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Themes:     Nature & Environment (43)    Opinions & Politics (23)  
Tags:    Christmas     Landscapes     Lighting
Diego Delmonego Saturday, 1 December 2012

A different kind of star

150 years ago the first mountaineers arrived in the Dolomites. The alternation of day and night dictated the rhythm of life and chartered time. Today we have a law to regulate all!
A different kind of star
The Provincial Government of Bolzano has set down the criteria for measures relating to the limitation of pollution caused by excessive illumination - article 1 point 3, provincial law of 21st June 2011, n.4. The objectives are: saving of energy through precise illumination of public spaces, it being a source of sleep deprivation for persons and the cause of destruction of millions of insects, they, attracted to open light displays, and their elimination creating imbalances in the food chain.

The thrilling stories of early mountaineers climbing the peaks of the ‘Pale Mountains’ encouraged many to follow and a certain wellbeing was brought to the inhabitants. We remember too that the Dolomites were the scene of bitter fighting in the First World War. Great rays of light would scan mountain ranges to identify enemy positions and theatres of war ensued. It was the first time that the magical world of the Dolomites was literally profaned by artificial light. Moving fast forward light illumination pollution has now reached such drastic levels as to deny us the view of a star enchanted sky and to compromise the very cycles of life on the planet.
In attempts to attract tourists shop windows have to glow during the day, Christmas decorations seem to be lit all year round, and there are so many artificial starry skies created in settings galore that we no longer have peace on earth! Would it be too outrageous to suggest that the uncontaminated view of a clear and starfilled sky could be more of an attraction than a thousand flashing lights? It would certainly be a more economical, ecological, and fascinating approach!
In this context Christmas decorative displays should be reduced to a maximum period of 60 days. The reappearance of a clear and starry sky will surely serve to offset the disappointment of losing the omnipresent display of artificial decorations which risk becoming a 365 day a year celebration!
A very happy Christmas to one and all.
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