I would like to draw you attention to the a problem which wastes large
amounts of energy, sets neighbour against neighbour, can be hazardous and
has erased the night skies for both professional and amateur astronomers,
and the public in general, over a large part of the United Kingdom. I refer
to LIGHT POLLUTION. In less than ten years time, due to the spread of light
pollution throughout the country, astronomy may be finished. The stars
are almost gone, lost above an orange sky glow. This is not only a great
loss of a beautiful part of our environment, but represents an unacceptable
waste of taxpayer's money, while aggravating the problem of increased green
house gas emissions from power stations producing the wasted electricity.
Poorly designed street and security lamps can be a real nuisance, even
a danger, to car drivers and home owners. Road deaths have occurred because
of poorly sited, glaring 'security' lamps. Well designed street light luminaires
and security lamps do exist, so that the problem can easily be put right.
Local government sometimes seems unwilling to fit these, and continues
to install older types that produce skyglow, glare and light trespass.
The purpose of lighting is to light up the ground and not the locality
for miles around or the starry heavens as well. Something must be done
to stop it. The Czech Republic introduced anti-light-pollution legislation
in 2002. Why haven't we ? Surely DEFRA and the DTLR should be taking this
threat more seriously.The fact that a Parliamentary Select Committee on
Light Pollution was set up in February 2003 is good evidence that the astronomers'
case is strong and widely heard.