We do not see the sky the way people in the Valley saw it even 50 years ago. Does it even matter given our life at the dawn of the 21st century? We spend $110 billion annually on wasted light. It produces 750 million tons of CO2. The Audubon Society estimates that up to 1 billion birds die each year during their migration season. Now medical studies are demonstrating that this light at night is also affecting us as studies have shown that women who work the night shift have 1.5 to 2 times the rate of breast cancer then women who don't. This light at night is wasteful use of our resources, is costing cities enormously at a time when budgets are dwindling, and has harmful consequences to us. We are at a crossroads in the Valley. Our light fixtures are antiquated and need to replaced. As the Valley grows, this is the ideal time to learn more about the lighting plans of the city of Harrisonburg and the Valley. Please join JMU English professor Dr. Paul Bogard, author of the critically-acclaimed book The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light, and Mr. Shanil Virani, Director of the John C. Wells Planetarium at 7pm on Tuesday, February 25 at the JMU Planetarium to learn more about light pollution and steps we can take to affect change in the Valley.
Dark Skies: Does It Matter - Program at JMU Planetarium on Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m.
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