Climate change has become a scary word. It has brought many people to realize the impact of carbon footprints and the dangers it serves our planet.
Climate Change and Cooling Systems Like Air Conditioners
With the heat suppressing many nations, many run to cooling systems. But these cooling systems like the air conditioning unit alone cost so much (air con installation price) even in power consumption. Not to mention the fact that HFCs also heat up the atmosphere.
In addition, the fluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigerators damage the climate if they get into the environment. The quantities are small compared to global CO2 emissions. But the gas is up to 23,000 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide. Experts estimate that PFCs could be responsible for twelve percent of global warming by the middle of the century.
Apparently, even experts have so far paid too little attention to this topic. IEA managing director Fatih Birol even speaks of a “blind spot” in the current energy debate.
The experts explain these enormous growth rates as follows: While around 90 percent of all people in the USA and Japan have air conditioning, of the 2.8 billion people who live in the hottest zones on earth, only eight. So far. Because economic growth, according to the IEA report, is increasingly shifting to the global south. With per capita incomes rising, emerging countries such as China and India are becoming the main drivers of electricity consumption for cooling.
Power consumption for cooling will triple by 2050
The IEA estimates that fans and cooling systems are already consuming around a tenth of the electricity consumed worldwide. This amount could triple by 2050: by then, ten air conditioning systems would be sold every second. According to the IEA, this additional energy corresponds to the total electricity needs of Germany and the USA combined.
We need to do something about this. Musicians had an idea.
Climate Change and Music
How do you let people really experience the effects of climate change directly? Simple: put climate change into music. That is the idea of the American artist Stephan Crawford, initiator of The Climate Music Project. The project consists of scientists, musicians, and composers who together make music based on climate data. At the moment they are touring with their first piece through San Francisco and the surrounding area. The play lasts thirty minutes, covers 500 years of climate data, and is quite impressive.
The software has been around for some time that can convert data directly into sound. There is only one problem with that: that ‘sound’ does not resemble music at all. Crawford explains on the technology website The Verge that he has therefore opted for a different approach. He had composers come up with a musical idea and then, with the help of scientists, linked this to available climate data, such as the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the average world temperature or the acidity of the ocean.
The piece supposedly begins in the year eighteen hundred, with calm music and chirping birds. From about 1850 the tempo of the piece increases and the tone is increasingly distorted. After 2000, the panic in the piece becomes clearly audible. It doesn’t stop there. The piece also uses future scenarios, based on the most commonly used scientific predictions. For example, the music at the end of the century is little more than atonal noise: it clearly does not end well. Pretty intense. The music is therefore not suitable for children under the age of twelve.
Fortunately, two different future scenarios have been incorporated into the music. There is also a section where the Paris climate goals are met and the music slowly becomes more peaceful. As a listener, you can keep an eye on how the music follows the climate. The music is linked to slow-moving graphs, which show scientifically validated climate models over the years. This way you can see the CO2 concentration slowly increase while you hear how the music swells and slowly but surely goes in all directions – a pretty moving experience, especially when you are in a concert hall.
Abstract becomes personal
At The Verge, Crawford is asked how the audience reacts to the play. He tells about a woman who gets up after the concert and tells how she saw from the visuals that the music had reached its birth year. Then she also listened to the climate music for the year of her daughter’s birth, and the music in the future, when perhaps her granddaughter is born. In this way, she heard, as it were, what the climate was like during the course of her life. Crawford: ‘For the first time in her life, the very abstract idea of climate change suddenly became very personal, shifting to the context of her own family history. That was pretty powerful for her. ‘
The project plans to include more works this year, which will likely be shorter in length and explore genres other than classical as well. The project’s website states that so far they are mainly performing in the San Francisco area. But there are plans to expand the project and perform in other places as well.