Friday, November 20, 2009

An article in the Wall Street Journal on LP dealing with the Town of Barrington

I read with great interest your article entitled "Everything Is Deluminated". We are facing the extinction of an entire ecosystem - the unpolluted night sky. Over 100 years ago a similar fate almost became of other untainted environments around our nation. People of wisdom and forethought banded together to preserve some of our greatest vistas and our national park system was founded. The same arguments you have mentioned are echoes from days gone by. Forests, minerals and fauna were simply there for the taking. To be ravaged without a care in the world. Extinction was mankind's legacy on the ecosystem.

Theodore Roosevelt fought hard against the self-serving interests and attitude you present. He fought for future generations that had no voice at meetings. He fought against extinction and raping of the land. He was a patriot as all are that work to preserve our nation for future generations.

A book about the 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.” We use it to symbolize honor, achievement and hope. The starry sky is the firmament, the roof of a divine cathedral, open to all.

If Americans were to fly flags representing the numbers of stars we can see at night, most of us would be flying a flag like the former Soviet Union. As Light Pollution worsens over the upcoming years, most of us will live to see the day the last 50 star flag is lowered and retired for good in the contiguous US.

So what’s the big deal about losing our ability to see the stars? Theodore Roosevelt once compared the loss of ocean birds being, “…like the loss of a gallery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time.” How can we measure or justify the loss of our aspirations, honor or hope? Can we really bulldoze that divine cathedral and replace it with a cave of twilight? Public parks and wilderness areas are a truly American invention and have been called our greatest legacy. But, they take care and vigilance to keep them unimpaired in beauty. For over 100 years, patriots such as Lincoln, Muir, Roosevelt and countless individuals and organizations have fought to protect these lands. Should we look into the eyes of our children and tell them we tried our best or do we pick up Old Glory, fallen on the battlefield, and fight the good fight? I challenge everyone not to sit idly by and watch the Star Spangled Banner fade into history, future generations demand better.

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value." Theodore Roosevelt

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