The fear of our neighbors may be making us sick…at the very least it is making it impossible for most of us to enjoy the stars as our parents once did. The book for November book club is The End of Night; Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light by Paul Bogard. We will meet November 17th at the Moline Public Library in the Bronze Room at 6 pm to discuss the research and plea that Mr. Bogard presents in his thought provoking book.
While we would not let our music, our pets or our garbage enter and despoil our neighbors yards we allow our lights to trespass and in doing so reduce the quality of sleep and even the health of those around us. I was struck by the use of the term “light trespass” to describe our species relatively new found love of turning night into day via artificial lights. Paul Bogard takes the readers on a journey to investigate the costs of this light addiction and what efforts are being made to return to us the ability to enjoy the night sky.
Bogard is a writer not a scientist. But he is very careful with his research and his deep appreciation for the night sky guides his very careful look at all that we are giving up by lighting our nights. Astronomical vs ecological light pollution is discussed as are the ill effects of shift work, nocturnal and crepuscular biodiversity, circadian rhythms and the alarming assertion by the World Health Organization that artificial light is a likely carcinogen. There is much to discuss. Join us for the discussion.