Northern lights are pollution

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:03 15 June 2010

The Aurora Borealis or as local people in Axmouth and Seaton, or anyone within a three mile radius of Colyton, like to refer to as The Aurora Coly-alis", the lights in the northern sky. This spectacular event is best viewed early evening on most dark

The Aurora Borealis - or as local people in Axmouth and Seaton, or anyone within a three mile radius of Colyton, like to refer to as "The Aurora Coly-alis", the lights in the northern sky. This spectacular event is best viewed early evening on most dark, winter nights. Many local people switch off their household lights, along with their outside security lights, then sit in their conservatories, watch from windows or stand in their gardens, look to the north and wait for this spectacular event to happen.As for me, I'm a sheep farmer and, while checking my flock at night, walking in fields close to Colyton, I have many times looked in the sky and admired the sheer brilliance and overwhelming magnitude of Mother Nature's humbling, awesome display.Standing alone in a darkened field, looking to the north, finally it happens; slowly at first and then, bit by bit, the sky fills with a pure white, uninterrupted light - even lighting the ground around my feet. Suddenly, I'm aware that I'm not alone; sheeps' faces appear from the darkness around me, we are all witnessing this truly amazing event.Within seconds the sky is lit, daylight has returned. You ask yourself if you are witnessing the eighth wonder of the world. Is this a biblical event? Then you regain your senses and realise NO! What you have just witnessed was the switching on of the Colyton Grammar School sports field stadium light towers.Forget the Aurora Borealis, there's a more simple term for this event. It's known as light pollution. I find it hard to understand, in this eco-friendly, carbon footprint world of today, that light pollution is not top of the schools agenda. The topic of global energy collapse continues to go unchallenged. Perhaps the school's young students, scientists and doctors of the future, could design some kind of reflective shield or cover to be mounted above the lights to reflect or redirect the majority of wasted light on its way into outer space back down onto the sports field where it's needed most. Who knows, this in itself may slow the melting of the ice caps. Am I the only person with these thoughts in mind or are there others? Allan Emmett Farmer


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