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SOS – Save Our Stars

THERE IS a lot of talk nowadays about using renewable resources and maintaining the ambient.

Much of this is more talk than action, as anyone who has actually tried to live a more ‘green’ life will discover it usually costs more to do so, and although it makes you feel better to start with, many give up.

It’s perfectly possible for governments to increase taxes on products and services that are seen to harm the environment and they have, to a certain extent, a moral justification to do so, but on the other hand this has to be accompanied with a dramatic cut in taxes for ‘green’ products and a desire to introduce new technology to make our lives cleaner, healthier and more sustainable.

The reality is that it all comes down to economics and until governments can find a way to put a tax on sunshine, we will all probably bump alone from crises to crises just as we have been doing for a very long time.

There is, of course, a natural resource that is that free, clean and should be available for all, and is capable of uplifting the spirit and expanding the mind. I am talking about the clear dark nighttime sky full of sparkling stars and it is our window on the universe. This natural resource is very fragile. Millions of kilowatts of energy are wasted with badly designed and excessive nighttime lighting, energy efficiency is common sense and, in nature, if anything doesn’t operate at maximum efficiency it goes extinct.

Hopefully our brainpower can stop this happening and we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to preserve our ‘window on the universe’.

Here at the Tavira astronomical observatory, we have around 15,000 visitors per year and our job is to show them the least utilised natural resource of the Algarve, and I’m sure everyone agrees that it is a resource worth saving.