Nicolas Magand on the internet

My name is Nicolas Magand and I live in Paris, France. I work as a social media and engagement editor at the Global Editors Network, a non-profit aimed at promoting innovation and sustainability in the news industry. Here I blog mostly about tech and media, but many other topics can face my enthusiasm.

Filtering by Tag: energy

Chilling facts about air conditioning

Lily Strelich, on the June 14th Quartz Obsession newsletter, on the theme of air conditioning:

Most A/C units rely on refrigerants like hydrofluorocarbons, which are potent greenhouse gasses. Carbon emissions from cooling have tripled since 1990, contributing to the warming climate, which in turns requires more air conditioning. Cool the room, warm the globe, repeat.

This points me to the fact that there has been a lot of – deserved – coverage on the impacts of cars and transportation on climate change, but I've found many people pretty clueless when it comes to energy consumption in general. Filling up the whole kettle for a single cup of tea, or turning the heater up before wearing a sweater are somehow less criticised behaviors than leaving the car engine run while waiting for a friend to come down.

If you are not a subscriber of the Quartz Obsession newsletter, you're missing out on a great source of daily facts; a good game to play with your colleagues is guessing the topics every day before the newsletter arrives.

By the end of this year, Bitcoin could be using 0.5% of the world's total consumption of electricity

Some worrisome numbers about Bitcoin on Eurekalert! Science News:

A single transaction uses as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands uses in a month. By the end of this year, he predicts the network could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts--as much as Austria and half of a percent of the world's total consumption. "To me, half a percent is already quite shocking. It's an extreme difference compared to the regular financial system, and this increasing electricity demand is definitely not going to help us reach our climate goals," he says. If the price of Bitcoin continues to increase the way some experts have predicted, de Vries believes the network could someday consume 5% of the world's electricity. "That would be quite bad."

You would think the world would know better by now, 2018, about how we are destroying our planet, but sadly, nothing seems able to stop us if there is some extra money to be made.

Last week, I worked on trasncribing and editing an interview of the former editor-in-chief of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, mostly about journalism and climate change. Rusbridger made so many great points, but this one resonated most with me:

If we believe that [climate change] is the biggest story of our lives — which it probably is — and then you look and see how that translates into how the media covers it, there’s a terrible mismatch between this immensely important story and the way the media deals with it now.

I'd be curious to see how many of the publications covering blockchain and cryptocurrencies news are carefully mentioning their monstrous electrical consumption, and how many actually talk about the following climate impacts.

My bet is most of them just don't.

To end this post on a lighter note, an old gem from the Onion.

The hottest fashion trend

Caroline Haskings, writing for The Outline, describing the dataviz of annual average temperatures:

Our entirely avoidable plunge into oblivion, as a nice poster.

Not sure about the avoidable part in 2018, but indeed this pattern looks very good. So good in fact, that I saw another great use for this kind of pattern, just this week on kottke.org: blankets.

According to climate scientist (and crocheter) Ellie Highwood, these blankets are a subset of “temperature blankets” made to represent, for example, daily temperatures over the course of a year in a particular location.

I can see this become a – sad, tragic – fashion trend for other things: phone cases, socks, window blinds, ties, &c. The pattern looks that good.

Check also

Whenever I watch Columbo, as you should, I take some screenshots.

Making lists is something on which I love to waste time; my—ever-changing—favourite songs list was a real challenge.

On the great Letterboxd, I keep a log of the movies I watch, rate them, sometimes review them. 

If you speak French, I highly recommend my friend Nabil's podcast: Art Oriented.

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Copyright © 2013–2018 Nicolas Magand