Light Pollution: The Dark Side of Artificial Lighting
A presentation for History 28: People and Pollution on 3/10/2009
“With lights and ever more lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea.”
— Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928)
- Demonstration of light pollution; effect on natural beauty.
- Effects on astronomy.
- Effects on health and the environment:
- Human and animal physiology and behavior.
- Plant seasonal variations.
- Mitigating light pollution:
- Lighting efficiency: science and history.
- Other forms of electromagnetic pollution:
- Intense radio and microwave radiation.
- Ionizing radiation.
- Our Vanishing Night Overview article in National Geographic Magazine. [pp. 1-3]
- Dunlap Observatory closing sparks anger, frustration Famous U. Toronto Observatory affected by light pollution. [p. 1]
- Missing the Dark: Health Effects of Light Pollution Article summarizing environmental and health issues. [pp. 20-27]
- Moonlight Towers: Light Pollution in the 1800s The first approach to lighting cities with electric lighting. [p. 1~7]
- Thomas Edison: The man most responsible for light pollution. [pp. 1~2]
- The Electric Generator: The backbone of electric power systems around the world. [p. 1]
- The Electric Lamp: His most famous invention, a relatively cheap and long-lasting incandescent light bulb. [p. 1]
- The Electric Light and Power System: His integrated system for lighting cities. [p. 1]
- Nikola Tesla: The man who bested Edison [p. 1]
- War of the Currents: Distributing power across the Country [p. 1]
- Switch On the Night: Policies for Smarter Lighting Article describing mitigation approaches. [pp. 28-31]
- Dark Skys Awareness: Seeing in the Dark: 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, and this is one of the “Cornerstone Projects”. Scroll down to this one section of the page, and watch the short video. You might find other interesting subjects on this page, too. [p. 1; 3:58]
- The International Dark-Sky Association promotes the reduction of light pollution. This is their mission page, but you might find it interesting to peruse some of the others. [p. 1]
- Electric & Magnetic Field (EMF) Pollution: A brief overview of EMF, in particular from power lines. [pp. 4-9]
- Relationship to childhood leukemia and other diseases: The previous document. [pp. 1-3]
- Cell phones: The FCC's FAQ on exposure. [p. 1]
- Consumer and Business Products: The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of most EMF/radiation-emitting products, many of which pollute their surroundings if damaged or improperly used. This is just a list, but you might take a closer look at some of them. [p. 1]
- Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation: A brief overview [pp. 1~3]
- Ionizing Radiation: A short overview [pp. 1-2]