Where’s The Light?
Last Changed: Tuesday, 11-25-14.
Where’s the light? Not in residential realms.
Most light pollution occurs along and within the so-called capitalust corridors, the business districts of small towns (pop. 15,000+) and large cities (millions-fold), where the Corps (corporations and businesses, $hame-ber of Commerce) reside. I’m not talking about most small, local, main street businesses.
A picture’s worth a thousand words: Look at this unaltered nighttime aerial image taken in 1997 by S. W. far above my community of Ames, Iowa (pop. 62,000 as of 2013). Where are the brightest nighttime lights?
EXACTLY! In the business areas! Not the residential areas. The edges of this image mark the city limits. Most of the image is residential, reasonably dark, even with about 6000 streetlights. You can see some of them, but most are invisible, capped and covered. I’d explain how I made most of them disappear myself, but…
Iowa State University (ISU), the largest “business” in Ames, stepped up long ago as a dark sky member of the community. Alas, the majority of the business community would not, and has not. SOBs (Satans Of Brightness)? Oh, but how they whimper ‘n whine about being so horribly mistreated, misunderstood, mis…HOG HOCKEY!
This image is now nearly 20 years old! And the community is even more light polluted, due to the addition of more BIG BOXERS and thousands more lights! And there are now three Wal-Marts in Ames, a regular, a Super, and a Sam’s Club, all with their light blighted parking lots blazing all night.
AMES LIGHT LAW:
Yes, Ames, Iowa, has a fancy-dancy-nancy lighting law, a lighting ordinance. Since way back in the last century, 1997, the Ames Lighting Ordnance [sic] has actually increased light pollution, destroying dark skies. Ordnance [sic] destroys things, compliments of the dark sky orgs and local astronomers.
Has it made a difference? Nope! Will it make a difference? NOPE! And the business community and their local $hame-ber of Commerce are unaffected by it, still alive, still growing, still thriving, despite the fact they screamed that jobs would disappear, that the city would vanish, that all manner of horrible things would occur. Oh, the HORROR!
Oh, but how loudly the local $hame-ber of Commerce and local Economic Development cronies cried, weeped ‘n whined: “This new lighting law’ll put us all out of business (sob,sob…), it’s inspired by those local astrologers [sic], weenie-greenies, enviro-wackos, blah, blah, blah…!”
Again, I’m not complaining about the small, often family-owned, local, main street businesses. Main street in Ames is nearly as invisible as the residential realm around it, except for the streetlights. It’s the big boys of business, the SOBs.
The vaunted Ames Lighting Ordnance is watered down and compromised. Fewer than 1% of Amesians know it exists, and like most light laws, it has a good ol’ gran’pappy clause in it – among other gaping loopholes – protecting the worst offenders, the SOBs. Golly, I wonder who was responsible for that happening?
And folks, little ol’ obscure Ames, Iowa, is, well, just like your town, like many (most?) other so-called civilized communities around the country, world.
I want to publicly thank a local business owner, a car dealership, not by name, he knows. His new lights are turned off shortly after closing, do not contaminate the night, and save him big bucks, all whilst keeping the property worth millions of $$$$, safe and secure and free from vandalism. THANKS!
The BIG BOXERS, and BIG car, BIG bank, BIG fast food, BIG oil, BIG agribusiness, BIG hardware, etc., they’re the primary light polluters and are often the BIG boys on Wall Street too BIG to fail!
And this is just lil’ ol’ Ames, Iowa…What’s worse? Ludicrous Light Wars!