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Mayor Faces Opposition in Fight Against Light Pollution ...

Mayor Faces Opposition in Fight Against Light Pollution in Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, France

Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, France’s environmental association, Le Halot-Chêne Vert, is known for being more or less critical of the municipal government, notably concerning l’Ange Gardien, a project for a future eco-neighborhood. However, they have just revealed support for the Mayor, Rose-Marie Hallynck, defending her decision to turn off public lights at night. Since her decision to turn

Quesnoy-sur-Deule, France, view across the river of greenery and church steeple

Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, France's environmental association, Le Halot-Chêne Vert, is known for being more or less critical of the municipal government, notably concerning l’Ange Gardien, a project for a future eco-neighborhood. However, they have just revealed support for the Mayor, Rose-Marie Hallynck, defending her decision to turn off public lights at night.

Since her decision to turn off the lights, the Mayor has been attacked on all fronts, notably by the Lumière group, demanding the return of streetlight at night.

But for the environmental association, that explains its position in an open letter transmitted by their Vice-President, Yves Gillet, turning off lights at night is a “courageous and clairvoyant choice that the association loudly and boldly supports. Numerous studies show that a large number of fauna (insects, but also bats and owls) that live in the villages, or nearby, are favorably influenced by these nighttime blackouts, and this in turn contributes to a reestablishment of ecological equilibrium and biodiversity.

Twilight over Quesnoy-sur-Deule, France

When we turned off the lights for an hour during Earth Hour on March 28ththe goal was not to save money on electricity or to donate money to the WWF, but to remind everyone of the costs consumed energy has on our planet. It was a call for an international commitment to putting the breaks on global warming. This is not just to save money. It is also a way to definitively act in favor of environmental protection by conserving the Earth’s natural resources,” explains Le Halot-Chêne Vert.

"The WWF is leading a global reflection on daily actions one can undertake to react against needless overconsumption. In a more local context, certain elected officials do not hesitate to criticize local tax raises that permit the city to continue needlessly consuming energy for public lighting,” continues le Halot-Chêne Vert. 

Quesnoy-sur-Deule, France Street Lights along River

“Communities that have experimented with turning off public lights at night have not revealed any significant development with regards to security problems. For example, the national police explains that turning off public lights for a part of the night does not create any additional lack of security, recalling that more than three-fourths of thefts and aggressions occur during the day.”

Has your community taken any steps against light pollution? Would you feel safe walking in your community at night without street lights? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments area below.

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

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Katelyn Hewett recently graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. During her time at St. Olaf, she enjoyed playing the French Horn in the St. Olaf Band, working as a teaching assistant for first-year...

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