Its time to Escape the Light Dome... A world where we are blinding ourselves to a view of the universe.
The disheartening part isn't that most people don't realize this is happening, they don't seem to care. It is something that we have just taken for granted. We will not see the stars from our cities. What is worse, is that most people have no interest in seeking out a view of the stars.
I've spent many sunsets in the mountains with moderate crowds, and I am always amazed how quick people are to leave before it gets dark. I understand there is a primordial fear of the dark that is built into us. I get that. However, I also know that there is a different kind of beauty that the night sky brings to the landscape. When you wait a little, and let your eyes adjusted to the lack of light, it is a far less frightening place than most would imagine. It is actually quite spectacular.
That was the largest motivation for this video. I think it is important to educate people about the existence and scope of light pollution. Beyond that, hopefully this video will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand what a sky full of stars looks like.
It was important to show that the Northwest can be every bit a beautiful at night as it is during the day. Seeing snow capped peaks under the stars, and in awe inspiring site. Watching the lights of climbers move around on Mount Rainier under a starry sky brings an interesting connection to someone you will probably never meet. Standing next to a perfectly calm tarn or lake, and seeing the stars reflect off of that body of water is just spectacular. If you haven't seen these things, you are missing out.
Everyone should make it a point to spend at least two nights under the stars. First, spend a night under the full moon or nearly full moon. When you look down, and see your own shadow on the ground, and realize that is being cast by the light reflecting off of the moon, it is an amazing sensation. It doesn't even seem real.
Next spend a night under a moonless sky. The shear number of stars is overwhelming. The Sagittarius arm of the of the Milky Way can be seen extending across the sky. The level of wonderment created by this view is off the charts.
Beyond the appreciation of dark skies, this is an issue that reaches across many facets of our world.
Light pollution has been linked to increases in breast and prostate cancer due to a disruption of our circadian rhythms.
Light Pollution represents a waste of resources, both financial, and energy.
Light pollution is impacting sea turtle breeding habits because female sea turtles seek out dark locations to lay their eggs, so they avoid beaches near lights
Light pollution impacts bird migrations because the excess light causes them to get lost. There have also been many instances of mass bird deaths because they fly into overly lit structures.
For more information about proper lighting techniques:
At the end of the night, I can concede that I might never stand outside of Pikes Place Market, and look up and see the Milkyway. However, I will not concede that this should be an ever expanding trend where we have fewer an fewer places from which we can see a sky full of stars.
We really are a little more than the sum of the world we leave behind.
Thanks for watching, and keep an eye out as I have a couple more videos in the work.
I would like to extend a very grateful thank you to Jennifer Warnick for taking the time to narrate this. Her hard work and amazing voice really took this video to whole new level.
The music is “Revival” by CJ Shaman
The origins of the Bill Waterson quote from the beginning can be found here:
Still images from this video:
Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Slider