David Thompson
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« Friday Ephemera | Main | Elsewhere (124) »

May 18, 2014

Comments

Joan

How terrible should I feel, and what can I do?

The children are our future.
*shudders*

svh

How terrible should I feel…?

Really, really bad. But not for charging your phone and toothbrush.

djmoore

"unplug your fridge before going to bed."

We're getting a tankless water heater installed that includes a circulating system to keep hot water instantly available all over the house.

It's smart enough to keep track of your use patterns, and only circulates when you're likely to need it.

laz

Meanwhile, colleges debate whether works of literature like The Great Gatsby should have trigger warnings.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/us/warning-the-literary-canon-could-make-students-squirm.html?hp&_r=0

The delicate flowers.

Richard Powell

My turn to be pious. Let's not be too harsh on CiF on one of the rare occasions when it's more or less sensible. Indeed Rubies in the Rubble, on the same page, seems a thoroughly worthwhile project, especially if it gets vulnerable and marginalised women from the East End out of the house.

We should reward good behaviour, and punish the bad - such as the recent crap the Grauniad has been publishing by Pilger, who seems to have swallowed Kremlin propaganda hook, line and sinker. I'm not going to link to it. I leave you to work out whether that's because I can't be bothered, or because I want to protect you from contamination.

Anna

Tonight I'll charge my phone without feeling terrible. #PuttingOnABraveFace

Ed Snack

I think that they should feel really terrible, really, really, terrible. Rotten in fact. And they should keep charging their devices.

That way they get the ineffable sense of moral superiority for having cared with the added bonus of a charged iPhone/iPad/whatever.

R. Sherman

It's a waste not to use electricity which is generated. It's either used or it disappears; it's not stored someplace. It's called the wonder of alternating current. And unplugging every appliance in your house will not cause power companies to diminish their generation capacity in the slightest.

Herbert Deutsch

I plan to use a lot of electric and keep a lot of people employed

JuliaM

Re: that link from laz:

"“It is only going to get harder to teach people that there is a real important and serious value to being offended. Part of that is talking about deadly serious and uncomfortable subjects.”"

Working, I'd suggest, as intended...

Rich Rostrom

R. Sherman | May 19, 2014 at 01:49:And unplugging every appliance in your house will not cause power companies to diminish their generation capacity in the slightest.

No, but it will cause them to take generators off-line, and burn less fuel. Electricity demand varies considerably by season and time of day.

Nearly all electric utilities have "peakers" for use when demand is highest. These are either diesel engines or natural-gas-fired turbines, which can be turned on and off quickly. When base load drops sufficiently, coal and nuclear generators go off-line.

Of course, the appliances in any one house don't make a significant difference in the aggregate demand, but then no one vote makes a difference in an election, either.

dcardno

When base load drops sufficiently, coal and nuclear generators go off-line.

No - usually they throttle back to the extent they can, and then start offering negative prices to neighbouring Control Authorities. Taking a big thermal plant off-line is not a trivial decision, since it may take a day or three to get it back on-line - sometimes more - so they don't go off-line until every more flexible plant in the connected grid has been dispatched off.

Tim Newman

Unplugging your phone charger to save on electricity is like carpeting your driveway to save on tyre wear.

TomJ

It's a waste not to use electricity which is generated. It's either used or it disappears; it's not stored someplace. And unplugging every appliance in your house will not cause power companies to diminish their generation capacity in the slightest.

Well that's nonsense. All electricity generated and fed into the Grid is taken up by some load somewhere, none "disappears". The amount generated changes according to demand, mostly varying the output of fossil plants, as fuel costs for nuclear are negligible so it makes sense to keep them running as close to max as possible. See the graphs at http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/. (Pause to note that the UK's installed wind tubine capacity of approx 11GW is currently supplying 0.88GW to the grid.) Also, some generated energy is stored; see the mouseover text on the pumped dial at the same link.

David Gillies

If these cretins weren't so innumerate they'd be able to answer questions like this for themselves. I ran the battery on my iPhone 5S down to 14% today before I remembered to plug it in. It was fully charged three hours later. It has a 1570 mAh battery in it, which is in the vicinity of 30 KJ. I charged it with a powered hub which can deliver an amp, so 15 Wh or so, meaning the numbers are in the right ballpark - 50 kJ say. A kWh (3.6 MJ) costs about 13p in the UK and 17 cents (10p) where I live. So this charge cost between 0.14 and 0.18 of a penny. It takes me about 400 milliseconds to earn this. Of course once the device is fully charged it draws milliwatts in standby.

Watcher in the dark

Most sane people only feel bad about using electricity when they catch their fingers on the plug's prongs when sliding it into the socket. Other than that, they carry on.

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