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News You Can Use
By David Bachelor, PhD
A story in The Guardian is making its way around the English-speaking world. The original May 27th Guardian headline was, “Stars Could Be Invisible Within 20 Years as Light Pollution Brightens Night Skies.” The New York Post, India’s network WION, and even Pakistan’s e-newspaper, The News, are running the Guardian article under their own titles that include disappearing stars, light pollution and two decades. The story is so compelling because it reveals the stars aren’t the only things that are disappearing.
The article pits artificial light against natural light. According to the people interviewed by the Guardian, man-made light steals from the common man by erasing the stars. A British astronomer comments, “The night sky is part of our environment, and it would be a major deprivation if the next generation never got to see it.” A German physicist stands up for the vast middle of humanity when he declared, “[W]hat was formerly universal [a star-filled sky] is now extremely rare. Only the world’s richest people, and some of the poorest, experience that any more. For everybody else, it’s more or less gone.”
The next victims are the animals. These creatures were meant to operate using the light their Creator provides. The Guardian notes, “Sea turtles and migrating birds are guided by moonlight. Light pollution causes them to get confused and lose their way. Insects, a key source of food for birds and other animals, get drawn to artificial lights and are immediately killed upon contact with the source.” The British astronomer chimed in, “I am not an ornithologist but if there were no songbirds in my garden, I’d feel impoverished.”
Human health is another victim of fake light. The culprit is the proliferation of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). A researcher told the Guardian, “LEDs are almost entirely lacking any red or near infrared light . . . We are becoming starved of red and infra-red light. . . When reddish light shines on our bodies, it stimulates mechanisms that break down high levels of sugar in the blood or boost melatonin production.” The researcher blamed the famine of red-light for increased obesity and diabetes.
The Bible has much to say about light. The very first word God spoke over the unformed mass on the first day of Creation was, “’Let there be light.’ And there was light. God saw that the light was good” (Gen 1:3-4). God does not want people to be robbed of the night sky. He told the prophet Isaiah,
“Look up toward the sky. Who created everything you see? The LORD causes the stars to come out at night one by one. He gives each one of them a name. His power and strength are great and none of the stars is missing (Isa 40:26).
The Bible also says that Jesus is the Light for all people (John 1:4). Jesus’ light is not fake light. Describing Jesus’ incarnation, the Bible declares, “The true Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:9).
Unlike LED’s, God’s light does not steal anything from anybody or any creature. In fact, this is the Light that we need more of on our planet.