Hey, turn off the pollution

Light pollution affecting Victoria more than we think, says astronomy group and others, and cruise ships add to the trouble

International Astronomy Day is this Saturday, April 28, and celebrations abound in Victoria. But it’s also a time of awareness, say the experts.

Hey, turn off the pollution

Stargazers will be excited to hear that International Astronomy Day is this Saturday, April 28, and celebrations abound in Victoria. But it’s also a time of awareness, say the experts.

Your friends at the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada say, on the heels of Earth Week, it’s important to think about how light pollution plays into our habitat.

“Light pollution is noticeable at night when it permeates the nocturnal environment, but its effects are felt around the clock,” says Lauri Roche, president of the Victoria RASC.  “Light pollution is the essence of waste, and it does much more than reduce the visibility of stars — artificial light at night disrupts our circadian system that keeps us healthy and helps us resist cancer, infection and disease. The World Health Organization lists ‘light at night’ as a probable carcinogen.”

Roche also says light pollution prevents chemical changes in the air at night that breakdown chemical pollutants, and that insects attracted by bright light at night become too exhausted to feed or reproduce, ultimately affecting other plants and animals who rely on them as a food source.

To learn more about Saturday’s activities at UVic’s Bob Wright Centre (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or about how you can reduce light pollution, visit victoria.rasc.ca.

Time to make the tourists pay?

Speaking of pollution, congrats to the cruise ship Crystal Symphony, owned by Crystal Cruises of L.A., who is winner of the “Individual Ship” category at the new Dirty Air Cruise-Ship of the Year Awards, hosted by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association.

Winners were chosen from the data readings taken from the sulphur dioxide (SO2) monitoring station installed near Victoria’s harbour for the 2011 season. Winners of the one-­hour “Team Category” are Carnival’s Holland America’s Amsterdam, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Infinity and Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas for their joint emissions in June.

This is the first year the association offered these awards, and hopes it is also the last. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancovuer Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, Oakbay.ca video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Most Read