It’s almost a decade since those ‘hottest years on record’ culminating with the 2016 El Nino. But no-one expected it to cool down this rapidly.
In 2017, Parisians and other rich communities were still throwing money at the problem of ‘global warming’, convinced that the modern warm period was spiralling upwards. That was the year it snowed in Mexico and blizzards shut down major EU airports.
On top of that, we all thought we’d reached peak electricity, and consumer power consumption would decline – it had to, if we wanted to save the climate. But the opposite proved to be the case. Now, in 2025, our billions of smart devices and the internet of everything are consuming almost a quarter of the world’s grid power. Big data, robotics and AI need big power to keep them running – and we don’t want our tech-driven super-convenient lifestyles to be disrupted, now do we?
Emerged economies like China and India were quick to pounce on solar power to meet the exponential need, but runaway investments in cryptocurrencies just fueled demand. Older grids like New York and Los Angeles are creaking at the seams, and may be facing blackouts this winter.
For many, keeping the lights on, the data flowing, the screens running, and those all-important devices charged, takes priority over heating one’s home. Which means that our tech addictions – and climate change – might ensure that we have a cold, dark Christmas this year!