The Vanishing Night: The Need to Restore Our Natural Night Sky

In April, many of us experienced the awesome spectacle of a total solar eclipse. Continuing to look skyward, we’re going to learn about the importance of dark skies in promoting the health and wellness of the non-human animals that inhabit this planet alongside us. Although this is not strictly a climate change topic, it is an environmental one. Light pollution is not as commonly discussed as air and water pollution or even noise pollution. But protecting our natural night sky—the dark sky—protects migratory birds, many species of moths and other nocturnal animals.


Don Ficken, is the founder of Dark Sky Missouri and also of Lights Out Heartland, a multi-state collaboration to protect migratory birds. He is also a Missouri Master Naturalist, passionate about supporting conservation in Missouri.

Suggested Actions for CAN!

  • Turn off outdoor lights, particularly during the peak bird migration months – May and September.
  • Follow these five lighting principles for responsible outdoor lighting, limiting your lighting to what is:
    •  Useful
    • Targeted
    • Low Level
    • Controlled
    • Warm-colored
  • Learn how to certify your home as “Dark Sky Friendly”.
  • Donate to DarkSky Missouri
  • Become a member of DarkSky
  • Spread the word to friends, neighbors, local government officials about the problems of and solutions to light pollution.

Related Links

CAN! materials

These materials have been prepared by the Society’s CAN! (Climate Action Now!) team. This post and its links do not express or imply an endorsement by the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.