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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

What if Alicante takes advantage of an energy decree to ‘turn off’ its light pollution and ‘turn on’ the stars?

According to various signs, the province of Alicante is, One of the highest light pollution generated in SpainOn the other hand the country tops the ranking of light waste in Europe with Italy and Portugal,

According to a study by Complutense University of Madrid, Alicante was already emitting in 2007, according to images taken by satellite, Light pollution similar to Barcelona, ​​despite having three times less population,

Spanish government decree on energy saving -which forced a relative blackout- has sparked criticism in one segment of the population and, in turn, has been a ‘golden’ opportunity for another, which believes “the time has come”.

it is a matter State Level Association Cel Fosc (‘Dark Sky’ in Catalan), active since 1996, the year he began to condemn Causes and consequences of excessive light pollution, Victoriano Canales is one of its representatives in the province of Alicante.

As the talk begins, remember one fact that doesn’t usually come up. ,These restrictions are already in place for 14 yearsBut the government has not implemented them till now and the citizens are also not interested”.

it refers to 2008 decree (Royal Decree 1890/2008, 14 November, which approves the regulation of energy efficiency in outdoor lighting installations) which indicates that A low light program must be established For: Street lighting, specialty lighting, decorative lighting, lighting of signs and published advertising.

On the other hand, can savings measures pose a security problem? “It’s a belief on the part of citizens, used to everything that turns on at night,” Canales says.

“From our organization, in which we advise ourselves only with scientific and technical studies, We know that the implementation of these measures does not mean a reduction in security“, they respond via a statement in Cel Fosc.

“If there are some roads that are not safe, in low light they will be just as insecureJust like they let out more light”, insists Victoriano Canales.

He recalls from Cel Fosc that in some places in Spain that have followed a policy of reducing public lighting, such as Madrid and Málaga, insecurity has not increased.

For example, in France, for a few years now, about 13,000 towns and cities have completely or partially turned off street lights to save money and watch the stars by 12 midnight. without any security incident, Several cities in the United Kingdom have also been closed, he recalls.

Other advantages

Canalus confirms that, if light pollution was reduced, “Will have a huge positive impact on people’s health”, This is M. Isadidas This would mean “relief for the rest of the citizens, as many scientific studies have shown”.

“It will contribute Do not disturb the circadian sleep cycle“maintains canals. Prolonged exposure to white light, especially present in many cities;”is the most dangerous And the one that causes more diseases,” he says.

The positive effect of reducing excess light will also be felt by nocturnal fauna and flora“Currently subject to a mild invasion that affects their mobility, feeding, reproduction and pollination among other aspects”.

see stars

“The less light, the more we gain in the view of the sky, the more we will achieve in depth of field, but up to a certain point”, assures him who has also been representative in Spain of Astronomers Without Borders and The author of the discovery of 38 exoplanets and of 1,030 asteroids together with other volunteers,

“But until Spain complies with this decree 100%, we will not know to what extent the skies will be more clearly seen, as they are unprecedented measures,” he acknowledged, “although it will be clear That it would be much better than now remains to be seen.”

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