Open Letter to Astronomical League and Astronomical Society of the Pacific Members

Last Changed:  Sunday, 10-27-13

The Truth Hurts…

Astronomers: Stop fleeing like cockroaches to dark corners to observe!
Astronomers: Stop fleeing like cockroaches to dark corners to observe!

Hi.  I’m Stargeezer Jack, a lifelong amateur astronomer and dark sky kinda guy; a retired astronomy teacher with eyes for dark skies, from Ames, Iowa.  Thank you for reading my letter and website.

Light pollution waxes, dark skies wane. The truth hurts. Question is, what will you do about it?

Will you flee like a cockroach to dark corners to observe, or stand and fight for dark skies?

Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The darksky.orgs and astromagazines fail to lessen light pollution because their basic assumption–light pollution is manageable with laws, ordinances, fixtures, bulbs, technology–reflects insanity.

We must stop the insanity and face reality! We must leave the Isle of Denial and move to a Locality of Reality.

How, Stargeezer?

We must think and act differently about our night light fight.

As a longtime former Astronomical League member I tried many times to initiate change.  My credentials: 60 years of doing astronomy and 30 years teaching it.  Please help me stop the insanity.

I have many suggestions, but one is paramount:  the Astronomical League (AL) and Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) must place light pollution at their prime focus; then fight as if dark skies matter by putting the issue front and center on their websites and in the minds and mouths of members.

The AL and ASP need not change their purpose, but point-blank: no dark skies, no astronomy, no AL / ASP!

The AL / ASP are strong organizations with dynamic networks, perfectly positioned to promote dark skies, with thousands of dedicated, grassroots members scattered across the country like stars in a dark night sky.

Observing is the essence of astronomy and was my prime purpose until light pollution destroyed my observing site and cataract surgery killed my observing sight. But I refuse to sit on my stargeezer keister complaining about light pollution while other astronomers continue the insanity!

I will not flee like a cockroach to observe. I will stand and fight for starlight!

You?  What’s your dark sky plan?  More insanity?

Light pollution waxes. Dark skies wane. What will provoke you to action?

Please share my thoughts with other AL / ASP members.  ALCON 2013 and ASP 2013 approach at light speed. What will you and other attendees do to eliminate lights that desecrate nights?

It is now the end of October, 2013, and neither the AL nor ASP has changed.  ALCON 2014 and ASP 2014 are a only a few short months away.  Another year has passed, and light pollution has increased using your irrelevant tactics.  When will you change?  WHEN?

Thank you for reading my website, especially if you deeply disagree with it.  I await the AL / ASP changes, and your responses, even if you disagree.


Sunny Days and Milky Way Nights.

Jack Troeger aka Stargeezer Jack, Dark Sky Guy, Dark Sky Knight

One comment

  1. Stargeezer Jack

    Interesting suggestion. I have been a member of both the AL and ASP for years and it never occurred to me that these two stalwart organizations — who claim to put astronomy and astronomers first — are not living up to their claims. I shall begin to push our local astronomy group and the AL and ASP toward a better destination–dark skies! Thanks for your efforts and concerns. Eliminate Lights That Desecrate Nights! I love your slogan.

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