Thursday, September 19, 2013

A so what chart from the WP.

The WP published the following graph this morning which compares the power consumption in six African countries with the consumption of an energy efficient refrigerator in the US.

The point the Post was trying to make was look how greedy (or fill in other negatives) Americans are.   But my response is so what.   Americans do a lot of things that the rest of the world does not, including working aggressively on making the things they use even more efficient.   The Post's logic is that Americans are piggy.  But why not try to bring standards of consumption in those six nations up to something closer to what the US can afford?  

Consider another chart.   This time compare what a fridge cost to operate and how much it consumed in electricity over time.

Over the last 40 years the average refrigerator in the US has reduced the number of kilowatts consumed by three quarters.  All the while the cost of consuming those KWs has also been reduced.  We've got products that do a better job for cheaper.   Taken from another view, we have actually reduced the disparity between consumption in those six countries because in the 1970s undoubtedly there was most likely less electricity consumed in the African countries and more in the US refrigerators.    Numbers and charts always benefit from looking at a wider range of numbers.

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