16 March 2009

Get involved: Earth Hour

On March 28th cities around the world will take part in "Earth Hour 2009" and you should too. This has grown from a small event that reached a few million people to a global event that should touch billions this year in a global effort to reduce light pollution by turning off unnecessary lights for an hour. It is good for the environment and of course, from my point of view, it is a way to start turn back the effects of light pollution - or at least enhance awareness of the problem as the International Dark Sky organization is doing.

The main task is to turn off unnecessary lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on Saturday evening March 28th. Around the globe, people will do this at 8:30 pm local time and if enough people do this we might be able to see an actual increase in star viewing because of a bit more darkness!

Here in San Francisco a small but growing group of concerned citizens are working to raise awareness of light pollution and are looking into reasonable alternatives for the City of San Francisco to lower light levels and use outdoor lighting more intelligently - and bring the stars and galaxies back to our parks and backyards - while at the same time actually improving safety.

Check the Earth Hour website for more details on happenings around the globe. And check back on my blog for more information about local San Francisco events including a star party that I will be joining. Click here for photos from an interesting National Geographic article on light pollution.

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