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Darkness Manifesto: On Light Pollution, Night Ecology, and the Ancient Rhythms That Sustain Life
Darkness Manifesto: On Light Pollution, Night Ecology, and the Ancient Rhythms That Sustain Life | Johan Eklf
2 posts | 1 read | 5 to read
In the bestselling tradition of Why We Sleep and The Sixth Extinction, an urgent and insightful look at the hidden impact of light pollution, and a passionate appeal to cherish natural darkness for the sake of the environment, our own wellbeing, and all life on earth. How much light is too much light? Satellite pictures show our planet as a brightly glowing orb, and in our era of constant illumination, light pollution has become a major issue. The world's flora and fauna have evolved to operate in the natural cycle of day and night. But in the last 150 years, we have extended our day--and in doing so have forced out the inhabitants of the night and disrupted the circadian rhythms necessary to sustain all living things, including ourselves. In this persuasive, well-researched book, Swedish conservationist Johan Eklf urges us to appreciate natural darkness, its creatures, and its unique benefits. Eklf ponders the beauties of the night sky, traces the errant paths of light-drunk moths and the swift dives of keen-eyed owls, and shows us the bioluminescent creatures of the deepest oceans. As a devoted friend of the night, he writes passionately about the startling damage we inflict on ourselves and our fellow creatures simply by keeping the lights on. The Darkness Manifesto depicts the domino effect of diminishing darkness: insects, dumbfounded by streetlamps, failing to reproduce; birds blinded and bewildered by artificial lights; and bats starving as they wait in vain for food insects that only come out in the dark of night. For humans, light-induced sleep disturbances impact our hormones and weight, and can contribute to mental health problems like chronic stress and depression. The streetlamps, floodlights, and neon signs of cities are altering entire ecosystems, and scientists are only just beginning to understand the long-term effects. The light bulb--long the symbol of progress and development--needs to be turned off. Educational, eye-opening, and ultimately encouraging, The Darkness Manifesto outlines simple steps that we can take to benefit ourselves and the planet. In order to ensure a bright future, we must embrace the darkness.
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Well, now.

I was invited to read The Darkness Manifesto by Penguin Random House, via #NetGalley. Of course, I was aware that light pollution was a problem, but I guess I‘d thought of it more as an aesthetic issue than an environmental issue.


Johan Eklöf, a Swedish bat researcher, takes a look at the importance of darkness, and the changes light pollution brings, covering everything- biology, ecology, history, physics, architecture… - ?

rockpools and so much more! We explore how the land, sea and sky are all affected, understand the scale of insect decline, hear about Chengdu‘s plan for an artificial moon, and how pollution is being reduced or mitigated in (admittedly) small areas across the globe.

The approach is broad rather than deep - you will want to go away and find out more for yourself, but there‘s an extensive bibliography to help you with that. However, 👇
rockpools I had a ‘what, really?!‘ moment almost every chapter. Quite fascinating, and incredibly eye-opening, and it will make me much more aware of tiny changes I can make.

UK publication 3rd November.

#NaturalLitsy Photo of Hawarden Church, North Wales, next to the #readingretreat at Gladstone‘s library - beautifully lit, but probably not wildly helpful to the neighbourhood bats 🦇
See All 11 Comments
TrishB Great review and pic Rachel! 2mo
rockpools @TrishB Morning Trish 😁 2mo
TrishB 👋 another lovely one. 2mo
youneverarrived It sounds fascinating. Stacking 🤍 2mo
julesG Great review! 2mo
AllDebooks Fantastic review, I'm getting that!! 2mo
jlhammar Beautiful photo! This book sounds amazing. 2mo
squirrelbrain Love this photo! Book sounds good too…. 2mo
56 likes4 stack adds11 comments
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In the train to Gladstone‘s Library in North Wales to meet up with a lovely crowd of Littens.

And reading an ARC - that doesn‘t happen too often.

This is about light pollution, which (it turns out) isn‘t a topic I‘d thought about too much. It‘s a mix of ecology, biology, history etc, written by a Swedish bat researcher 🦇- and I‘m finding it fascinating!

Cathythoughts Lovely pic Rachel, have a lovely time♥️ 2mo
rockpools @Cathythoughts so sorry you couldn‘t make it this year Cathy 😘 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Beautiful!! Have a great time 📚 2mo
SamAnne Oh, stacked. 2mo
53 likes1 stack add4 comments