by Einar Du Rietz

In Europe, the record breaking cold winter (irritatingly, or amusingly coinciding with the Copenhagen meeting) has now been followed by a heat wave. As the alarmists love to point out, climate is not the same thing as weather. How true. Apart from causing dizziness however, real life – away from the AC at the UNFCCC conferences – can lead to some reflection.

During the recent top in the summer warming, even the refrigeration department of my local store broke down. The costs must have been enormous, but luckily they had stocked up on at least bottled water. Non chilled. And should we really dare to drink bottled water?

Refrigeration has been under attack by environmentalists for the past decades. First, it was the ozone layer, then the scrapping, currently the so called GWP (Global Warming Potential) as defined by UNEP. Industry meanwhile, has developed the technology, which is not that old to start with, partly by adapting to the new trends, partly by substantially increasing efficiency. The latter probably being one of the best deeds in development work in the third world imaginable, as electricity tends to be scarce and the need for food preservation can be desperate.

Some things are taken for granted. The most likely fact however, is that if the same people who are now running around at UNFCC conferences (or the hooligans outside demanding that they do more), arguing for drastic reductions in development and standard, had been in charge less than a hundred years ago, the refrigeration technology would never have been invented. That’s something to contemplate when you stand there, being sent on a mission from that relative, very ill and  desparate for that particular chilled fruit drink, and it’s closed. Luckily there is also competition. Still.


  • Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.