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[Images in the public domain, courtesy ISS]

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

Date: 2009-06-09 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know that this is probably a stark contrast to what you were expecting, but I see it as something beautiful. It brings to mind a vision of a place that lives and breathes all 24 hours in each day. A place where I would never have to say "That place will be closed by the time I get there" or "Nobody's going to be there at that hour." The closest thing I've ever found is the internet itself, where I had discussions until 4AM and beyond with people who, to this day, continue to affect my life in wondrous ways. New York City may have a reputation as "the city that never sleeps," but I would like to have a place that truly doesn't.

Though I understand why some people consider it light pollution, I smile, seeing what it represents to me.

U can has ur caek n eet it 2.

Date: 2009-06-10 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The first image is Toronto. The second image is Montréal.

The trouble with light pollution is a bit more complicated than most people seem to be aware of, including astronomers and astrophysicists.

Like you, I love a 24-hour city. I do believe there is a viable way to have artificial light at night, but not in such a way that it is triggering breast cancer incidence in major cities attributed to ambient artificial light (I'm particularly concerned about how this one will hit the public shit fan), and not in such a way that it disrupts aquatic life cycles and feeding patterns (causing indirect biological pollution, such as algal blooms that kill lake fish). I'm an amateur astronomer, too, and basically astronomers have been harping about this since about 1970. Their case, however, is mostly about their research and of little relevance to municipalities, businesses, or even environmental advocates. I make a case of economics, public health, and ecological health. But artificial lighting can and must be used more wisely, like fixtures that aim the light exactly and only where it's needed.

I could talk about this in nerdy detail, but I do think these snapshots say a lot about the city's individual character. Keep your eyes posted, as I'll add new instalments from time to time in this series. Incidentally, Montréal, at a fifth the population of NYC, is comparably as bright as NYC. Montréal is my problem child, and this is why I'm going to McGill.

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