Sunday, April 6, 2008

Darkness and Light and Overpopulation Per Capita

What does NASA's shot of the Earth at night tell us about overpopulation? Check out Europe, Japan, and especially the eastern seaboard of the United States and the Toronto to Montreal corridor in Canada.

Are we that afraid of the dark in the West, or are we just too over-electrified for the size of our populations — and using more power than we deserve to? Sometimes, population issues aren't simply about numbers of people.

Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, points out that his country's per capita emissions of greenhouse gases are still much lower than those of developed countries. "It's like there is one person who eats three slices of bread for breakfast, and there are three people, each of whom eats only one slice. Who should be on a diet?" he asked.

"If per capita energy consumption is viewed in the context of the fundamental principle that people are all born equal, then I don't think some people are justified in talking about the large emissions of China, as if they have the moral high ground."

Hmm. Not sure about that moral high ground, but we sure do have the ground well lit up for us at night.

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