This morning, while thinking about all the effects of light pollution on the environment and all the things I’ve read in the last couple of weeks, my head started to connect the various studies and research into different generations or layers. Remember lining up dominos as a kid, then knocking down the first one? Those long trains were fun to watch fall. Dominos fall, one generation after another. Light pollution is knocking down a first domino and it’s pretty simple to see what will be other dominos in the chain to fall. The last domino to fall will be…. humans.
There are many studies and research articles stating. with undeniable data, light at night is the most harmful, widespread pollution in the last century. Light at night directly effects every biosphere on earth. What has taken a very, very long time to come about, the natural rhythm of day and night, the rhythm of life, is being interrupted in increasing manner by man’s poor use of light at night. Today technology is making light magnitudes brighter, and cheaper so even more is used.
A first generation of effect. GOE1.
The losses due to light pollution affecting insects is astounding. First generation effect. The lights draw insects from miles around, right? Rather than do the work they normally do, their place in the environment, they collapse and die at the lights. I wonder how many years they can sustain those losses before we hit a point of the collapse of symbiotic insect populations? Symbiotic? Yes, you know the beneficial insects who pollinate our crops? They are the symbiotic keystone to our food. This is generation 2 effect, a GOE2 effect.
The loss of pollinators, Like bees and moths, due to light pollution, will eventually affect crops. GOE3. Farm productivity, which will affect farm income, regional economies, agriculture in general, and eventually the amount, availability, and the price of food for us. Generations of effects.
It is not very hard to connect the dots, in many ways, all the way to us. Scary thing, insects is just ONE of the many detrimental effects of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN). We have the knowledge to mitigate the effects of ALAN at no additional cost but do not. We probably won’t until people become aware of this insidious type of pollutant and it becomes socially, economically, and for human health reasons, unacceptable.