We even have a group anchored here called the International Dark-Sky Association, whose mission their program director, John Barentine, summarizes as such: “not just less light, but better.” Most places, he says, just don’t give it much thought: it’s on or it’s off, the line item in a city budget subordinated to bigger concerns.
“Brighter cities mean you’ve made it,” he explains. “You can afford to waste something. That’s why, sometimes in our movement, what we’re trying to accomplish has been identified as a concern of rich white people in the West. That only people who can afford to waste a resource can become concerned about the fact that it’s being wasted, and then can demand its preservation.”