Light pollution, there is much talk of it but not as much as it is increasingly present in Italy as in the rest of the world. The latest detection almost blinds. Sure, it scares. The problem is there in almost all densely populated areas and also undermines the serenity of areas that have always been considered "protected" from our dazzling lights.
Light pollution: definition
For those who live in the city it is now difficult to distinguish what it is light pollution and what instead can be considered "normal" lighting. If we refer to the legislative definition, we learn that it is called Light pollution “Any irradiation of light directed outside the areas to which it is functionally dedicated, and in particular towards the celestial vault”.
More simply it comes to an alteration of the light levels naturally present in the night environment. This "alteration" can be more or less high depending on the area in which it is measured, it must certainly be measured and kept under control, if not reduced, because it causes environmental, cultural and economic damage.
The concept of is not immediate Light pollution, I realize this, because if smog is just an enemy, light is not at all, on the contrary! IS' essential for well-being of living and working environments and also helps us to maintain a good mood, has a antibacterial and anti-anemic action.
You cannot do without lighting in its entirety, it is necessary to learn how to dose it correctly, taking care that it does not cause damage. To the environment, to animals and also to ourselves. Even home lighting in the house can harm us with headache, burning eyes and visual disturbances, dizziness, lacrimation, decreased vision. Let alone if the whole world is too enlightened.
Light pollution: environmental damage
Environmental damage related toLight pollution they concern both animals and the environment and the earth's balance in general. Migratory birds, sea turtles, nocturnal moths can lose their orientation while some plants undergo an alteration of the photoperiod. All living things certainly experience a abnormal rhythm change, not expected and unhealthy. We are the first to have a biological clock that certainly does not remain indifferent toLight pollution.
Light pollution: cultural and economic damage
It is often the economic damage that pushes humanity, including us, to worry aboutLight pollution. Too much light means waste of electricity, the one that is used to illuminate some areas when not necessary, such as corners of the sky, facades of private buildings, fields on the side of roads or in roundabouts. To this avoidable expense, it is added that which concerns all the maintenance works of the appliances, that for the replacement of lamps and the installation of new systems.
Let's not forget the price we pay on a cultural level, continuing to flood the celestial vault with light: the stars are now a mirage and if we do not reach particular positions, it is very difficult to study it or even admire it with open mouth thinking about how it has inspired religious, philosophical and scientific thoughts for millennia. All that harms astronomy, directly, but also to poetry and our state of mind.
Light pollution in Italy
Also in Italy, as in the rest of the world, concern for light pollution it is growing, often for economic reasons, but at least we are beginning to pay attention to the phenomenon not only among the elite of scientists. To date there is no regulation in this regard that it is valid at the national level and every single region or autonomous province has organized itself. There are therefore more or less restrictive legislative texts on the subject and a country in patches of light.
Some provisions are based on the Uni 10819 standard (Valle d'Aosta, Basilicata, Piedmont) others on stricter specifications (Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Veneto). To these are added provisions based on the "zero light up" criterion that regulate light pollution in Lombardy, for example, as in Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria and other regions.
Light pollution around the world
The most current photograph ofLight pollution around the world is the one represented in the atlas published on Science Advances carried out by Italian, German, American and Israeli scientists in a period, the one we are experiencing, in which the transition to led technology.
Before going to explore the various areas, we acknowledge that, without the appropriate countermeasures, light pollution could double or triple at an intense pace.
We cannot console ourselves by restricting the field to Europe given that the western part is among the most affected regions, apart from small dark oases in Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Austria. The G20 nations are too enlightened, and we particularly shine, among all, together with South Korea as opposed to Canada and Australia which are the more relatively dark ones. If you want see the milky way one can go to India and Germany, impossible to do so in Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
If we're wondering where all this light is coming from, most of it comes from street lighting but also that of buildings, cars and billboards contribute to light pollution. More than 80% of all of us, lives under a sky that is 10% brighter than it should be naturally, but for all intents and purposes if we think of Europe and the United States we can easily raise the percentage to 99%.
Faced with these hallucinating numbers, we don't put our heads underground, like ostriches, although it is still dark there, let's think instead of designing the lighting more conscientiously, making it practical and possible to reduce its intensity, on request. IS we turn off the lights of the rooms we do not use, starting with the entrance and the anteroom.
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