This is an image taken by satellite of the Earth at night. While the image itself is what struck me at first - the way the continents are outlined by the lights, the deep, dark oceans announcing their presence by their absence of light - after staring at this image for a while I began to think about what it represented.
You see, the clusters of light represent the largest populations of "civilization." Those areas in which the most people live and therefore the most electricity is used, the most commodities consumed, the least personal space exists. And while these highly populated places jump out at you due to the light they produce I am just as intrigued by the darker places on the map.
Look at Africa. I mean, really look at it. It is a continent almost entirely in darkness especially when compared to India, Japan or the United States. Australia, Northern Canada and a large portion of South America (where the Amazon Rainforest happens to exist, at least for now) - all without the piercing beacons of light that are so clearly visible from thousands of miles above the Earth.
I guess it just makes me reconsider, yet again, what it means to be modern, to be technologically advanced, to live in poverty, to be civilized. While the benefits are many, the consequences are several as well . . . with our Mother Earth paying the highest price of all.
I will check back with this photograph often not only because of the pleasure it brings to my eyes, but because of what it says to me about my world.
Labels: civilization, mother earth, night, photography