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  • Published: 13 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529116106
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $30.00

The Darkness Manifesto

How light pollution threatens the ancient rhythms of life




An enthralling and original encounter with darkness - and the secret, vital world within it

The Darkness Manifesto urges us to cherish darkness for the sake of the environment, our own wellbeing, and all life on earth.

Entire ecosystems rely on natural darkness to flourish, from bats and keen-eyed owls capering across the starry sky to the bioluminescent creatures of the deep. But constant illumination has made light pollution a major threat. By extending our day, humans have disrupted the circadian rhythms necessary to sustain all living things.

The Darkness Manifesto lifts night's veil to reveal the domino effect of damage we inflict by keeping the lights on: insects failing to reproduce, plants left unpollinated, countless hunting and migratory patterns eroded. Eye-opening and ultimately encouraging, this book offers simple steps that can benefit ourselves and the planet.

'Powerful ... A clarion call for change' New Statesman

'A pleasure to read ... A paean of praise for natural darkness' Financial Times, Book of the Year

'A must-read for all who have an interest in the health of our planet' Russell Foster, author of Life Time

  • Published: 13 February 2024
  • ISBN: 9781529116106
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $30.00

About the author

Johan Eklöf

Johan Eklöf, PhD, is a Swedish bat scientist and writer, most known for his work on microbat vision and more recently, light pollution. He lives in the west of Sweden, where he works as a conservationist and copywriter. Johan has studied bats for almost twenty years and now has his own consultancy company, hired by authorities, wind companies, municipalities, city planners and environmental organizations as an expert on bats, night ecology, and nature-friendly lighting. The Darkness Manifesto is his first book to be translated into English.

Praise for The Darkness Manifesto

Absolutely wonderful, full of graceful insight and gentle persuasion

Chris Goodall, author of What We Need to Do Now

I never knew the night could be this fascinating or that there was so much I wanted to know about it. Highly recommendable read

Nicklas Brendborg, author of Jellyfish Age Backwards

An urgent and erudite hymn to the night, composed by a scientist with the soul of a poet

Chloe Aridjis, author of Book of Clouds

Superb... takes us on an exciting journey through multiple and fascinating areas of nocturnal biology... A critically important must-read for all who have an interest in the health of our planet

Russell Foster, author of Life Time

A powerful contribution to our understanding of the harm we're causing, and a clarion call for change

New Statesman

A scintillating read by a conservationist of true literary flair

Rebecca Giggs, award-winning author of Fathoms

A sophisticated exploration of the unintended consequences of artificial light on human society and the health of our planet, The Darkness Manifesto blends science with lyrical prose to draw attention to the immense importance of the night-time to all living organisms

*Waterstones' Best Popular Science Books of 2022*

Poetic and philosophical at times, intimate and expansive at others

Daily Telegraph

Accessible, fascinating, and stimulating [...] acts as a siren call for anyone who is concerned about the affect of humanity on our environment. The Darkness Manifesto opens eyes, hearts, and minds to beauty of darkness, and the importance of its continued existence

LoveReading.co.uk

Powerful ... Eklöf [shows] it is time for us to re-embrace darkness, both for nature's sake and our own

iNews

Eklöf underlines that only a fraction of outdoor artificial light benefits us... It is time for us all to re-embrace darkness, both for nature's sake and our own

Scotsman

A pleasure to read [and] a paean of praise for natural darkness in its own right

Financial Times *Best Books of 2022: Science*

Eklöf lays out the psychology, philosophy and politics behind the spread of illumination. Embracing the darkness isn't going to be easy ... Thankfully, Eklöf's last chapter is a manifesto of actionable points to befriend darkness [and] do our bit to try to save this spottily, but still too brightly, lit planet

New Scientist

Eklöf expresses his fears with cogent clarity in The Darkness Manifesto ... [and] takes his argument around the world [with] a style that is sometimes elegiac and often urgent ... the world needs to accelerate its embrace of darkness. To quote Eklöf's concluding phrase, carpe noctem

Financial Times

Johan Eklöf's book is a chilling account of the nemesis that is gathering pace and fury... building a compelling case against our colonial expansion into the trashing of the night

Literary Review

This book...show[s] how vital the darkness is to so many creatures and plants... its message is clear and stirring - the dark is necessary and we continue to dilute it at the Earth's peril

Geographical

An expansive and philosophical examination of our relationship with light and darkness... Eklöf weaves a gentle tapestry of reflective Nature writing combined with fierce, science-backed passion... powerful

Resurgence & Ecologist

At once rousing and poetic, this illuminating manifesto is full of precisely the kind of pocketable scientific titbits that will keep you reading well after your bedside light should have been switched off

Guardian