Dark Sky Initiative

A Bright Solution to Light Pollution

Foxes In Henhouses

Last changed Monday, 08-10-15.

What have the maim$tream dark sky orgs and astromagazines done about light pollution for 25 years? They’ve taken your $$$ whilst offering lies and compromise?  Is the sky dome over your home darker tonight? Do you sleep better at night?  Are streetlights and other lights penetrating your bedroom at night and keeping you awake?

Some sources say light pollution (sleep disruption!) is increasing 6% per year! The dark sky orgs and astromagazines anoint and appoint themselves, “Light Pollution Authorities!” and congratulate themselves with grandiose phrases like, “tremendous accomplishments!” But sleeplessness increases! Insomnia is pervasive! People take more meds / drugs to force themselves to sleep than ever before!


LightPolltnTo paraphrase Derrick Jensen, favored author: When astronomers and nonastronomers in this culture ask (and I get asked all the time), “Hey, Dark Sky Guy, how can I stop light pollution?”  They’re actually asking, “Hey, stargeezer, how can I stop light pollution without significantly changing my lifestyle?”


Stop reading and think about that question. How would you answer it? How is better sleep part of the issue?

Light laws must pass muster with and measure up to lighting industry’s specs – the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), etc. – whose fangs ‘n talons penetrate the mainline dark sky orgs to the bone.

FoxHenhouseWhat’s the goal of the lighting industry? Ah, yes, selling more lights and fixtures!

Can you say…

“Foxes in the Henhouse?”

True, a few thousand dues-paying, dark sky disciples belong to the dark sky orgs and more than 100,000 astronomers subscribe to the ad-littered, glossy pages of the astromagazines; but is the sky darker?  NO!  And they’ve been working on this issue for more than 25 years!

What if those 100,000-plus astronomers / stargazers who complain about light pollution and sleep disruption stepped up and adopted NLO instead of reading their astromags! What if they created a whole new organization devoted to a Moonlight Revolution and NLO, Nature’s Lighting Ordinance, in every community, county, country, continent on the planet!?

The orgs ‘n mags are anchored, fused, tethered, cuffed ‘n chained to conventional methods of dark sky restoration, the MLO – Model Lighting Ordinance;  BUG – Backlight, Uplight, Glare;  FCOL – Full Cut-Off Light, and IES Handbook 10.  One angry stargeezer wrote: “Hopefully, someone will take a fly-swatter ‘n swat that freakin’ BUG!”  I agree!

The orgs and mags want light fixtures fixed —  spayed ‘n neuter’d  — so their light’ll shine down, not up, out, and all about.  “Golly,” they say, “if we could fix the millions of light fixtures…”  Magical thinking.

The Dying Night by Leonid Afremov

The Dying Night by
Leonid Afremov

But even if all of America’s lights could be fixed, made dark sky friendly overnight, light pollution would persist and peoples’ sleep would still be disrupted. Why?  Because lights cause light pollution.  Even fixed fixtures excrete gazillions of lumens of light that reflects off the ground into the sky.  And remember, for every light that’s fixed bazillions of new lights are added every hour, killing The Dying Night.

So, what is the solution to light pollution?  NLO, Nature’s Lighting Ordinance!  You have the power to make it so!  But you must organize and incite a Moonlight Revolution!


Next: Starry Bedroom a very short, short story explaining what I mean.