On Friday 20th April, I attended the one-day “Planning, Exterior Lighting and the Environment Conference” at De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester in conjunction with the UK Campaign for Dark Skies. I found it invaluable to understand some of the detail with light pollution, particularly as the conference combined so many people from so many different organisations who are concerned about the matter.
I was very glad to hear talks by my friend and organiser of the conference, Martin Morgan-Taylor (legal side), International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), CfDS, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) (landscape), Buglife (nature), Highways Agency, Institute of Lighting Professionals (ILP), DEFRA and local councils. It really brought home the major problems that we are faced with that expand:
- economic cost
- life-threatening dangers
- environmental cost
- medical health
- nuisance to neighbours
- as well as disappearing stars
- Light pollution is destroying our view of the night sky, which in turn significantly affects science and the natural biological functions of humans and wildlife.
- Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money are being wasted in energy bills through inefficient street lighting, and the wasted energy is significantly contributing to the UK’s climate change emissions; and
- There is a petition, which I am asking you to support, calling on government to protect the night sky and act on the waste of money and energy. (The “Stargazing” petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27603)