The End of Night: Searching for Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light ~ Paul Bogard (2013)

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The End of Night is non-fiction look at the effects of light pollution on our world. Bogard numbers the chapters in reverse from 9 to 1, in honour of the Bortle Scale, while searching for pockets left in the Northern Hemisphere where absolute darkness can still be found and where the night sky is still the dizzying wonder of our ancestors. While discussing the effects that losing darkness is having on North Americans, including the rise in sleep issues, the need for sleep aids and the reduction in natural melatonin production, Bogard explains how there are groups, including the Dark Sky Initiative that are helping to teach people what is means to dim the lights. Economically speaking, Bogard discusses the fact that most people do not and will not notice that we are losing the night, until energy costs cause us to turn off the lights. He visits the Las Vegas Strip, he visits Sark, he visits the First Dark Sky City – Flagstaff, AZ – to compare the visibility of the stars and the sky along the Bortle Scale. His excitement and enthusiasm for his topic is evident throughout the pages of the book, and it reminds us to look up, and to remember that seeing that pinky amber glow from the street light outside our bedroom window is the reason that melatonin supplement sales have reached an all time high. (336 pgs)

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