Do you want to see something special and beautiful? Watch this NASA movie of the earth by night. I especially think its amazing that you can see the border of North - South Korea so clearly. What a difference!
But the video also shows something else. You can clearly see all the bright lights in the world that are the results of flaring. When oil companies retract oil from the ground, gas bubbles up alongside. Capturing this gas is, compared to the -currently very valuable- oil, not economically viable, so it is burned off, this is called flaring. Even though capturing the gas would be the best option, scientists say flaring is still better for the environment than to releasing it straight into the atmosphere.
On the video you can see a new group of lights due to flaring in North Dakota, US, on the border with Canada. Only five years ago it would not have been visible on a video like this. In this field every day 100 million cubric feet of natural gas is flared off. Enough to heat 500.000 houses for a day and emitting as much carbon dioxide as 384.000 cars would produce.
And what a waste of a product that we know will be scarce in the (very) near future. Can we explain that to the next generation?
If you have trouble watching the video, visit the website NASA