The Multiple Dangers of Light Pollution

Pollution is most often associated with the thought of littering or carbon emissions. However, pollution is not limited to these two factors and can come in various forms, one of these being light pollution.

Light pollution is a form of environmental destruction that causes extreme harm to certain organisms that require low-light settings for survival. It is defined as the excessive use of artificial light and is most common in large cities or areas of occupation. As technology continues to advance, more light is emitted into the night sky, further disrupting animals.

Certain birds, such as thrushes and sparrows, tend to migrate at night, using the light from the moon and stars to guide them to their destination. Street lamps and indoor lighting from big cities can confuse these birds and prevent them from flying in the correct direction. Furthermore, artificial lighting can also lead to birds colliding with windows, which is a significant cause of bird fatalities.

These immediate effects can have long-term consequences, such as limited species reproduction and survival rates, potentially causing a bird species to completely die out. By implanting regulations on city lighting, especially at night, these animals can be protected before reaching a point of no return.

Birds are not the only animals affected. Sea turtles are another major species facing disturbance by light pollution. When sea turtle hatchlings break out of their eggs, they search for light, leading them to the ocean. This natural instinct that they carry can be contradicted by artificial beach lighting. The sea turtle population already struggles with the challenges of humans and predators as soon as they hatch. Adding light pollution to the equation can drastically decrease their numbers.

Although it is near impossible to eliminate light pollution entirely, there are methods that can be established to get rid of excess light. For example, using shields or visors on street lamps can ensure that they do not point at windows or directly at the night sky. It is important to eradicate artificial lighting that serves no purpose. By rethinking current environmental efforts, a wide variety of organism populations can be protected.



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Youth Climate Action Team Inc.

Youth Climate Action Team Inc.


501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action.