Ben Davis, who is responsible for bringing us the Bay Lights, is looking for more money. $11 million is needed to keep the lights on and he’s out there trying to raise it. Davis and his organization, Illuminate, put lights up all over the place, especially in Golden Gate Park.
Where would Ben Davis and Illuminate be without the dark of the night sky? Without the dark, the Bay Lights and Illuminate’s lighting displays would be meaningless, invisible. They depend on the dark, they need the dark, but they have no respect for it. They take it and use it to their advantage and pay nothing and do nothing to mitigate the damage they may be causing. They are exploiting a natural resource that belongs to everyone.
The Bay Lights are also a big waste of energy. Our resources are precious and we shouldn’t be wasting them in displays of lighting that serve no practical purpose. And really, aren’t there better uses for the $11 million they’re trying to raise?
“… light pollution poses a serious threat to nocturnal wildlife, having negative impacts on plant and animal physiology. The rhythm of life is orchestrated by the diurnal patterns of light and dark, and disruption of these patterns impacts ecological dynamics.” – Connie Walker, A Silent Cry for Dark Skies, The Universe in the Classroom.
Before the advent of electricity, the night sky was everyone’s favorite picture show. There is an age-old fascination and sense of wonder in observing the stars, moon and planets. The night sky is our common heritage, our link with past cultures and our ancestors. We should all be doing what we can to preserve the dark of the night sky.
“Artificial light at night disrupts a wide range of natural processes. Recent research has shown significant impacts of coastal lighting reducing foraging of intertidal invertebrates, disrupting marine food webs, suppressing movement of juvenile fishes, increasing predation on nesting seabirds…” – Dr. Travis Longcore, associate adjunct professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
To reduce our impact on the planet and climate we should be guided by dark sky lighting principles: Useful – All light should have a clear purpose; Targeted – Light should be directed only to where needed; Low Light Levels – Light should be no brighter than necessary; Controlled – Light should be used only when it is useful; Color – Use warmer color lights where possible.
Categories: letter to the editor