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 Author: Beadlady
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:20 pm 
ImageINTRO – The Dark and the Light

I recently read - “Where Did Global Warming Go?” - subtitled - “Even as other countries take action, the issue is fading from the American agenda.” New York Times, October 16. Our government has apparently lost interest in doing something about climate change. Perhaps the issue has fallen prey to the old adage ‘follow the money’; perhaps it’s our ever-increasing inability to ‘focus.’ Folks tell me, e.g., that ‘focusing’ hasn’t been on the ‘American agenda’ since the bombing of Honolulu on December 7, 1941.

But, I suspect the primary lack of governmental interest to firmly address climate change is related to lack of enough money following the issue. Current energy corporations need to avoid moving to non-oil based energy sources so as to keep the bottom line profitable. Politicians can’t win campaigns on it. Yet. But, I do believe climate change is happening. The climate’s always been changing; right? But, based on first-hand observations from different parts of Planet Earth for many years and a study of meteorological history, I believe it’s radically changing.

And, as to the rest of the NYT article, I simply don’t believe climate change will remain on the agendas of other governments for long. As profit-based, capitalistic ideologies (read “greed”), are spread to other countries (read “bringing freedom”), agendas will focus less on climate change and more on profit.

So, allow me the privilege of refocusing the debate. Let’s narrow ‘climate change’ way, way down, to “the dark” and “the light.” As a first step, let’s address the dark – and put fear on the table, up front. Some of us are downright afraid of the dark, regardless of age. Lygophobia (a fear of the dark) is fairly commonplace. I’m not about to write in an effort to overcome that. Some of us have had little night lights in our homes since they were put on the market 55-plus years ago. I might pass on, however, that the human eye sees much better in red light than it does yellow, white, or blue-white. Those folks who visited Millie’s back in the day, after all, were among Silver City’s brightest.

Let me next put “freedom” on the table. Yes, we all live in America and are free to buy and use any artificial night light we want (with certain legal limitations). In the interests of becoming more in charge of our own lives, however, I would hope you’ll modify the lights you use. Afterall, I’d be the first to admit that artificial lights are useful tools.

But, to help us really focus, take at look at the image at the top of this article. That was taken in 1985 from above the USA by NASA weather satellites. Compare it with the image at the end of this article, taken by NASA in 2000, and another at: http://www.planetforlife.com/where/index.html

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, let me add that the NASA 2000 image was taken by the NASA Defense Meteorological Satellites Program with pin-pointing focusing so that those in Defense can track users of light at night. No kidding. Let me point out that NASA’s 2000 image used pinpoint focus only on natural light waves; it does not capture diffused light waves (scattered protons), ultraviolet waves, or UV light waves. We’ll talk about those later. Planet for Life’s web image, on the other hand, brightened NASA’s 2000 image by about 20% or so; PFL is, afterall, focused on saving the planet.

Isn’t it interesting how night light emitted from the USA has increased in just 26 years? What do you think it will look like in another 26 years? Has there been an impact? Indeed, there has been. I’ve come to learn that night lights are the most ill-used and ill-equipped tools and fixtures we ever invented. Over the coming weeks, I’ll explain why. Stay tuned; you may be surprised. First, there’s cancer, then …………….
-Kathy Anderson

 Author: AM Coffee
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:06 pm 
This is an interesting article, thanks for posting it. To compare the political and environmental climates it would seem there’s little to suggest evidence of improvement is on the horizon in either case. I recently watched a CNN interview with Donald Trump who painted himself as being an advocate and advisor for the GOP. He followed that with criticism for the environmental controls we’ve put into place, blaming them for our delayed infrastructure projects, stalled construction, reduced use of coal, and diminished timber harvesting, all of which he explains is why nobody has jobs and our country is in such dire straights. He compares the explosive progress being made in China, where developers are allowed to undertake massive construction projects, building bridges, and filling in whole areas of wetland with no permits, licenses, oversight, and most importantly, no delay. According to Trump, he could fix America’s problem in short order. Apparently he is not disturbed by the horrendous quality of air and water the Chinese people have also come to live with and the equally unprecedented rates of cancer now being seen in that country.

What I do have to agree with is the existence of links. We’re not just facing challenges that are caused by government, nor just by CO2, nor by terrorists, corporations, or technology. We face challenges that have evolved in lockstep with the growth of humanity, the growth of ourselves. To point the finger of blame at any one cause is to excuse that preponderance of the others. It’s clear to many of us that we need true leadership, but we also need vision. We need to set policy based on the big picture, which is what I appreciate about this article and its comparison between satellite images. That said however, it’s important to know what we’re actually seeing. As this article acknowledges, the 2000 image captured only natural light and was brightened by 20%. Given that the ‘85 image captured artificial light and was left un-brightened, these photos do not offer valid before and after comparisons. In that regard I applaud the author for including those facts. Too often we’re blatantly given only the half truths that aim to serve the agenda du jure, i.e, Trump and his GOP cronies. Still, based on these photos, Ms. Anderson goes on to conclude that, “night light emitted from the USA has increased in just 26 years”. These photos simply don’t show that, yet it will be interesting to hear what she has to say next...

 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:24 am 
I didn't know where else to post this. But, the beauty of star gazing is one of my most pleasant "hobbies." Hiking Apacheria is another. I don't have many photos to show stars ... I don't know how to do that. I've seen the stars in South Korea, South Vietnam, Japan, Eastern Oregon, Montana, and my home state of Indiana and Ohio, where I worked for 24 years. But I live here. And I've tried to look at the stars every chance I get.

I write this in response to a friend who may rightly be frustrated that Silver City and Grant County haven't moved far enough along to make our skies "darker" in an area where we already are blessed with some pretty dark skies. Up in my neighborhood, I can step out into the street and look, with the naked eye, at some pretty bodacious stars when the moon is new, and we have some of our wonderfully clear nights.

When we have a new moon, if I wake up as I do, during the night, and it's not freezing or raining, I can go out into same street and look at an incredible Milky Way and thank God I live here.

The site in Alma, linked below, I haven't been to. I'd have to organize myself for a trip there ... but I do know sites that are no more than 25 minutes away where I can drive off the highway, park, pull out some lawn chairs, binoculars, something to eat and drink, and maybe time a late afternoon hike to help my eyes get adjusted to the growing dark. In the Army, in S. Korea and S. Vietnam, we "ran night patrols" where we accustomed our eyes to work on "night vision." Before night vision goggles. So I know that in many places, adjusting my eyes to the dark and not turning on any lights will set the proper frame of mind for such an event.

I recently took a visitor from ABQ out ... and the moon was three quarters. They just kept saying:"It's so beautiful. We can't see any stars where I live."

So, I was glad to be of service.


Several people seem to have their sights set on blasting Silver City for not achieving it's goal of optimum night sky goals. I can get that. There are folks I've talked with who say that Silver City council members haven't followed through with whatever plans they had to advance this goal incrementally.
I'm not an expert on what the costs would be for Silver City acquiring full shielded night lights for the city. I've been told there are people advocating for this and are frustrated. I can get that, too. According to a star viewing map provided at this website, Silver City is right on the edge now of some of the best star viewing in the Southwest. I know that the Leonid meteor shower is coming up 17-18 November.

Again, not an expert. [but ]I was told by John Crow, who runs the Gila Regional Community News, that the council men and women read his daily blog.[In that regard, I'd like to ask them to ask people in the city and county to turn off extraneous outside lights, and pull the curtains on their houses on these nights. It's a small step towards bettering chances for those folks who want to see more of the Leonid showers (if weather cooperates), who can't or won't drive out of town for a night of stellar pleasure. I would also like to ask the Town Council, and perhaps the county commissioners, to urge home owners to put up with the city turning off street lights, say, up until midnight or one a.m., so that the people here in Silver City can join with other communities on the Planet who might do this so that we modern homo sapiens can grasp what a truly dark sky looks like once, before we die. For me, viewing the stars has been a pleasure I've held for many of my years.

Certainly, growing up in small town Indiana, where NO farm lights were used. and the city was surrounded by farm land in the 50s, even into the 60s, I was grateful to have good "star shows" where I lived. HERE, I get in my car with a friend or two, and we go out to several places where I know, from hiking, and experimenting, that there will be quite a nice (not perfect) view of the meteor shows available. I DO hope that the City Council members, and county commissioners, continue to purchase full cut off street lights so that while citizens feel secure in a scary world, our area begins to grasp that such an investment MIGHT draw amateur astronomers here for major stellar events. People who would come here to view and photograph the stars normally have more cash to spend for this avocation.

HELLO! city business people who might want to attract a different, more cash available, motivated, regular return visitors ... it's not a big deal to contemplate. For those who are interested, there are some very fine places one can drive and park and set up some lawn chairs and watch the meteors come down; satellites zooming by; and, I think, possibly watch Special Operations forces practicing at night because several such units are stationed in New Mexico.There may be other causes for that suspicion, but I will go with the possibility based on movements of aircraft ... that Special Ops choppers are practicing with Special Ops forces down here, in SW NM, where there is plenty of room for adventurous manuvers. Dark skies are not so far out of Silver City that we can go if we want. No, it's not what we have been promised in terms of "dark skies" here in Silver City.

Town council really ought to get some estimates from the people who've established a Cosmic Campground near Alma, on what benefits we might accrue by just turning off the street lights for two nights of the year, even then, not all night. I won't hold my breath. In the meantime, I'll get in my car while I can, and drive out to make a wonderful night. It's called a choice towards "progress not perfection." It's been a personal tradition to view the Perseids, if at all possible. We also have great amateur astronomers who give us star parties at City of Rocks. I hope this might help. Others have and probably might consider letting their views be known. We have come a long way ... but can come much farther. I'm looking forward to seeing the Leonids if I can. For me, it's also a spiritual experience. The mysteries of the vastness of the Universe, Einstein said he could only "wonder at."

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