Friday, May 09, 2014

End of Night by Paul Bogard

There are several organizations studying the effects of the ever increasing amount of artificial light at night.  They are examining sleeping people, migrating birds, night flowering plants, bats, insects and energy use.  All are adversely affected. This book gives many vivid examples such as a flock of migrating birds mistaking a pool of light on a parking lot for water and diving to their deaths.  Organizations studying safety and night lighting have developed recommendations for the best use of lighting to achieve best results.  People usually just throw more light at a problem which is never especially effective, wastes energy and makes invisible to the naked eye all but the brightest objects in the night sky.  Kids are growing up without the wonder of seeing stars, milky way, satellites, meteors and more.  Even if they go someplace dark enough to see the objects, they cannot adequately
see them as their eyes are not trained to.

Bogard traveled the world to experience the remaining darkest places such as Great Basin National Park.  He traveled to places specially designed with lighting to provide safety as well as preserve the ability to see night sky, sleep in darkness, protect migrants, bats and other flora and fauna.  He talked with the experts on the subject of night and its loss to artificial lighting to find out what they learned about all the adverse effects.  He shares with us his journey in a way I found very fascinating.

I think there are teens, interested in conservation, who would find this nonfiction book fascinating as well.  A person could even set a new career goal after reading it.

JDW 5/9

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