I've just finished listening to the BBC's One Planet on the radio. In this week's One Planet, Mark Whittaker examines the cost of lighting in terms of energy wastage and in blocking our views of the night sky.
I think it's a brilliant episode. Anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky from the countryside or places where there is very little light will agree that the sight is amazing. Stars fill almost the entire sky. You can even see the Milky Way. It is one of the most beautiful sights that one can experience. Unfortunately, such sights have become very rare.
Today, most of us can no longer enjoy the beauty of the heavens because of light pollution. Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. It comes from sources such as building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights and stadiums. Most of these electric light is lost into the night sky and thus drowning most of the light from the stars.
"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. How I wonder what you are?" Maybe we should change this famous children's nursery rhyme into "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. How I wonder where you are?"
Because very soon, most kids will never get to see a star from where they are. And that's very sad.
Listen to Lighting The World now on the BBC website. You have until next Thursday before a new episode replaces this one. Pity they do not archive their episodes.