Look up to the sky on a clear night. What do you see? If you live in or near a big city, chances are your response is “not much”. Even 40 miles from Chicago, I can mostly see major constellations if I squint just right but not much else.
When we visit my dad, three hundred miles deep into the north woods of Wisconsin, the first thing I do after getting out of the truck is look up. The view is breathtaking. The difference between night and day, if you’ll excuse the pun.
It’s become an emotional ritual for me. My heart beats a little faster, my eyes tear up and I feel more alive (or a little less dead) inside. This is the sky I remember as a child, bright and full of wonders, and I’m afraid that the generations after mine are going to loose that sense of wonder because there’s nothing there for them to see.
There’s a story buried in there somewhere (and I’ll be working on it as soon as I finish this weekends edits) but that’s not what this is about.
I was doing research on the effects of light pollution when I discovered Earth Hour. Simply put, on March 28th, 2009 at 8:30PM local time, people and cities around the world will switch off their lights for one hour. Paris. Los Angeles. Chicago. Atlanta. Dallas. San Francisco. Mexico City. Five hundred cities in seventy-five countries are participating.
Raising awareness about global warming and climbing change is a good thing. Make a statement. Flip off your lights for an hour, take your kids (or someone elses, with permission) and go stargazing.
[Crossposted from stonetable.org. If you'd like to comment, you can do so either here or there.]