We take electricity for granted. We flip a switch for lights, information, refrigeration and air conditioning. Yet 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and remain in the dark no clean water, no telephone, no computer. Electricity is essential to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals at the upcoming UN Millennium Assessment Summit, Sept. 14-16 in New York.
The NASA Earth at Night map features an interconnected world of lights, powering the economic engine of modern society. Electricity enables the pumping and filtering of water; refrigeration of food and medicines; communication via TV, radio, print and computer; lighting for schools and health clinics; financial services, business commerce and transportation. Our society stops on the rare occasions of a blackout. All the while, 25% of humanity struggles daily for clean water, firewood and basic food.
Is it possible to provide the needed electrical services and avoid the pollution from fossil fuels and nuclear power? Yes! Several nations: Brazil, Canada, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand generate most of their energy from renewable resources: hydro, geothermal, biomass with a growing share from wind and solar energy. These renewables are abundant on every continent, especially in Africa and South Asia.
Can this growing energy demand be achieved and still stabilize climate change? Yes! Recent UN Development Program studies show enough renewable energy potential to meet all the world's needs if we choose this path.
Ending hunger and poverty requires us to develop energy resources
and climate change challenges us to use renewables.
Please share this "Earth
at Night Energy Use" map with your associates. The upcoming
summit is an opportunity to lift the lives of millions. We'll be in New
York on your behalf, so your contribution now will support us in taking
this message directly to the ministers and ambassadors from around the