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We Must Act On Light Pollution

Updated on Jul 08, 2008 – SCMP

Light pollution has become one of the biggest concerns for scientists and environmentalists. Hong Kong has glittering neon billboards and glaring domestic lights.

This is an issue which concerns us all.

Excessive illumination means that a lot of energy is being wasted and this is a form of pollution. Such a rapid depletion of energy sources brings us a step closer to having an energy crisis. This is a global issue and it should not just concern environmentalists. We should all be worried about what is happening.

We can deal with this problem by utilising light sources more effectively. More than 70 per cent of the lighting in Hong Kong is not used appropriately, because we have developed bad habits. In our flats we leave a light on when nobody is in the room.

Also the government uses high pressure sodium lamps which makes things worse. Just switching off a light when it is not needed can help.

The government can also play a vital role in assisting the public to limit the amount of light used by passing an ordinance controlling the use of illumination systems. For example, the neon advertisements should be dimmed to soft lights after 10pm and any violation of this law should lead to a fine.

This change in the law should be undertaken as soon as possible so that wastage of energy is reduced to a minimum.

It is no easy task to solve our pollution problems, but we must act as soon as possible. We must all try to do our bit and help, for the sake of our planet.

Shirley Kong, Kwai Chung

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