Washington Journal of Social & Environmental Justice


In the millennia before the creation and adoption of electric lighting, night skies drenched in stars were the inalienable inheritance of humanity. Electric lighting threatens this birthright by emitting star-blocking light (also known as light pollution) into night skies. Left unaddressed, light pollution will restrict access to dark, starry skies so that many in future generations will only know the stars secondhand. Yet despite the many benefits of dark skies, little scholarship has considered the problem of light pollution limiting the accessibility of starry skies, or how law can address this problem. This Article balances the hope of a future without light pollution against the impracticability of eliminating electric lighting by offering a workable definition of redressable light pollution. After discussing proven ways to reduce light pollution, it recommends solutions for implementing these best practices using available legal avenues.