Bit of a rant

I have always lived in Stony Stratford and don't remember a time when I wasn't captivated by the stars. As a child I have strong recollections of standing in the garden looking at the Milky Way glowing brightly against a clear black sky. The main lighting in the town were some soft bluish lamps (presumably mercury vapour of some type) in the High Street with other areas of the town being minimally lit, any effect on the night sky was hardly noticeable. When the ghastly orange glow of sodium lighting began to arrive I remember the resentment I felt as this awful form of illumination began appearing everywhere and when it became known that the area was to become the location of a then unnamed new city a feeling of dread at what was to come re-inforced that resentment. When Milton Keynes started to arrive in the late 1960s the ruination of the night sky soon became noticeable as more and more street lighting came on stream. It seems ironic that, as we moved into the space age, we gave little thought to maintaining our view of space itself. Today this terrible waste of energy is inexcusable. There is no point whatsoever in spraying light straight up into the atmosphere when street lighting can be far better designed to prevent it. A high percentage of lamps serve little useful purpose anyway. What on earth is the point of lighting miles of motorway when we all have perfectly adequate headlamps? With a bit of intelligent application we could probably reduce the amount of street lighting by 50% without compromising anything. As the threat of global warming becomes evermore apparent so does our own foolish waste of power.

No comments: