Dark Sky Advocacy
Step outside and look up-how many stars do you see? If you live out in the country, your sky may look like a dark sheet of construction paper loaded with pinpricks with a flashlight behind it. If you're in the city, you're lucky to see some of the brightest stars in the sky. That is, if the light pollution isn't that bad.
Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and illuminated sporting venues.
The fact is that much outdoor lighting used at night is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and, in many cases, completely unnecessary. This light, and the electricity used to create it, is being wasted by spilling it into the sky, rather than focusing it on to the actual objects and areas that people want illuminated.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is the recognized authority on light pollution and is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide. IDA’s grassroots advocate network is a nimble and effective distributive network, capable of sharing best practices and tools while remaining locally attuned to specific geographic, political and demographic needs. They provide resources to educate others on the effects of light pollution not just for us astronomers who want a darker sky, but for the human and animal residents of Earth alike. The need citizens like us-not just astronomers but people who want to improve our night skies and eliminate light pollution-to learn about light pollution and teach everyone around us. Whether you join as a contributing member or not, you can still work on your own to improve light pollution around you.