locked Re: Our blinding blaring world

Joseph Beyer

It's really disheartening.  I clearly remember climbing on my parent's roof in west Denver in the late 60s to take " star pictures" with my Brownie reflex camera.  I took most of them in the winter when Orion came up over the house.  It was so amazing.  I'd develop the film and print the pictures myself.  Of course there were star trails but they looked great to my 8 year old eyes!  We lived on the far west edge of Denver and our subdivision extended 4 blocks further west.  After that...nothing but undeveloped foothills and mountains.  It was dark.  I stopped visiting and haven't been back in more than ten years because places I grew in are completely replaced by suburban sprawl that's continuous up and down the entire front range.  I'm sure the story of "progress" is the same for most people.  I just laugh when I hear the people say they are passionate about the environment.  

Now I'm living in Northern California fairly close to the coast.  The sky is still reasonably dark over the ocean but getting more light polluted all the time.  I wish we had the same restriction that Frank described but the town I live in made negotiations with the water company that placed a water pipeline from the Sierras to the coast - we'll give you the land for the pipeline if you guarantee us water in perpetuity - deal.  The town will never face water restrictions because of the deal.  Insane.  As a result there's construction everywhere it's possible to squeeze a residence.  The big thing is outdoor lighting.  Install up lights on all the trees for dramatic effect.  When I walk around the neighborhood at night and no one's around to see the dramatic landscapes because they're all inside watching TV!  Humans seem to be innately bothered by the absence of light.

I once read a story about the Northridge earthquake in Southern California.  The quake was so powerful that it substantially disrupted electricity grid and made large areas completely dark. People actually thought the earthquake had effected the night sky because it was so bright.  Go figure.  


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