(Street) Lights Out in Essex

Essex, in eastern England, is turning off its streetlights from midnight to 5 in the morning in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and light pollution and save energy. The council pays for most of the street lighting in Essex, which is about 120,000 lights. It argues that the 19,000 tons of carbon emissions produced every year is too much. Local Councillor Rodney Bass said: "This is an example to others to conserve energy. We encourage residents to think about the impact of their personal actions. We are thinking more fundamentally about how our policies across the council affect the environment." The bold plan is the first of its kind in the country; it will be piloted in several districts in early autumn and then extended across the suburbs. Lights will be kept on in town centres and areas of high crime. Naturally, opinion is divided with some believing that it will be a magnet for criminal activity and others happy that they will be able to see the stars once more in the night sky. Officials say they are simply setting an example. Their advice to residents who might be scared of walking on an unlit street at night: "Carry a torch". :: Telegraph

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