[Darksky]errata on Light Pollution (fwd)

Jan Hollan
Fri, 10 May 2002 19:54:05 +0200 (CEST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 18:43:27 +0200 (CEST)
From: Jan Hollan <jhollanAamper....muni.cz>
To: corresAnature...
Cc: magnitude6Ayahoogroups...
Subject: errata on Light Pollution

Dear noblepersons,

in the News in Brief in

  Nature 416, 358 - 359 (28 Mar 2002) DOI: 10.1038/416358a

within the news

  Shields to make light work of city pollution 
  The Czech Republic has become the first country in the world to......

there are two amazing sentences: 

  ...Czech city administration have only two months to adapt their
  street lights, the main source of light pollution, to meet the new
  regulations. The task is a mammoth one...

This is not at all the case. 

There are even no regulations yet! 

In the law (the Clean Air Act) directly, there is but a definition of the
light pollution and a general obligation to avoid all kinds of pollution
of the atmosphere. Any more specific measures (like authorisation of
municipalities to demand actions and fine non-complying persons) are
dependent on the government decree, which won't be issued before the end
of the year, unfortunately.

The proposed regulations demand very little immediate action, just the
skybeamers should be switched off forever (apart from such cases as
airport signals). Generally, only new and reconstructed lighting
systems are to be non-polluting as much as possible, this is a process
that will take decades to complete. There are just small areas of special
concern, where the nowadays lighting systems should be made less polluting
within any timespan -- however, this is proposed to be FOUR YEARS, not two

We hope that these areas (perhaps with some government funding) will
become attractive examples for another municipalities and regions to make
they outdoor lighting sustainable as well, on a voluntary basis, even
before the old lamps die of age. Sustainable lighting will become easier
to achieve when the market develops this way (thanks to forerunners, as
the Austrian and Hungarian railways, Lombardy, Catalania, Canarias, states
of Washington, Connecticut etc., many municipalities -- including a quite
large one, LA). I may be a matter-of-course within a decade perhaps.

For more info on the Czech efforts to protect the nighttime environment
and the Clean Air Act, see http://www.astro.cz/darksky .

Jenik Hollan,

   Czech Republic section of the International Dark-Sky Association
         Protecting the nighttime environment and preserving
     our heritage of dark-skies through quality outdoor lighting