The End of Air-Conditioning

Elle Zhan Wei
March 4th 2017

We enjoy a sunny summer day, but we certainly don’t like it when it's too hot. According to Washington Post report, the world is about to install 700 million more air conditioners.

In just couple of decades you could go from 13 percent to 70 or even 80 percent” said Lucas Davis, UC Berkeley economist. Air-conditioning in the US alone costs about 29 billion dollars in households. The mass use causes roughly 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the air every year. While we are cooling down our own little housing environment, we are making the planet hotter. Which in turn makes us more reliant on air conditioning. And the cycle continues. But now, we might just have a solution.

A team of scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder recently announced a new material. This plastic roll  highly effective in reflecting heat. It even works when the sun sets and without any additional electricity. The heat reflector is made of cheap ingredients that can easily be mass produced. It is capable to bounce 96 percent of sunlight that hit the material, allowing what is under the material to cool off effectively. It is not much thicker than aluminium foil, which means it can be applied on windows and rooftops to cool down houses. Even on top of solar panels, which will help the panels harvest one to two percent of energy, “that makes a big difference in scale” Said Yin, one of the creators of this new material.

Sources: Live Science, Washington Post. Image: Quartz

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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