[Darksky]Re: light pollution law (fwd)

Jan Hollan
Tue, 2 Apr 2002 20:11:49 +0200 (CEST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 20:11:25 +0200 (CEST)
From: Jan Hollan <jhollanAamper....muni.cz>
Subject: Re: light pollution law

Dear Leen,

all what is written in English is accessible from the page
http://www.astro.cz/darksky  or from the mail archives mentioned there. 

I am glad that you are writing an environmental article. Tremendous light
pollution present almost everywhere in Europe has damaged our whole
non-daylight environment a lot, being mostly ignored up to

The ``astronomical'' aspect of the light pollution is the most apparent
one. Two generations grew up deprived of one of the most vital parts of
nature, that one, which has been the source of all religions and culture
in general: the starry heavens. Many wonders of nature are not easy to
reach, they are far away or appearing for short times only. Clear skies
full of stars and the Milky way has been common everywhere on clear
moonless nights, until wiped out by badly aimed, careless and ever
stronger lighting. 
,,Umsonst``, in German. 

Out of sight, out of mind. Night in general and the night sky in special
cannot be shown in books, film or TV. It can be just experienced. So,
children and young people find another, more easily accessible goals worth
their attention... guess, which ones.

No wonder that astronomers are among the first ones to notice the disaster
and of course they are also aware of simple measures to diminish it many
times. Preventing the light pollution is a most remarkable win-win

Czechia is a first country where the light pollution is mentioned among
``classic'' kinds of pollution. This is the best approach: through a basic
environmental law. As it is a huge environmental problem. Affecting human
health (as well-being in general, acc. to its definition, but specially
also mental and physical health) and most of wildlife, bringing some of it
on the verge of extinction. These issues are just becoming to be
investigated. A common wisdom says, however, that darkness is vital to
sleep well (so has the life developed through many millions years).
Neglecting the streetlights and strongly lit surfaces shining into the
windows is an irresponsibility which is difficult to explain. 

We are happy that the Representatives and people from the Ministry of
environment learned that during the last year. The problem is publicly
pointed at, now the epidemy should be cured. We hope it will become a EU
priority as well. With people like you, who help to raise awareness, it
should happen soon.

clear skies 
 (also for that marvelous comet, a third-brightest, pronouncedly nebulous
 star in the middle of Andromeda, low above NW at the end of twilight,


                                Jan Hollan
              N. Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno
Kraví hora 2, CZ - 616 00 Brno                        +420 (5) 41 32 12 87

Lipová 19, 602 00 Brno                                         43 23 90 96

                 member of the Society for Sustainable Living
             and volunteer of the Ecological counselling Veronica
Panská 9, 602 00 Brno, Czechia                  fax:  +420 (5) 42 21 05 61

e-mail: hollanAped....cz             http://astro.sci.muni.cz/pub/hollan

> Dear mr. Hollan,
> I am preparing an article about the recent light pollution law for a
> Dutch environmental magazine. Can you please provide me with some
> background information (i.e. a press release) about the law, and the
> philosophy behind it?
> thank you very much for a quick reply