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Friday, December 09, 2005

Worried, disgusted and horrified

Thanks to all of you who have emailed us to say how much you like the site. Thanks also to those who have taken the trouble to tell us how apalled they are with it. Some of these messages consisted entirely of what the BBC absurdly labels "strong language". A few others have been sensible, and we thought you might like to see them. The identities of the correspondents have not been included.


I find the whole concept of this tasteless illumination disgusting. Have these people never heard of light pollution, energy waste etc. Spare a thought for the people who have to live near these intrusive monstrosities.

One thing is certain the fabled star of Bethlehem would not even be visible in these days of excessive night time pollution.
How about a Let's See Stars for Christmas campaign and promote the true beauty of a natural night rather than this garish tat.


Your website was passed on to me by a colleague. My concern for the environment - despite your website advice to contributors - worries me deeply that we can be so profligate with precious energy when others are desperate even for firewood.

Alongside this, the light pollution prevents us seeing the stars - and though I might take the original Christmas story as being poetic, how will we ever discover its message without looking for the star?


I am horrified to see this kind of wastage being promoted, particularly when endorsed by charities. Whilst I am aware that Marie Curie is a charity for people with Cancer and their families (and not for the environment), surely they can't advocate this shameless waste of energy?

I appreciate that you have a page on this site talking about ways to reduce the environmental impact, but it still doesn't go nearly far enough. In a year when climate change is the biggest threat facing mankind, when we risk having no polar ice reforming at all this winter and when we should be doing all we can to conserve energy this shocks me.

Justifying wasting resources by saying it is raising money for charity is worse still. People should be being encouraged to raise money for those less fortunate than themselves in a selfless way, all year round and not in order to feel better about doing something which damages the environment.

These houses might give some people pleasure in the short term but in the long term this kind of wastage is causing a massive environmental problem.

What kind of message does this send to the next generation? That it's o.k. to waste energy as long as it's in the name of fun?

If we are to take action before it's too late people are going to have to make some sacrifices. Getting rid of most of your unnecessary Christmas lights seems to be quite a small sacrifice, particularly when people in the third world who are already suffering and in pain will be the ones hardest hit by the effects of climate change and who will be the least able to cope and rebuild.

Perhaps you should re-think the ways that you and others can help charities this Christmas by doing something really philanthropic rather than something that makes you feel good. I think helping charity isn't just about giving money, it's about making difficult decisions to commit to change your life and make sacrifices in order to lessen your impact on others and the environment - and it might not necessarily have any benefits in it for you.

Why don''t all these people save the money spent on lights and electricity and donate that to charity? Why don't they go carol singing to raise for Marie Curie? Why don't they do what hundreds of committed people do every day and stand on a freezing cold corner rattling a tin because they really care about the charity they're supporting?

Lastly, I'd like to say I love Christmas and have a very nice time with my family. However, we do this sustainably and try to achieve as little environmental impact as possible. I don't want to spoil the fun for anyone but I do want people to take action before it's too late and generations to come are left with a near uninhabitable planet.