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whingeing about light pollution from commercial greenhouses

master steward & author
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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I just need to whinge about this to someone who can commiserate. My city friends hear my plight, and they look at me funny. So what, they say, I never see the stars.

Well, I love the stars. It's one of the privileges of living outside of town. Sure we have the city glow to the south, but there are plenty of stars to the North. Or there were.

About 6Km to the north, there are now commercial greenhouses. About the size of a small aircraft hangar, they grow cucumbers and tomatoes year 'round. Because we live so far north, they have the grow lights on 24 hours a day.

A pink-orange glow now lights up our northern sky every night. It blots out all but the brightest stars in that direction. It's about 3 times brighter than the city glow. This means, that when the Northern Lights were finally strong enough we should be able to see them, we can't. The amazing comet we should be able to see near the Big Dipper this weekend, is hidden behind the glow. Sure I could go for a drive to find somewhere far away from the glow and see these things...but that distance gets further and further each year. It's just not worth it anymore. Time to move house I think.

Light pollution aside, surely those greenhouse growers are keen to make money? How come they waste so much energy lightening up the night sky? I always imagined a more focused light would benefit the plants and pocket books better.

Anyway, thanks for listening. Just needed to get that off my chest. Now I can go back to feeling positive about the world.

If it's in the wrong place, Mods feel free to move the thread where you like.
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I feel it.
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Might also be an appropriate topic in The Ulcer Factory.

If you know anyone who works there, maybe you could casually imply that you save a lot of money using reflectors with grow lights. Even if you don't really use them, it might inspire them to change things.

Probably wishful dreaming
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Tucson is about the only place I've ever seen that even thinks it's a problem. We were there in the 80's. I think they had local laws to restrict "wasted" light.
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Location: Victoria BC
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Ugh, I hear this. We've got the same thing, though it's been there forever in our case. Roses. Blech.

While your case is a sudden nasty spike, most times, you don't even realize how much of the night sky has been slowly stolen as the city glow grows, until you get *away* from it.

When I was in mid-nowhere, northern california last fall, we drove up a mountain on a forestry road to watch the lunar eclipse. It was amazing; we ended up just lying in the road for an hour watching the stars and spotting meteors while the eclipse progressed.

All that light going up, which nobody much seems to care about... it's not just annoying, it's damned wasteful! There ain't nothing up there needing illumination, and lumens cost watts. I get that a lot of it is reflected light of one sort or another, but there are many lights in a city or town that haven't even a pretense of a reflector above them to get that light/energy pointed in the theoretically useful direction.

Interesting link about Tucson... be nice if it caught on elsewhere. I cracked up reading about the emergency center calls due to people suddenly seeing the milky way when the power went out in LA, but really it's more sad than funny.
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