Communion Of Dreams


Oh! Pretty!
July 31, 2007, 9:30 am
Filed under: Astronomy, Climate Change, Global Warming, Light pollution, Science, Society, Space

Here’s a fascinating, and really quite lovely, image of the earth as seen at night:  The World At Night.  It’s in enough detail that it is fairly easy to identify individual cities, at least if you know your geography a bit.

Lovely, yes, but I must admit to somewhat mixed emotions in seeing it.  First, light pollution is a real problem, not just for astronomers but for anyone who enjoyed looking at the stars at night.  There’s a passage in Communion about how high-atmospheric dust caused by a small scale nuclear war has limited most people’s experience of seeing the stars considerably.  But realistically, we’re at that point now, due to light pollution.  The folks at the International Dark Sky Association have lots of information on this topic, and what can be done about it.

Secondly, all that light is created by electricity – which required power generation.  And right now, for the most part that means the production of greenhouse gases.  And that leads (or contributes) to climate change/global warming, which is likely the biggest threat we face.

But it sure is pretty.

Jim Downey


2 Comments so far
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Which is a good reason that solar power needs to be considered more seriously. In addition, it can brighten dark areas where electricity doesn’t reach:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/26/india.solar/index.html

And if you want pictures that go in the other direction: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

Comment by ML

Global Warming Is Scam, Not Science

*********************************

Gah. I’ve edited this to remove the URLs. I’m in no mood for this kind of crap on my private blog, and am hereby implementing a ruthless policy: I will delete any such posts. Period.

Jim Downey

Comment by disinter




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