Kolumne: Joachim Ritter’s blog: Michelangelo and CO2 emissions in China

04. Dec 2015

Save me if you can!

Text: Joachim Ritter

State-of-the-art lighting saves energy. We can gladly define this in terms of reductions in CO2 emission(s). The new lighting scheme for the Sistine Chapel boasts an annual average saving of around 25 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. If I have calculated right, that would mean that prior to restoration, the lighting for the Sistine Chapel would have contributed to generating 125 tons a year. All, of course, provided that the software is working OK and the LEDs do not have to be recalled and fitted with new drivers.

I must admit I don’t find it easy to associate a museum space with 25 tons of pollutants a year, and it is actually a very weird feeling to think that there are other existing lighting installations out there, be it museums, public lighting systems or whatever, churning out even more.

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By way of comparison: our planet currently produces 50,000,000 tons of CO2 every year. That is as much as 400,000 Sistine Chapels could save if they were all equipped with solid state lighting. Unfortunately, we don’t have that many Sistine Chapels, which is why we should take a quick look around us and define what we consider to be as holy as Michelangelo’s artwork in the Vatican Museums.

Seriously though, if we don’t succeed in dramatically reducing CO2 emissions immediately, the art of the likes of Michelangelo is the least of our worries. What that could look like for more of us could be seen from the pictures of some of the cities in China last week. Pretty suddenly I was confronted with a very clear (no pun intended) impression of what 25 tons of CO2 in our environment looks like.

To conclude: one Sistine Chapel is not enough to prevent China sinking in smog. There is still a lot to be done.

My opinion:

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