NZ night lights

NASA has released composite images of the world as lit up at night. Here is New Zealand:

NZByNight

And the rest of the world (with us omitted):

324350main_11_full

Our lights would hardly show up on that scale.

No wonder at Arctic is melting with all that energy being burned in the northern hemisphere.

NASA: Earth at night

Lights dim in Syria

A satellite analysis of Syria claims 83 percent of Syria’s lights have gone out since their civil war began in 2011.

These newly released satellite images of Syria at night are staggering: they show that 83 percent of the country’s lights visible at night have gone out, a testament to the appalling human cost of its ongoing civil war.

The widespread devastation wrought by fighting across the country, including by groups like ISIS, and the diversion of resources to the war effort have wreaked havoc on Syrian infrastructure.

As well as infrastructure damage there’s been an estimated 2-3 hundred thousand deaths and more than 2-3 million fleeing to neighbouring countries with over 1 million going to Turkey.

Lebanon (which normally has a population of 4.8 million, a bit more than New Zealand) have had about 667,000 refugees arrive there.

The Syrian population was estimated last year at about 18 million but the source doesn’t state if that accounts for refugees who have left.

March 2011:

SyriaLightsMarch2011

February 2015:
SyriaLightsFebruary2015

Turkey is to the north, Lebanon is lower left with the north of Israel below that.

Syria via Google Earth:

SyriaGoogleEarth

This map from Wikipedia shows how complex the civil war is, with a number of different groups holding territory:

SyriaCivilWar

It’s a huge mess in more ways than one. The relative lack of lights is just one indicator.

How bad are things in New Zealand? For some people life is tough. But relatively, our problems are minor, even with John Key as Prime Minister.

From the 12 excesses of Christmas – overlit

Christmas twat

(Variations of this have been doing the rounds on Facebook)