Heated Debate Sparked After Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Installs New Lights
Daylight Savings Time Ends
We're all well-aware by now that darkness falls earlier across all of New England these days, after the turning back of the clocks for Daylight Savings Time ending on November 6.
Add to that the fact that darkness falls earlier in Maine regardless, no matter the time of year or the status of the clocks, due to the sun rising here first, causing it to set here first in turn, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that lights are needed earlier and in more abundance now.
Bowdoin College New Campus Lights
Shortly after Daylight Savings ended, causing us to "fall back" with our clocks, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, announced the installation of new LED lights around various light poles throughout campus.
In response to the darkness that settles in Maine around this time of year, two of the College's senior vice presidents got behind a new initiative to set the Quad alight with LED bulbs. Bowdoin's facilities crew has strung twinkling lights around every lamp post on the Quad and several trees at the Odeum, adding thousands of bright spots to campus.
Seems smart and proactive, right? Not in the eyes of everyone.
Public Reacts to New Bowdoin Campus Lights
In a shocking reaction that Bowdoin College officials more than likely didn't have on their bingo cards, not everyone had positive feedback to the new LED light pole initiative introduced around campus. In fact, minutes after the college announced the installation of the new lights, the heated reactions started flying.
'But, but that’s a waste of energy. Thought you were green….'
'Light pollution. Turn off or down the lights and see the stars.'
'Seasonal lights that are well-designed are fine. But unfortunately, college campuses are some of the most overlit places in America and light pollution contributes to global warming, loss of biodiversity, and human health risks.'
'Wimps...making it even harder to appreciate the night sky!'
Interesting reactions, to say the least. Anyone familiar with the area of Bowdoin College can attest to not only how dimly lit the area is at night, but also the anxiety drivers in the area can experience navigating the area in the evening following the clock change, with students dressed in dark clothing either jogging in the area or simply crossing the street at a moment's notice.
Not only is it a danger to drivers who may not see a student (or anyone, for that matter) crossing the street until the last minute, but it's especially dangerous to the students themselves, not just due to vehicles that may not see them, but also to people in the area with bad intentions.
At some point, you need to weigh the options of what is more important -- eliminating light pollution so you can see stars at night, or the safety of students and Brunswick residents at night.
The answer should honestly be an easy one.
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