What's the Latest Development?
Wales' Brecon Beacons National Park is the fifth location in the world to have been granted official status as an "international dark sky reserve" by the International Dark Sky Association. With the status comes additional protection from light pollution both within the park and in the surrounding area. Official Ruth Coulthard says that even with its reputation as one of the best places in Europe for stargazing, the park has had to deal with a 24 percent increase in light pollution over the past seven years.
What's the Big Idea?
On its Web site, the International Dark Sky Association says that its mission is "to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting." Spokesperson Martin Morgan-Taylor says light pollution represents "wasted money and wasted carbon emissions...If we were to cut a lot of the light pollution in the UK we'd certainly be able to ease a lot of the burden on power stations." The other four international dark sky reserves are in Canada, England, Namibia, and New Zealand.
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