Gilles Vandewalle / Chercheur Qualifié FNRS

ULiège / Neuroscience

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

New lighting technologies, i.e. LED, should have considerably reduced the energy required for light. Yet light use has broadened, lighting systems are more intense and LEDs are everywhere. Light pollution is an important issue, first because it perturbs wildlife: for instance tens of millions of bird die every year because they hit windows of skyscrapers in cities, insects die because they don’t rest around light bulb, animals don’t sleep and reproduce correctly, etc. etc. Human beings are also negatively influenced by light, they get too much light at the wrong time, e.g. in the evening, and they sleep less, when poor sleep is associated with increased risk for many health issues. Regarding the climate, light pollution is important because it’s a huge waste of energy. It shows how technologies are always presented as solutions to reduce energy consumption when they always allow to ease usage and increase energy need. New lighting technologies should and could really serve human-centric and intelligent light to improve health and spare energy rather that to put light everywhere and anywhere.
In my daily life, I try to spare light (obviously), but also energy in general (heating, paper print, food, etc.). I bought a bike for my lab to go around campus (Liège campus is big), annoy people to print both sides, try to reuse lab material, etc. At home, we buy mostly local and/or organic, we make our own soap, we reuse plastic and paper bags, we avoid buy too much packaging, we use rain water for toilet and laundry, we don’t buy prepared meal, we have only one car. Yet, I think we still use the car too much, we took the plane for holidays recently, we sometimes decrease our vigilance and buy food from the other side of the planet, we sometimes go to fast food restaurant. So we do our best, we are not extreme and we are incoherent sometimes.
We need to divide our energy consumption by 10 to be on the right track. I don’t think the simple citizen can do this alone. In addition, industry is the real issue, not domestic energy consumption. Governments need to impose unpopular laws. The first thing to do, in my view, is to rule advertisement. It is at the root of our problems, it transforms our values (what is a valuable person or thing to do), and encourage waste and consumption.

Originally posted 2018-05-25 05:12:23.