Sunday, May 20, 2007

Democracy's last frontier revisited

There was a deep irony previously overlooked in our earlier reporting on democracy's last frontier. People regardless of economic circumstance may have the same access to sunshine, which warms the spirit and soul. But everything is not equal once the sun goes down.

About two billion people worldwide go without an affordable access to light. It has a crushing effect on the ability to live everyday. Children can't study at night, women are less safe outside, people are hindered getting to hospital. Even something as important as home child-birth is harder.

Thanks to the dedication of Mark Bent this is changing. He has created an ingenious method that uses solar energy to power flashlights and torches. His invention gives up to seven hours of light on a daily solar recharge and can last nearly three years between replacements of three AA batteries costing 80 cents. Each year in the US alone, billions of batteries end up in landfills, because the productive life is so short.

Sun than lights up the night

Thank you Mr, Bent for all your efforts and your inventiveness as a force for good.

You've taken the idea of sunshine being the last frontier of democracy from the day into the night. For that, we applaud you too.

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