Light Pollution: Spreading Darkness in the Sky
As you know pollution means excess of any undesirable element that harms or may harm the living beings. Similarly, light pollution is caused due to excess of lighting particularly in cities at night. What a paradox exists here, on one hand we have places with round the clock lighting whereas on the other hand there are large chunks of our land without electricity! This is certainly not a cheerful instance.
Here we will discuss briefly over ‘light pollution’, yet another environmental issue to think about and more significantly to act upon. This is a known phenomenon in the developed world, but in India most people are unaware of it. Its rough measure is the number of stars one can see up in the sky. How does it affect us or the other living beings? The most visible effect is on our astronomical studies. It hampers observation. Extreme lighting adversely affects the normal sleeping and breeding patterns of birds and insects. Increasingly, reptiles and amphibians such as turtles have been greatly affected as many coastal areas are flooded with excessive light at night. This eventually affects the lifespan of a species and can have even worse impacts in the long term.
Studies done in Delhi show that area around Hauz Khaas, IIT Delhi, Connaught Place and ITO are severely affected by this phenomenon. It decreases as one moves towards countryside. It’s worthwhile to note that British Astronomical Association has dedicated campaign working upon this- ‘Campaign for Dark Skies’. What do we do about it? We should not use bulbs or designs for lamps which face upwards in our homes and surroundings. Use light only as much as you want; that’s a cliché but the most effective one. Shedding off the apathy towards this growing concern particularly in metropolises is the most basic thing to be done.