Light Pollution

Topics: Light pollution, Lighting, Melatonin Pages: 8 (2810 words) Published: September 17, 2013
AP English Literature
11 April 2012

Introduction
Light Pollution

Imagine. You’ve just reached home after a long day at work. You take off your shoes, place them neatly against the wall, change into loungewear and sink into the couch. Your eyes are weary so you dim the lights and turn on the television. Time passes by and you remain unmoved . Your skin seems attached to the fabric of the couch, the TV is low, creating a soft rumble to sleep to, accompanied by a faint glow in the darkening room. You’re fading in and out, your eyelids are beginning to fall to the modesty of the screen, and then as you’re about to fall asle GUESS WHAT YELLOW!! A commercial comes on flashing bright yellow! Your eyelids clasp tightly together, straining to hide from the light. You’re awake again, uncomfortable, and in pain. That’s light pollution. Or maybe you remember that one conversation where your friend bombarded you with talk of nature and how it’s better than the city? They went on and on about the hustle and bustle of city life and its inferiority to the nice quiet life of the forest and country. Before writing them off as weird, think about it. Was what they were saying really strange? Remember visiting that place devoid of skyscrapers and lights, and what they said: “smell the fresh air, feel that breeze, listen. Look at the stars. You don’t see that in the city, do you?” Whether or not they’re weird is up to you, but they were definitely on to something. Do you really see all those stars in the city? No. Why? Light pollution.

Have you ever been on vacation to a nice sunny place, with beautiful weather? You’re down south, walking down the beach boardwalk, enjoying yourself when you stumble upon a sea turtle belly up at your feet. It can’t be any older than a few days, yet it lies there unmoving. Its skin scorched by the sun and scathed by the sand. The turtle, newborn and unaware, headed out for the ocean following that bright light meant to guide it there. But instead of following the moonlight, it followed the much brighter city; he became stranded and left victim to the heat. That is light pollution.

Light pollution is both a much unnoticed and very large problem in the society today. Part of the problem in fact, is its lack of media coverage. Light pollution affects both wildlife and human life in many ways. It is creating an environment unfit for many species of animals. Various nocturnal species are finding themselves surrounded by newly built lights and sea creatures along the US coastal area are all becoming victims to this underrated abuse. They are becoming endangered and having to migrate into an unknown, potentially dangerous environment. The abuse of lighting for our own recreational purposes is harming those it isn’t even intended to affect. Which raise the question: how does it affect us? Like animals, it makes our environment very stressful and distracting at times; it’s causing us to change our habits and turning us into creatures afraid of the dark. It is also a drain on our revenue(??), wasting a lot of energy and money – which in society today, are two very important things.

In addition light pollution is a controversy we don’t even need in today’s life – extra brightness – but also one of the easiest to fix. There are many quick, simple, and highly beneficial fixes to this problem, with nearly no negative repercussions. Despite this, no action is taken and it continues to exist. Right now we are at the point where we can stop it before its too late, and instead of taking action, we simply continue on, allowing light pollution to grow, consume, and develop into an even bigger problem.

What is Light Pollution?
It is exactly as it sounds: Pollution. It is the act of process of contamination through the discharge of a harmful substance (American Heritage Dictionary). In this case, that harmful substance is light.  From first discovering a new source of light, man has made the best of...
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