Growth of light pollution in USA

The USA from 1950 thru

 Is light pollution killing our birds? - Challenge magazine, Summer 2006.

Pierantonio Cinzano has offered the webmaster this image of light pollution in the USA from 1950 through the present day and extrapolated, tentatively, into the year 2025! Now only ~13 years away! This webmaster lived in Bethlehem, PA in 1982. Lehigh Valley AS had only air traffic pylons as a problem! I guess Bethlehem fire-flies are not best pleased! You will have to live on a Rocky Mountain retreat to see the Milky Way in the near future! Is this future worth it? Did Arnold Schwarzeneggar get it right? We will have to see - if we live that long, apparently?  Let us hope that the future can fix our  frequent failures! If it doesen't then the 24 hour day will just kill off Life On Earth? - Period!

Something needs to be done soon. Light pollution is already a problem NOW in Death Valley National Park, California. Light Pollution from Las Vegas is the cause of the problem. Have a look at this excellent broadband TV programme from California - By 2025 dark skies will have gone from the lower 48? Two out of every three people cannot see the Milky Way from their homes and 99% live under skies polluted by light.  Watch California Connected and learn the truth - which is now 3 years old. We realy are running out of time. We really will be JTL?

BTW news today (26 August 2009) that Death Valley gets to 120 degs Fahrenheit 6 days sooner than it did way back in 1913. When will people realise that global warming is a REAL harsh reality and not a mere THEORY?

Image courtesy of CINZANO P. (2002). The growth of the artificial night sky brightness  in North America in the period 1947-2000: a preliminary picture. In  H. SCHWARZ ED. Light Pollution: a Global View. (pp. 39-48).  DORDRECHT: Kluwer.

A larger picture can be seen at -

Dr. Pierantonio Cinzano has  provided the web managers with his new web site. You can access this at -

FOOD FOR THOUGHT? You have heard of the IUCN Red List - Did you know that the IUCN now has a Dark Sky Advisory Group? It seems that they have at last agreed with my "coincidental" observation from last year (2008)? Don't forget that Life On Earth doesn't have a reset button. Once gone species do not come back.  In spite of Jurassic Park, dinosaurs have not returned.

BTW were you aware that whip-poor-wills in upper New York state are in decline? A friend of the webmaster has reported that in 1983 there were over 200 pairs near where he lives. The last count in 2007 there were only about 7 pairs. In 2009 he hadn't heard any! Sad huh? Clearly whip-poor-wills will soon stop singing because there are none - there is no longer the night in which they once sang? Read more here - Mass Audubon Whip-poor-will Project Maps The maps show locations in Massachusetts where Whip-poor-wills have been reported via various surveys in the past 70 years. I detect a reduction in numbers - what do you think?

Dusk crosses the USA and on go ALL  the lights.

From A Round Robin PPS Slide Show Just Received

A friend has just sent me (Monday 4th February 2008) a PPS slide show which included this image. Once the sun sets in the USA the lights go on everywhere. The 24 hour day, which is "killing off" Life On Earth?

Sad but apparently true.  

What you can look forward to

The image on the right is adapted from a NASA page showing an image of the Earth from space at night. A better version by Cinzano, Falchi and Elvidge can be found HERE. Now that we "enjoy" the 24 hour day can we perhaps ask the question "Is the 24 hour day killing off Life On Earth?"The original NASA composite image was created in about the year 2000 but was made up from images gathered over a 9 month period during 1994 and 1995. Of course exactly half the world will be in daylight at any one time and so that original image is an artist's impression of what the whole Earth would look like if the Sun was switched off. The image at the right is a composite using the 2025 images of the USA and Italy, with Europe from 2000, and the rest of the world's lights at night "artistically" imagined to be nearly as bad as the USA and Italy will be in 2025. What do you think of this future world wide 24 hour day? For me it means Bye-Bye Whip-poor-wills, Bye-Bye!

NASA has a light pollution LP page at

Would you like to listen to people on CBC talk about seeing the stars during their recent blackout?

Anna Maria Tremonti hosted a CBC radio broadcast about "Too Much Light"!

This was October 1 , 2003.

If you learnt anything from the video above, then listen to this. You can fill in the emotions which are expressed with your imagination. You do not need much imagination to do this but the emotions created are spectacular.

The page is here -

Click on the CD audio disc to load and play the REAL PLAYER audio recording. 

Enjoy and feel sad that light pollution prevents these emotions for city dwellers today and that we need blackouts to experience them! Something must be wrong somewhere?

If you are a USA administrator have a look here before you ignore light pollution issues in park and urban areas -

Can you support ignoring light pollution issues?

Sad if you can.

Your grandchildren will not be best pleased. 

What is more it might be sooner than you think?

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