Night-time lighting consumes tremendous quantities of energy and produces results that are so intense that they can be seen even from outer space. In the process, we are disconnecting ourselves from starlight, moonlight, and the experience of darkness. This is interrupting our circadian rhythms and contributing to a variety of chronic illnesses as well as loosening our grasp on what has been one of the most fundamental cycles of understanding throughout human history, that of day and night. All of the stories I have heard told about why the night needs to be eradicated in this way fall short of an explanation I can understand unless I look behind them to see the primordial fear of The Dark. I believe that this is the real reason for the compulsive need lo light up the night wherever people gather.
The volume of light in a place often parallels the concentrated presence of the parts of the human psyche that most often lead to actions that are destructive to the environment. The Las Vegas Strip is the brightest place on the planet and the financial districts are typically the brightest part of an urban area, except for capital cities, where the area surrounding the seat of government is the brightest. In rural areas it is the big-box stores, gas stations and convenience stores that are brightest. It is almost as if, now that we have convinced ourselves that we have control of nature, we find The Dark within our massed selves. And so we strive to burn it out with the cold fire of electric lighting.