https://safirsoft.com How 'stars' help the French keep the night sky dark

The volunteer program encourages cities to manage their brightness.

There is a constant stream of concerns that artificial light is steadily destroying our ability to see the stars. A recent paper published in Science explains how artificial light affects the timing of events such as the appearance of plants and the color of leaves in spring and fall. This is one of many recent studies showing the direct or indirect effects of light pollution on plants and animals.

“People realize that darkness is no longer darkness. This is one of the elements that helps reduce species diversity, as well as biodiversity,” said Jacques Falcon, a retired researcher at the French Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Thanks to a volunteer program in France, more communities are taking steps to reduce light pollution.

Regulating darkness

Despite this growing body of evidence, the use of light is actually being done artificially. It has been constantly increasing in the past few years.A 2017 study showed that from 2012 to 2016, the amount of artificial light worldwide increased by 2.2% per year.

While laws in France recognize light pollution, there A level of awareness about this problem.It is not the same as air or water pollution among people.To overcome this problem in France, ANPCEN (Association for the Protection of the sky and the night Environment), of which Falcon is a member, was created to stimulate the fight against light pollution in France every two years. , the association publishes a list of French towns and villages that receive stars for their efforts to control artificial light.

We d started this brand with one to five stars in 2009.” It was 10. Years after our association was founded, said Anne-Marie Ducreux, ANPCEN Honorary President. A sign of the initiative's growing popularity can be seen in the increase in the number of municipalities that have voluntarily participated over the past 12 years, while the first list published in 2009 includes only 39 municipalities. Published this year, it includes 364 municipalities. Advertising

According to Ducro, ANPCEN supports a global approach to combating light pollution. We engage with climate, astronomy and public spending to target election integrity, working to raise awareness not only at the local level for municipalities but also at the national level such as Parliament. M. "We are also engaged in advocacy, which in particular has led to the inclusion of light pollution in four laws and regulations," Ducreux said. About twelve pages are about energy consumption, biodiversity, citizen awareness, measures taken to prevent annoying lights, and more. Each item in the survey has a score and the total determines the number of stars awarded.

One of the municipalities that got three stars is Virac, located in the south of France. According to Frank Silert, a sustainable development consultant at the municipality, one of the main aspects of the Star Village project is that it encourages you to take an interest in some management aspects, such as energy consumption, and solve your problems. "There is no doubt that receiving these stars when requesting funding for the development of the municipality is also reliable," he adds. For Selter, personally, dark nights also meant an opportunity to pursue his interest in astrophotography. >

Although he lives in a small village, Falcon says that the quality of the night sky is poor due to its proximity to a large city. "Even if the small towns turn off their lights at night, the big cities release so much of it that can be seen for miles away," he says. He says that measures to combat light pollution should be mandatory for large cities.

Falcon adds that if the problem of light pollution is not addressed, it will eventually have a major impact on species, including humans.

"A recent study showed that artificial light reduces the number of nocturnal pollinating insects. This directly affects plants because pollination is not done properly. By reducing plant species, the active insects that depend on these plants during the day It's also declining because they don't get enough food to survive, which affects insects at night, affects plants and during the day. "Insects do affect."

According to Falcon, artificial light also affects on mammals.” All species are interconnected. When an element of the system is affected, the entire system begins to feel the effect. "So even if the system is not completely destroyed right away, studies show that this is likely a long-term problem."



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