(Letter) Light pollution affecting humans and the environment



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Dear Casper,

I am writing to express my concerns about the amount of light pollution that the new Latter-day Saint temple is bringing to the Casper area and surrounding environment.

As a graduate student currently studying current events with Casper, bright artificial light at night is very worrying. I was shocked when I first saw the building lit up. I could see the light from my house five blocks away. I was sad because I couldn’t see the stars that I used to see.

Both animals and humans are negatively affected by light pollution. Artificial light at night has been shown to cause a decrease in melatonin levels, which the human body needs to function. Low melatonin levels are associated with an increased risk of multiple cancers, heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, depression, fertility problems, tissue and cell damage due to low antioxidant levels, and weakened immune function. doing.

Bright lights from temples disrupt the patterns of migratory birds, the rhythms of nocturnal animals, the breeding patterns of amphibians, and reduce the number of insects needed by various species for food and pollination. Endangered species (such as bats) are more at risk because they rely on darkness for safety, food, and reproduction.

Light pollution is one of the biggest negative impacts humans have on the environment. When light affects animals and humans, it also affects plant life and ecosystem functioning. Plants, animals, and inanimate objects work together to form ecosystems. Like humans, living things depend on ecosystem services to survive.

What would happen if bright light drastically reduced pollination, increased levels of harmful insects, and resulted in fewer flowers and plants? Casper relies on agriculture for much of his livelihood.

For example: As the bat population declines, the population of the insects that bats help control (such as grasshoppers) increases and destroys crops.

The City of Casper wants to support its residents and economic development, but there are no ordinances in place to reduce the amount of light pollution. The damage that unchecked light pollution continues to cause is immeasurable.

All information provided is taken from multiple peer-reviewed articles.

Lindsey Sharosh
Casper, Wyoming.

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