Reduce Light Pollution and Discover the Night

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle      July 23, 2021

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When LAX altered its flight path to a narrower route and lower altitude a few years ago, planes taking off and landing shook the ground and rattled the nerves of Monte Nido residents. That was when activist Alicia Gonzalez created Quiet Skies Santa Monica Mountains (ag.mnvca@icloud.com) that became a committee of the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation. Gonzalez not only advocates for Quiet Skies to fight air traffic noise, she also lives in a community that is a “Dark Sky Community.” Every night from dusk to dawn, residents turn off their lights so they can go outside and look up! They admire the Milky Way, the constellations, the waning and waxing of the moon and our nearest planets. LA. County does have a dark skies ordinance, No. 2012-0047, to curtail excessive lighting. The ordinance was “established as a supplemental district for the rural areas of the County to promote and maintain dark skies for the health and enjoyment of individuals and wildlife...” Enforcement, however, seems to be at the bottom of the list if it’s on the list at all. Through the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), communities across the nation, like Monte Nido, are taking it into their own hands to become Dark Sky Communities. It may seem harmless, but light pollution has far-reaching consequences that are harmful to all living things. Effective outdoor lighting reduces light pollution, leading to a better quality of life for all. Any artificial light that is not needed is a pollutant that has serious and harmful consequences. Light pollution is increasing at twice the rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky. Light pollution disrupts wildlife, impacts human health, wastes money and energy, contributes to climate change, and blocks our view of the universe. Its effects on wildlife and ecosystems depend on Earth’s daily cycle of light and dark rhythm to govern life-sustaining behaviors such as reproduction, nourishment, sleep and protection from predators. It’s encoded in the DNA of all plants and animals. Humans have radically disrupted this cycle by lighting up the night.
The Canyon Chronicle

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