Societies might like to invite their members to sign this online petition to request a reduction in the spending by local councils on lighting, and so reduce light pollution in the UK.

Phil Flint writes:

Can you please help make our skies darker by signing the petition below. It takes less than a minute. If you could also pass the message on to the members of your society then that would be fantastic.

My thinking is that government doesn’t listen when people ask for dark skies as its not seen as a sexy vote winner but this government is concerned about their green credentials and also reducing taxes if only to spend the money on something else. So, if the government mandates that councils reduce spending on lighting the ways in which to do it are very few:

1) switch lights off after a certain time
2) only have some of the lights switched on
3) don’t power them so high
4) put in new lights that are more efficient and, hence, don’t shine upwards

I’m basically saying to them, you can save money, you can reduce your greenhouse emissions, you look good to your friends in Brussels and we all benefit from lower taxes and a better view of the night sky. As there’s something in it for them then, you never know, they may then do something. The reason for giving until Jan 2012 is two-fold:

a) these things take time to implement
b) there’s an additional benefit with the Olympics by showing what a green country we are

I think there must be at least an outside chance that someone may read the petition and, at the end of the day “you never know”.

As you can see, there is something in this proposal for everyone, not just astronomers so, please, please, please sign the petition, ask your friends to sign and ask them to ask their friends to sign. If enough people do then this issue may move up the list on the agenda and we may get some air time and something may be done.

Many thanks and that link once again is