Where the Sun Don’t Shine

712129main_8247975848_88635d38a1_oYou may recall that I recently posted a remarkable photograph of the Korean Peninsula at night. Taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, the photograph shows South Korea ablaze in artificial lights, while North Korea is shrouded in almost total darkness. Not long thereafter, Nature published this fascinating article that shed considerable light on humanity’s access to, well, light. I was surprised to learn that 1.3 billion people still do not have access to electricity. That’s about 18% of the entire species. The United Nations would like to achieve universal access by 2030, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. At the current rate, more than 1 billion people will remain without access to electricity in 2030. In fact, the number of Africans without access to electricity is expected to increase during that time. If you’d like to ponder this strange discrepancy a little more, you should check out this website, where NASA has compiled some of its best nighttime photographs.  The city lights are dazzling, of course, but take a moment to consider the dark expanses in between.  If you live in North America, you might find this image of the continental United States especially interesting.