At night, London is a burning bright spot, consuming enough energy to power Ireland with its light show. But as these stunning images from space show, the people of the West are guilty of wasting energy and polluting light on a staggering scale.
Now compare the Third World countries in Africa, South America and large swathes of Asia which lie in almost complete darkness.
Each year London consumes 150 thousand gigawatt hours of energy, equal to the consumption of nations such as Portugal and Greece.
Campaigners have warned that 50 per cent of the UK’s population cannot see many stars because the night skies are ‘saturated’ with light pollution.
The pictures created by scientist Felix Pharand-DeschÍnes using data gathered by satellites highlight the contrast between the first and third world.
They show Egypt’s densely populated River Nile as it scorches a path through the darkness of Northern Africa while Japan is wall-to-wall light.
America shines brightly, but south of its border the countries are almost lightless and in central Asia, India and Australia barely any light is registered.