23 August 2005

Another Kind of Pollution

I want to discuss energy usage and light pollution with you.

It's not uncommon for my wife to come home after sundown and find me sitting in a dark house watching TV, or reading a magazine under the only illuminated lamp in the house. It drives her crazy!

"Why is this house SO DARK?" she'll exclaim, as she begins to turn on every light she passes.

It's a divide between us that will never be closed. She was raised in Chicago in bad neighborhoods and is afraid of the dark. I was raised in a rural area where we never locked our doors, and if there was a street light in the community, I cannot remember it.
(Help me Trojans.......do you remember any?)

What I can remember is camping out in the backyard, lying on my back, looking at the sky filled with so many stars that it looked as if someone had crushed glass from horizon to horizon.

Go outside tonight and if it's clear, try to see stars. These days, you'll be lucky if you can see even the brightest of them! Ambient light pollutes our atmosphere and prevents starlight from reaching our eyes.

But I have gotten off the path I intended to take with this rant.

It's normal for me to come home, even in the day, and find every light in the house burning. Since my requests that my wife pay the electricity bill were rejected, it obviously gives me acid reflux to see this much waste.........and don't even think about trying to take the high road by reminding her that energy is in short supply and such waste is immoral.........she doesn't care.

In June our air conditioner broke down. I made some inroads during this 90+ degree weather by pointing out that the incandescent lights produce a lot of heat, and that turning them off helps to keep the house cooler. But when the A/C was fixed we slowly returned to our old "illuminated" ways.

Sara Jean wants to call our utility and have them install a street light in front our house. When I tell her I won't pay for it, she insists she'll pay for that herself!

If and when that happens, she won't have to listen to my complaints about the house lights anymore.........

I'll be moving to a place in the country where I can camp out in the back yard and look up and see a carpet of stars!


Medic Mom said...

LOL...I hear ya!! I have to go through the whole house every morning after the hubby and daughter leave and every night after they go to bed and shut everything down. Sometimes I wonder what they would do if the electricity went out. My gosh, they might not be able to get dressed because they can't seeeeeeeeee. HEH!!

Big Bubba said...

It's not that Mom doesn't care that she's wasting energy, you (general You) must understand, but that she believes it is worth it to have that energy burn so that all of her phobias are placed into their respective boxes for another evening. I myself do not like the house pitch black, but even if I was paying for it I do honestly believe I would use just as much energy as I do now. That's how comfortable I am with my power consumption. Granted, I may remember to turn off my bedroom light once more in a week's time, but other than that I'm happy.