TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
In “Our Vanishing Night,” Verlyn Klinkenborg explains the many issues light pollution has on the Earth and its inhabitants. The thesis of his essay is that humans tend to not notice the devastating effect misguided light has on everything from insects and migrating birds to even ourselves, as human beings due to our need to light up the night.
As the years go by, more areas are being urbanized all around the world. Hundreds of years ago, light pollution wasn’t an issue due to humans using torches, lanterns, etc. Currently, there are artificially lit highways constructed every day, along with skyscrapers and factories being built consistently. These structures all require artificial light, which instead of just lighting the area are being reflected into the atmosphere. This affects humans all over the world, and as Klinkenborg notes astronomers aren’t the only humans affected by light pollution however, as our own Circadian rhythm is dependent on the natural schedule of night and day.
Feedings, breeding’s, and migratory patterns are being disrupted due to animals confusion due to the artificial lighting being used. Nocturnal animals whose feeding times are at night are afraid to eat solely for the fact that the darkness is virtually non-existent.
Klinkenborg believes that these things are contributing to the pollution that is throwing the ecosystem off its natural balance, and with light pollution being the most easily fixed pollutant, the amount of unnecessary light being sent into space could easily be fixed with slight changes to the framework of artificial lighting. Also, the result of a new approach could bring forth great saving on the tremendous output of energy being lost constantly.
Honestly, parts of the essay were executed efficiently in my opinion, for several reasons. He started off the essay with very relatable material that caught my attention from the first paragraph, but as I read further, some of the points the author made bored me. I felt like his intended audience was most likely for older adults who could relate to a time period where there wasn’t so much artificial lighting. I also felt like at points the views were more so biased, then factual. I found myself having to reread a few paragraphs due to my lack of interest at his approach. Some of the points were relatable though because I’m very concerned with the Earth and the environment as I’m sure many others are. At those points I felt I could relate to, I felt the author explained his claim thoroughly though due to the fact that I now realize light pollution exists and I understand its effects on the Earth. His argument stands logically, light pollution is