It has been estimated that 30% of all US outdoor lighting is directed skyward as waste light at an annual cost of $1.5 billion dollars in wasted electricity, energy that required the burning of 6 million tons of coal to produce in the first place. Waste light is wasted energy that serves no useful purpose and needlessly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Light pollution is a problem for all of us, not just astronomers.
Organizations such as the International Dark-Sky Association and the Campaign for Dark Skies (UK) raise awareness of the problem and educate communities worldwide about practical solutions. The IDA Web site at http://www.darksky.org is an excellent source of information and news on the subject. Visit the IDA Web site and support their endeavors by becoming a member.
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