International Dark Sky Association
Most city dwellers experience a variety of artificial lights every day. But how often does anyone really consider the impact of this exposure? Milton Roney, member of the International Dark Sky Association, says more people need to do just that.
Founded in 1988 in Arizona, the International Dark Sky Association advocates for greater visibility and appreciation of the night sky through practices that mitigate light pollution. According to Roney, “sky glow” is so severe on the East Coast of the United States, that many residents have never actually seen the Milky Way.
In addition to impacting the circadian rhythm in human beings, artificial lights disorient a variety of species, with impacts “cascading down the food chain”, according to Roney. Insects, bats, birds, and even sea turtles are often thrown off by the presence of light in their nighttime environment.
Among other things, the International Dark Sky Association advocates for the use of directional streetlights, which, according to Roney, are the single biggest contributor to urban light pollution. “High temperature” LED streetlights, while cost effective, are extremely penetrative, and the International Dark Sky Association supports the use of “warmer” lights.
By spreading awareness around lighting options, as well as the cultural and environmental importance of the night sky, the International Dark Sky Association is hoping to inform future policy.