Are gadgets driving climate change?
A new study shows that it’s not just our addiction to fossil fuels, but our love of new and high-tech gadgets that is driving dangerous climate change.
And you thought they were just polluting the Earth and enslaving poor workers in Asia. But no – your iPhone, iPad, giant flat screen TV, games console and fridge with built-in ice machine are all causing floods and droughts in the same poor countries that build them. So double shame on you, you Twittering, Tumblring, YouTubing Facebook addict.
According to research by the Energy Savings Trust, nearly one third of CO2 emissions in the UK are generated in the home. Despite continuing progress in terms of the energy efficiency of many traditionally electricity-sapping home appliances, household energy consumption in the UK has actually increased over the past five years. And this is after a doubling from 1970-2002.
Among the main offenders are big plasma TVs, 600-litre fridge freezers, wireless routers that remain on all day, tumble dryers and 50W halogen spotlights. The number of domestic gadgets and appliances in the average UK household increased by three and a half times between 1990 and 2009, according to the report, and overall energy consumption from consumer electronic goods rose by more than 600% between 1970 and 2009.
It’s capitalism, stupid.
Solutions? Um… Being less mindlessly trendy and less materialistic for a start. And how about regulating public utilities or returning them to the public from the greedy clutches of corporations? How about labeling products by their energy consumption? Maybe making solar chargers for phones and laptops that don’t cost more than the actual devices they are charging? Nuclear cold fusion??
Oh and please don’t forget to Tweet this post and recommend it on Facebook (iPhone and iPad compatible, of course). I know, to hell with it, right?