The video highlights how light pollution affects our health and environment.This video is sent to me by Lauren NilsonLauren Nilson.
For this week’s hidden costs video, we’re trying out a new approach. Instead of grading the impact of light pollution, our video team took to Seattle’s streets to capture the brilliance (and the tyranny) of our city’s night lights. The globe has never been so electrified. Today, most of Europe, the United States and all of Japan appear as solid blocks of light in satellite photos. Meanwhile, the stars have been all but extinguished from our night skies. The Earth is now readily visible from space, but space is no longer visible from Earth. The starscapes we do see today are a far and faint cry from those that the rest of humankind gazed up to for centuries. This is why the broad bright strokes of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” feel so carnivalesque. And it’s why the term “Milky Way” doesn’t make much sense to us anymore. But light pollution can also be a hazard to our health. Just about every organism on the planet lives its life according to the rhythms of daytime and darkness. Excessive light can disrupt an animal’s migratory, hunting, breeding and sleep cycles. And several human health problems — from chronic fatigue and migraines to sexual dysfunction — have also been linked to high-levels of light exposure. Light pollution’s most talked-about animal victims include migratory birds and sea turtles. Migrating birds often lose their flight paths once disoriented by far off lights or, more dangerously, misread skies and begin annual migrations too early in the year. Artificial light disorients sea turtle hatchlings as they make their journeys into the ocean. Normally, hatchlings follow shadows cast by sand dunes, but they can’t follow these natural watermarks when the moon’s light is diffused by the bright lights of a nearby beach town. So, what can we do to reclaim the darkness? Minimize your own light waste by opting for low wattage bulbs whenever possible and be sure to keep your lights off when you don’t need them. If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of light pollution or want to get involved with current efforts to curb them, the International Dark-Sky Association is a great place to start.