This warmth you feel

Who has not felt that warmth that:  

– emanates from a lit light bulb;  

– comes out when you charge a cell phone;  

– comes out from under a blender when you use it;  

– from somewhere in the fridge;  

– from the TV;  

– from the radiator of a car, the tires, the exhaust, the gearbox casing;  

– from the air conditioner;  

– from the motor of a fan;  

– from the sides of a pot on the stove;  

– …  

Every appliance that uses energy “always” gets hot. A little or a lot, but it gets hot. And that heat is  not what we pay for to get light, sound, ventilation, “cold”, movement, entertainment, work. It is  heat that is thrown into the thermodynamic dustbin we have turned the upper atmosphere into.  

In the field of physics around 1850 a “law” was recognized that has not been refuted to this day:  the Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Entropy. Sadly, when encountering  words like physics, thermodynamics and (even worse) Entropy, the vast majority of readers run  away. However, the Law of Entropy pursues them inexorably, no matter how much some raise  their shoulders and stop reading. Just as we are inexorably pursued by the light of day and the  darkness of the coming night. And by night I want to point out that time of darkness that is fought  with the lighted bulbs that emanate that little warmth that is felt. Every light bulb emanates heat,  in every room, on every street pole, in every stadium. How many light bulbs will be lit at this  moment in the rotating night of the planet? I would say several hundred million, better several  billion, billions. And they all emanate heat.  

If we wrap a light bulb with a cloth in a few minutes we will feel that it has warmed up much more  than without the cloth. Obviously we will not see the light. And if the cloth is thick we will feel that  the temperature will be higher in less time and perhaps damage the bulb. The fabric prevents the  

heat from passing to the surrounding air and accumulates in the fabric, raising its temperature and  that of the light bulb. In the same way greenhouse gases act on the planet, they cause heat to  accumulate and raise the temperature. 

Yes, every light bulb, blender, car, motor, charger, etc. etc. emanates heat. So, the question is:  What are we going to do? We are, say those who say they know, about eight billion inhabitants on  the planet with more than one light bulb per person and each person aspiring to a variety of  electromechanical slaves according to the drivers of a globalized/globalizing way of life in which  the premises of comfort and speed reign, increasing both the number of electromechanical slaves  and their time of use. And all of them emanating that little warmth you feel.  

Caring for a baby is usually the utmost, by instinct and by learning. It requires delicacy,  promptness and good judgment as well as intuition. A baby in its first months really requires little,  even if commercialism pushes advertising to over-satisfy the few and crucial needs of the child. In  parallel it could be said that caring for (creature) energy, as invisible as it is omnipresent, requires  delicacy, promptness and good judgment as much as intuition.  

The Care of Energy, I suspect, requires today varied learning that leads to delicate behaviors in its  use, which minimize the inevitable consequences of handling errors.  

Mauricio Gnecco January 2023