Sunday, July 18, 2004

Americans are afraid of the dark...

The local utility company installed new electrical service in our rural neighborhood. When all the utility poles were placed the last one ended up in the middle of our next door neighbor's front yard. High up on this last pole is an extra electrical instrument, a street light.

The utility company convinced our neighbor of the value and economy of a street light in the middle of their front yard. Accepting the promise of personal security our neighbor will push back the darkness. Employing a sodium-vapor torch our neighbor will seek to defeat the night.

The light that combats their feared darkness will spill into our yard. It will contaminate the night shade of our yard. It will pollute our night sky. It will obscure our view of the night time heavens.
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Fly anywhere in the continental United States and be impressed (and frightened) by the number of street lights illuminating HUGE expanses of our nightscape.

We are a nation of such riches that we can afford to buy off our fears and paranoia.

How much energy could we save as a nation if we were not afraid of the dark?

. . .