas had few advantages. Everyone knew everyone else. There was a small dating pool, so girls would always fight over guys. Life seemed easy, but stressful. Whenever I was feeling stressed or upset, I would look to the stars for guidance. The vastness of the universe seemed at my fingertips, ready to answer any question or conundrum I might have. All I had to do was look up and wait for it to reveal itself. Sadly, many teenagers from today’s society will never do this. Artificial lighting has caused the stars to be harder to see now than ever before. Most children in the 21st century have looked up at the Milky Way in wonder at some …show more content…
The ecological effects of artificial lighting have begun to rear their evil heads. It has been shown to impact plants, trees, fungi, and many other living fauna and flora. Synthetic light can affect the way a tree grows or adjusts to seasons. Their foliage may not fall when they are supposed to, leaving the tree susceptible to the freezing snow able to bend its leaf laden branches. Research has also been done on insects, turtles, birds, fish, reptiles, and many other wildlife species showing how artificial light changes the way they live their lives. Scavenging for food and breeding cycles can be drastically affected (Chepesiuk). Sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their eggs and crawl toward the brightest horizon (Wianecki). This horizon used to be the moon and stars shimmering off the calm of the ocean, now it is the glare of a boardwalk or a local resort. Hatchlings have a brief amount of time to make it to the sea. They can easily become dehydrated. Since sea turtles head toward the brightest vista, many times they head inward toward land. This causes the creatures to be hit by cars, be attacked by predators, or become lost in the vastness of our world. Biologists have documented their journey after hatching and are now heading inland. Tens of thousands of turtles, which are already endangered, are lost due to disorientation (The City Dark). A sea turtle belongs in the …show more content…
There are ways to safeguard security without damaging the environment. Motion lights can help reduce light pollution while providing the desirable security of an individual. It is also recommended to use a more “moth friendly” type of light bulb to help with the moth and bat population. Starry Night Light, a leading vendor of approved light fixtures, Anthony Arrigo states there are 10 ways one can help in the fight against light pollution. He says we should light only what needs lighting. This, obviously, will cut down on excess and unnecessary light. Light only when needed to be lit and use only as much light as is required. Although this may seem like common sense to most, many people are wasteful and the United States is the biggest culprit of this. Use only full-cutoff light fixtures, shield existing fixtures, and install motion sensors and reflectors. These simple fixes can reduce the majority of excess light. He also says to get used to the dark and learn your surroundings. The dark is not always a place to fear. Our ancestors did just fine! Educate those around you about light pollution and show your support for current efforts. Help promote groups such as the International Dark Sky Agency (Bakich). While Arrigo states the ways to use lighting, “Encouraging the EPA to address light pollution is a great step at federal protection of our night skies,” says Christian K. Monrad,

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