JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/03/darkness-new-enlightenment.html (13 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1173256866-551971  crotalus at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 08:41:06 +0000

I saw this on a computer picture of the whole world at night, once. Even then, it jumped out at me how North Korea wad dead dark, while South Korea was one of the most brightly lit places on the map.

jsid-1173259690-551972  FabioC. at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 09:28:10 +0000

Honestly, I prefer to be able to see the night sky, sometimes. Air pollution does not help in that regards, too.

But I don't want to go the way of Nort Korea; there are other measures to reduce the amount of light wasted upwards.

jsid-1173278615-551977  DJ at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 14:43:35 +0000

I recall reading about a surprising response to the Loma Prieta earthquake in California. It knocked out power, but not telephones, over a very wide area. There were hundreds of calls to police, fire departments, and observatories about the big, white cloud up in the sky with the callers asking if that cloud had caused the earthquake. The "big, white cloud" was the Milky Way galaxy. The callers had never seen the sky on a dark night.

jsid-1173284969-551979  Earl Harding at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 16:29:29 +0000

Light pollution is just that - Pollution.

And most of it is caused by poorly designed light fixtures.

Cutting light pollution means better designed lighiting that directs all of its light downward were it is usful, not upward were it is wasted. This also saves on the electricity bills since the light output can be lower for the same ground coverage.

It does not mean turning the lights off any more than sensible ownership of firearms means keeping them at a government certified storage facility at a government approved range.

Losing the wonder of the night sky through ignorance is at about the same level as the government shutting down all access including shooting and hunting on all BLM land and any other wild spaces that recieve Federal funds.

jsid-1173285008-551980  Earl Harding at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 16:30:08 +0000

were = where. I'm not having a good day.

jsid-1173286920-551982  DFWMTX at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 17:02:00 +0000

I notice that portion of China above N.Korea is pretty dark too. I could be wrong, but it looks like there's one small spot of light towards the upper left of the pic. They still have a long way to go.

+1 to Earl's comment about light pollution. I live in a city, but I do miss the night sky, and that "big white cloud" in it.

jsid-1173302423-551990  Sarah at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 21:20:23 +0000

Geez. Not even Pyongyang is lit up??

jsid-1173304906-551991  Kevin Baker at Wed, 07 Mar 2007 22:01:46 +0000

Makes too good a target.

jsid-1173319170-551999  LabRat at Thu, 08 Mar 2007 01:59:30 +0000

Yep. New Mexico has taken a lot of anti-light-pollution measures (most of the residents here treasure our View), and technology is our number-one industry- which hasn't been hurt. We can see the stars and the Milky Way without turning into Luddites.

jsid-1173328484-552003  Cindi at Thu, 08 Mar 2007 04:34:44 +0000

I'd ask you all to watch your language, please.

The phrase 'light poluution' has always bothered me. Pollution involves a toxic residue; incorrectly directed light that blanks out the night sky can correctly be named without giving the eco-fascists another forum. Call it light-wastage, night-sky camouflage, or Sue but please don't give the nazis any more ammunition.

jsid-1173361494-552013  Earl Harding at Thu, 08 Mar 2007 13:44:54 +0000


Light Pollution is the commonly used term for it and I see no reason top change it.

Your arguments are just another form of the PC police wanting to moderate the use of language.

As my english teacher used to say:

"Why not use the word 'Fuck'? It is so expressive and can be used in so many forms. It's derivation is from the Old Saxon word for sowing seeds, how is that so bad?"

jsid-1173365783-552021  Sarah at Thu, 08 Mar 2007 14:56:23 +0000

As the resident astronomer here, I share the frustration about the lack of dark skies. However, there are still plenty of places in the U.S. that are dark enough to see the stars and the MW. Often, you only need to drive a few miles out of town. And communities can take measures to preserve dark skies if enough people care about it, as LabRat pointed out.

However, this is not in the spirit of what Lileks was saying. North Koreans must be getting a glorious view of the stars every night; but what kind of consolation does that offer for those who are eating the bark off of trees just to stay alive.

jsid-1173416733-552059  Sarah at Fri, 09 Mar 2007 05:05:33 +0000

I did a funny thing when I came home after seeing "An Inconvenient Truth." I went around the house turning off the lights.

Everyone I know who saw Supersize Me immediately went to the store and loaded up on health food. Within a month they were all back to eating the usual junk. I'll bet you anything Ebert's lights are all back on by now.

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