A7281/S2714: Healthy, Safe And Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting Act

The Earth at night. From nasa.gov.

Friend, fellow Syracuse Astronomical Society (SAS) member, vocal proponent of light pollution control and diminution, and favorite astronomy lecturer Prof. John McMahon forwarded the following email (from a post on the selene-ny.org website) on 24 June 2007:

Astrophiles,

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A7438/S4364: The Healthy, Safe And Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting Act or “I Hate Light Pollution And I Vote.”

nasa_earthatnight_may2007.jpg

Far be it from me as a computational quantum chemist to complain about technology and expect people to pay attention, but I’ve begun to take a dim view of the bright idea of outdoor lighting.

8/14/2003: Some of you may remember the great Northeast Blackout of 2003. I was working in my basement studio apartment (ah, graduate school) at Hidden Valley Apartments listening to the Jim Reith Show on WSYR when the radio went out and the kitchen-half of my apartment went black while my living room side stayed powered (no, I have no idea who wired the apartment). While I remember losing days worth of calculations when my computer cluster powered down, I distinctly remember going to the Darling Hill Observatory in Tully for some clear sky observing. Having the power turned off over much of Syracuse (to the North) and Cortland (to the South) made for the best Central New York stargazing I’ve ever experienced. And then, within a few days, it was gone. The difference was so significant I imagined entire neighborhoods turning on every lamp within reach en masse to celebrate the power coming back on.

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