Skip to comments.We Have Seen the Light
Posted on 05/12/2005 9:06:45 PM PDT by Congressman BillybobEdited on 05/12/2005 9:18:18 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
No, this is not about theology. Nor about a sudden discovery, or a blinding insight. It is literally about light. Its also about a NASA photograph, a Southern front porch, and global political theory.
Begin with this NASA composite photo. It shows the whole globe photographed during clear nights. Named Earth at Night, it is shown here in a small file.
Admire that photograph, and hold that thought.
Three years after the end of WW II, when rationing had ended and people could travel by car again, my parents packed two adults, three children, an elderly dog and a pile of suitcases into a large, lumpy maroon car, a Buick as I recall, and headed south. We came to Highlands, NC, to the house where I now live, to visit with my mothers folks.
I mention two aspects of that trip today. One is the comforting sound of a warm spring rain on a tin roof. The other is the lights at night that were visible from the porch. There were, as I recall, three or four lights near the horizon at night, the center cities of small towns in South Carolina and Georgia.
Today, especially in winter when the air is bitter cold and clear, there are thousands of lights strung across the horizon like tumbled quartz stones, a necklace of white, red and blue. There are the turning white and blue tower lights, and the pulsing red outer markers of ten airports. And when the Clemson Tigers play in Death Valley, we can see the glow of that stadium from this porch.
To understand the geography Im describing, go to the Amtrak website and click up the route map of that venerable American train, the Southern Crescent. The Crescent leaves New York City in the morning, headed southwest. Twenty-four hours later, it rolls into New Orleans headed due west. What we see from our porch are the cities on that route in the 150 miles from just west of Gastonia, North Carolina, to Gainesville, Georgia.
The towns have mostly grown into cities. More than that, they have all become alive at night, with lights that burn until dawn. The explosive growth of those lights is due more to the advance of civilization and development than just to numbers of people.
This view is a small version of the composite photograph of The Earth at Night, which NASA published about five years ago. It tells a very powerful story with no words, but merely the evidence of light harbinger of development and civilization in a telling pattern around our world.
The spread of these global light sources marks the great cities of the world along all the coasts, and also on the major rivers within each nation. But the lights are neither uniform nor in proportion to population. The most lighted, most advanced nation is the United States, though its population is only about 300 million. One of the darker nations on the planet is China, despite its population of about 1 billion people.
Note especially the Korean peninsula. Mapped by the lights alone, South Korea looks like an island, separated from the Asian mainland. One of the most backward and benighted nations in the world, North Korea, nearly disappears on this light map of the world.
India, also with a 1 billion population, is marked with more and brighter lights than its neighbor, China. Eastern Europe, whose population is about as dense as Western Europe, is markedly darker. The four Tigers of Asia are all much brighter than all the other nations of Asia. And Africa is literally the Dark Continent.
What conclusions can be drawn from that photograph?
In general, the brightest lights (marking the greatest development) are in the nations with free societies and free market economics. The darker nations are the socialist nations and dictatorships. The darkest of all are the communist nations. The major exception to those general rules is in Western Europe. But those nations were largely developed and civilized before they turned to socialism as a philosophy, and stagnated economically.
This single image, with no words added except a brief knowledge of the nations involved, refutes the philosophies of many who attack the United States for leading the world in the wrong direction. The nay-sayers range from the leaders of many of the depressed nations, to street demonstrators in the US, to a majority of the faculties at most American universities.
Yes, I have seen the light. Now you have seen the light as well. Eventually, even the faculties of American universities will see the light I hope for the sake of the next generation of Americans and the next generation of all the nations of the world. Based on evidence to date, the last group to see the light will be the Ambassadors and staff of the United Nations.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
One of your finest, John ... and somewhat poetic to boot! But I am reminded of the smell in Tuscaloosa, AL, of the paper mills. I once asked a resident what that smelled like ... he replied that it smelled like homes and cars and college educations. I didn't embarrass myself further.
Bump for BillyBob's website
YOU are a bright light on FR, Billybob. And that's saying a lot. I always enjoy reading your posts. Carry on, and God Bless You.
The U.N. may be the last to see the reality of economic success, but our own state department and democratic party will not be far behind.
Great article. The pic didn't show up for me but it didn't need to because you've told the story so well. Thanks for posting.
If that's the same image I think it is, I used to have a poster that came from national Geographic hanging on my bedroom wall when I was a kid.
I believe that it could stand some updating. Even from this image, the American West, particularly Las Vegas and California's Central Valley would be much brighter. I also suspect Eastern China and the South Pacific would show a whole lot more civilization.
I see that kid of mine left the lights on again!!! :~)
Very telling, isn't it?
America is the Light.
Socialism and communism are wrought with darkness.
Ever notice how parasitic, socialistic cock-a-roaches run when you shine the light of truth on them?
[In general, the brightest lights (marking the greatest development) are in the nations with free societies and free market economics. The darker nations are the socialist nations and dictatorships. The darkest of all are the communist nations.]
The anti-capitalists see every bright spot of light as an evil stain on the Earth; humanity ruining the planet for the rest of nature (which was here first).
The free market societies are the worst offenders in their view, and they believe we should all give up our cars and air conditioners and live by picking berries and digging tubers.
I've talked with some of these people from time to time, and they're kooks but there are more than a few of them.
Dear Congressman, what bout Australia and Canada, how do you explain they are much darker? And since the photo was published 5 years ago, you need updated info for sure.
Australia and Canada are sparsely populated countries, and in the case of Australia, most of the population is concentrated in the cities. Hence we have the very brightly lit coastal spots. Actually, the map would give a lot more information if the brightness of each region was reduced by a factor proportional to its population. If that is done, America would blaze, compared to any other region on earth.
But the surprising thing was about India and China.
No, they won't. For the Bible says...
19This is the verdict: Union Electric Power and Light ® has come into the world, but communist tyrants and university professors loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, oil industry, international corporations, and free markets, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
It's in there!