Monday, December 8, 2008

video

We are getting ready for the 2009 legislative session. Here is our latest draft of the video.

Enjoy

Monday, April 28, 2008

Starlight Imperiled

A night under the stars conjures up a family tent next to a campfire under a star filled sky. It’s an opportunity to escape life’s hassles and let the kids experience the same sights and sounds their ancestors have. As the fire dies down, you lay back and peer into infinity hoping to catch a shooting star as the Milky Way sheds its warm glow.

For many of our state parks[1], the Milky Way has been replaced with sky glow, a component of light pollution caused by artificial lights. Light pollution is increasing on average 5%-10% in the US[2] every year. Terrel Gallaway, Missouri State economics professor, recently surveyed 4 national parks[3] and found that almost half of the respondents said that dark skies in the park were an “important” or “very important” reason in making their plans to travel to the park. Over two-thirds said that they had been bothered by sky glow in their home communities. Light pollution is related to energy waste and environmental issues[4].

A simple measure taken today can help ensure sensitive areas are protected for future generations to enjoy. The Kansas Night Sky Protection Act would require the state to monitor and maintain the natural sky above protected areas like state parks that allow camping. Over half the states have either passed or proposed laws to limit light pollution[5].

So, we are left with a simple question – Do we implement good lighting practices now or wait until the last child forgets what a starry night really is?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

KC Star - Letter to the Editor - Missouri Night Sky Protection Act

I am writing you today to encourage the swift passage of the Missouri Night Sky Protection Act. As you have read on the site: http://missourinspa.googlepages.com, there are many great reasons to adopt light pollution restrictions over our state parks, both economic and environmental. What cannot be quantified are the hopes and aspirations of our children, grandchildren and future Missourians. A book about the US flag published by Congress in 1977 states: "The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial".

A night under the stars gives our citizens an escape from daily hassles and an opportunity to contemplate life's greater questions. It has inspired writers and artists throughout history and across cultures. The United Nations La Palma Starlight Declaration mentions: "...the Starlight vista has been and continues to be an inspiration of the mankind, and its contemplation represents an essential element in the development of scientific thoughts in all civilizations." The extinction of this public natural resource is the same as the loss of our Ozark streams or any other ecosystem.

We have a simple choice to make this session, now. Either we let our stars fade away over our state parks or embark on a voyage of discovery like Lewis & Clark and seek the truth about light pollution and the knowledge to remediate it.

http://mcrol.trianglealumni.org Midwest Citizens for Responsible Outdoor Lighting
http://darkskycamping.googlepages.com Boy Scouts
http://www.unesco.org/mab/starlight/doc/shortdeclaration.pdf United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Starlight Declaration