News & Politics

Environmentalists Take Aim at 'Artificial Light'

It’s no secret that human flourishing is a cardinal sin for progressives. This time, they’re setting their sights on light pollution. Environmentalists want to start darkening the world by turning off electric lights.

For thousands upon thousands of years, humans were oppressed by darkness. The ability to provide necessary resources for survival was limited to the hours that the sun journeyed across the sky. Thankfully, human imagination, ingenuity, and skill pushed back and provided a way to light the darkness. The explosion of resources and the constantly rising standard of living across the globe stand as a testament to the good works of the men who invented electric light. Of course, all of that offends progressives and so they want to make it harder to feed everyone.

The title of a recent NPR article reveals progressives’ anti-human agenda: “Earth Is Lit, And That’s a Problem.”

NPR complains, “The ever-widening use of artificial lights is making the nighttime Earth glow increasingly brighter, with the amount of global light growing about 2 percent each year.”

“That worries advocates for the protection of dark skies, who say that artificial night glow can affect wildlife like migrating birds and keeps people from connecting to the stars,” the articles goes on to say. “What’s more, they say, all that wasted light sent out into space is effectively wasted money.”

Sorry, migrating birds, but sane humans believe that human productivity (the ability to feed, clothe, and house ourselves) is far more important than you are. What’s more, the fact that there are “advocates for the protection of dark skies” is as laughable as it is scary. In fact, a Bible verse comes to mind: “people love darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Granted, the “light” in that verse refers specifically to Jesus, but the sentiment stands, I think.

Reporting on a recently released German study, ABC, like NPR, warns,

A German-led team reported Wednesday that light pollution is threatening darkness almost everywhere. Satellite observations during five Octobers show Earth’s artificially lit outdoor area grew by 2 percent a year from 2012 to 2016. So did nighttime brightness.


People’s sleep can be marred, which in turn can affect their health. The migration and reproduction of birds, fish, amphibians, insects and bats can be disrupted. Plants can have abnormally extended growing periods. And forget about seeing stars or the Milky Way, if the trend continues.

What’s interesting is that “light pollution is actually worse than that, according to the researchers. Their measurements coincide with the outdoor switch to energy-efficient and cost-saving light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Because the imaging sensor on the polar-orbiting weather satellite can’t detect the LED-generated color blue, some light is missed.”

And here I thought that by replacing all of the light bulbs in my house with LED bulbs I was being an environmentalist. It’s comforting to find out that I’m not.

Skipping back up to the claim that “sleep can be marred,” besides the fact that human innovation has also developed black-out curtains (which work quite nicely, by the way), you know what else negatively affects sleep? Going backward to not having enough food or adequate shelter, that’s what.

If these studies drive innovation that leads to the ability of humans to light the darkness without confusing birds, I’ll lead the standing ovation. Let’s be honest, though. What’s more likely to happen is that these studies are going to prompt progressives to push for legislation that regulates when and how much we can use electric lights. Progressives will not be happy until all of humanity is miserable and barely clinging to life. The migrating birds will be fine, though.