The Great Canadian Carbon Offset 2006

Condensation trails may threaten astronomy

From the BBC News, Thursday, 2 March 2006:

"Ground-based astronomy could be impossible in 40 years because of pollution from aircraft exhaust trails and climate change, an expert says."

Read the full article here…

I wonder how this kind of news is being received; how many are sympathetic to the plight of astronomers? How many feel, like the International Dark-Sky Association does, that it's important to "preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting"?

I believe firstly that, in all likelihood, the majority of people are not sensitive to the pleas of astronomers and dark-sky appreciators. Perhaps the larger issue is that the majority of people don't even know what is meant by "dark-sky," and can't begin to understand why it warrants preserving.

Who among us have had the good fortune of gazing out at a million blazing stars from the comfort of a lakeside campfire at a cottage in northern Ontario? How many have stared in amazement at the northern lights, or with their tongue firmly planted inside their cheek, made a wish on a shooting star? I know I have – have you?


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