March 2019 SAT Test in Asia Essay Sample: "Let There be (less) Light"

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March 2019 SAT Test in Asia Essay Sample: "Let There be (less) Light"

We usually marvel at lights winking in metropolitan areas, while overlooking detrimental impacts caused by light pollution. With regard to the potential risks imposed on humans and wildlife, the author, Eric Betz, manages to charge streetlights, particularly LEDs, with increasing sky glow. In order to advocate the less light pollution,he makes full use of scientific references, constructs his argument logically and expresses the tone precisely.

The author objectively invalidates the close link between lights and crimes in scientific forms, successfully denying an intuitive assumption that "more lights mean less crime." Mr. Betz starts off concession—lighting, second to police, serves to deter criminals. Now that such an assumption has been rooted in police's minds, the author has to work out credible evidence to refute it and therefore he opts for quantification analysis, namely quantifying the relationship between lights and crimes. First, he alludes to a study which involves 14-year data in 62 local authorities. The implication is that there was no increase in crime and collision trends, although streetlights were "dimmed", "lighted for only part of the night" or "shut off entirely." Here is a research, focusing on the areas"where lighting policy had changed," which is so extensive and consecutive that readers are not likely to question credibility and trustworthiness.Additionally, Mr. Betz continues his reference to studies in order for a supposition whether crime incidence is associated with lighting. The first study proves that "residents did not feel threatened by an uptick in crime in darkened areas" and the other studies also come to a similar conclusion that"strolling down a dark alley was no more dangerous than doing so in a well-lighted one." Therefore the author succeeds in repudiating the assumption that there is a close relationship between crime trends and lighting. Also,readers, especially those who never doubt the positive impacts of lights, tend to mull over these artificial ones and follow the author's argument to figure out other risks.

The logos of Betz's demonstration is established in a systematic explanation that cities must reduce light pollution and he slants his concern about LEDs in a logical sequence.Generally, there are two reasons why lighting is detrimental to the society and this logical reasoning continues the author's opposition to excessive lighting from the above. For one thing, taxpayers find it uneasy to spend their taxes in powering so many streetlights; for another, most readers are stake-holders,because too much exposure to lighting at night disrupts the circadian rhythms of creatures and even causes some possible diseases. Because health is the top priority for most people, the valid connection between more lights and deteriorating health is easy to tug at readers' heartstrings. However, the passage does not end with these reasons; instead, the real culprit—LEDs—is located in the end of his logical sequence. In case some skeptics cast a doubt on his generalization of lighting's negative impacts, Mr. Betz tries to indicate that "LEDs are of particular concern," so LEDs have been targeted for their blue light. Specifically, despite energy savings, LEDs worsen sky glow by emitting more blue light and "those artificial lights can disrupt navigation,mating and feeding among the many nocturnal animals." He furthers his logic by citing studies that moths fail to escape from predatory bats and half of insects are attracted to the new LEDs. It is clear that LEDs, rather than other sources of light, "intensify light pollution's pressure on ecosystems." Therefore, the author clarifies why he is lobbying to reduce lighting and corresponds properly to his claim that "streetlights are the worst of offenders."

Although his use of evidence and reasoning makes people comprehend the issue on an intellectual level, the emotional nature of this controversial subject produces very natural tones. In the beginning with only six lines, the author exposes his different tones towards the universe. On the one hand, the images of "hills", "mountains", "islands in a sea of light", and "constellations" create a peaceful atmosphere and readers resonate with the author's anticipation and awe towards the universe. On the other hand, he expresses the disgusted and threatening tone by mentioning sky glow. Readers are able to beware of his transition from the serene atmosphere to the concern about light pollution. Further, he employs the critical tone to criticize streetlights for harsh bulbs and modifies them as "the worst offenders". Here the author considers light pollution as a crime and streetlights should be brought to justice. The change in tones acts as a hook to attract readers' attentions and readers will in turn think about why the author uses conflicting tones in the flowing stages. Finally, Mr. Betz terminates his argument with rhetorical questions, making a conjecture that "if they lose connections to the universe, what will happen?" The author's tone turns out a sense of loss and this ending equips readers with infinite space to imagine the consequences.

Through the effective use of rhetorical tools and the mindful arrangement of this essay, the author persuades the audience that the main idea.

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