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  • I was only four years old

  • when I saw my mother load a washing machine

  • for the very first time in her life.

  • That was a great day for my mother.

  • My mother and father had been saving money for years

  • to be able to buy that machine,

  • and the first day it was going to be used,

  • even Grandma was invited

  • to see the machine.

  • And Grandma was even more excited.

  • Throughout her life

  • she had been heating water with firewood,

  • and she had hand washed laundry

  • for seven children.

  • And now she was going to watch

  • electricity do that work.

  • My mother carefully opened the door,

  • and she loaded the laundry

  • into the machine,

  • like this.

  • And then, when she closed the door,

  • Grandma said, "No, no, no, no.

  • Let me, let me push the button."

  • And Grandma pushed the button,

  • and she said, "Oh, fantastic!

  • I want to see this! Give me a chair!

  • Give me a chair! I want to see it,"

  • and she sat down in front of the machine,

  • and she watched the entire washing program.

  • She was mesmerized.

  • To my grandmother,

  • the washing machine was a miracle.

  • Today, in Sweden and other rich countries,

  • people are using

  • so many different machines.

  • Look, the homes are full of machines.

  • I can't even name them all.

  • And they also, when they want to travel,

  • they use flying machines

  • that can take them to remote destinations.

  • And yet, in the world, there are so many people

  • who still heat the water on fire,

  • and they cook their food on fire.

  • Sometimes they don't even have enough food,

  • and they live below the poverty line.

  • There are two billion fellow human beings

  • who live on less than two dollars a day.

  • And the richest people over there --

  • there's one billion people --

  • and they live above what I call the "air line,"

  • because they spend more than $80 a day

  • on their consumption.

  • But this is just one, two, three billion people,

  • and obviously there are seven billion people in the world,

  • so there must be one, two, three, four billion people more

  • who live in between the poverty and the air line.

  • They have electricity,

  • but the question is, how many have washing machines?

  • I've done the scrutiny of market data,

  • and I've found that, indeed,

  • the washing machine has penetrated below the air line,

  • and today there's an additional one billion people out there

  • who live above the "wash line."

  • (Laughter)

  • And they consume more than $40 per day.

  • So two billion have access to washing machines.

  • And the remaining five billion,

  • how do they wash?

  • Or, to be more precise,

  • how do most of the women in the world wash?

  • Because it remains hard work for women to wash.

  • They wash like this: by hand.

  • It's a hard, time-consuming labor,

  • which they have to do for hours every week.

  • And sometimes they also have to bring water from far away

  • to do the laundry at home,

  • or they have to bring the laundry away to a stream far off.

  • And they want the washing machine.

  • They don't want to spend such a large part of their life

  • doing this hard work

  • with so relatively low productivity.

  • And there's nothing different in their wish

  • than it was for my grandma.

  • Look here, two generations ago in Sweden --

  • picking water from the stream,

  • heating with firewood and washing like that.

  • They want the washing machine in exactly the same way.

  • But when I lecture to environmentally-concerned students,

  • they tell me, "No, everybody in the world cannot have cars and washing machines."

  • How can we tell this woman

  • that she ain't going to have a washing machine?

  • And then I ask my students,

  • I've asked them -- over the last two years I've asked,

  • "How many of you doesn't use a car?"

  • And some of them proudly raise their hand

  • and say, "I don't use a car."

  • And then I put the really tough question:

  • "How many of you

  • hand-wash your jeans and your bed sheets?"

  • And no one raised their hand.

  • Even the hardcore in the green movement

  • use washing machines.

  • (Laughter)

  • So how come [this is] something that everyone uses

  • and they think others will not stop it? What is special with this?

  • I had to do an analysis about the energy used in the world.

  • Here we are.

  • Look here, you see the seven billion people up there:

  • the air people, the wash people,

  • the bulb people and the fire people.

  • One unit like this

  • is an energy unit of fossil fuel --

  • oil, coal or gas.

  • That's what most of electricity and the energy in the world is.

  • And it's 12 units used in the entire world,

  • and the richest one billion, they use six of them.

  • Half of the energy is used by one seventh of the world's population.

  • And these ones who have washing machines,

  • but not a house full of other machines,

  • they use two.

  • This group uses three, one each.

  • And they also have electricity.

  • And over there they don't even use one each.

  • That makes 12 of them.

  • But the main concern

  • for the environmentally-interested students -- and they are right --

  • is about the future.

  • What are the trends? If we just prolong the trends,

  • without any real advanced analysis, to 2050,

  • there are two things that can increase the energy use.

  • First, population growth.

  • Second, economic growth.

  • Population growth will mainly occur among the poorest people here

  • because they have high child mortality

  • and they have many children per woman.

  • And [with] that you will get two extra,

  • but that won't change the energy use very much.

  • What will happen is economic growth.

  • The best of here in the emerging economies --

  • I call them the New East --

  • they will jump the air line.

  • "Wopp!" they will say.

  • And they will start to use as much as the Old West are doing already.

  • And these people, they want the washing machine.

  • I told you. They'll go there.

  • And they will double their energy use.

  • And we hope that the poor people will get into the electric light.

  • And they'll get a two-child family without a stop in population growth.

  • But the total energy consumption

  • will increase to 22 units.

  • And these 22 units --

  • still the richest people use most of it.

  • So what needs to be done?

  • Because the risk,

  • the high probability of climate change is real.

  • It's real.

  • Of course they must be more energy-efficient.

  • They must change behavior in some way.

  • They must also start to produce green energy,

  • much more green energy.

  • But until they have the same energy consumption per person,

  • they shouldn't give advice to others --

  • what to do and what not to do.

  • (Applause)

  • Here we can get more green energy all over.

  • This is what we hope may happen.

  • It's a real challenge in the future.

  • But I can assure you that this woman in the favela in Rio,

  • she wants a washing machine.

  • She's very happy about her minister of energy

  • that provided electricity to everyone --

  • so happy that she even voted for her.

  • And she became Dilma Rousseff,

  • the president-elect

  • of one of the biggest democracies in the world --

  • moving from minister of energy to president.

  • If you have democracy,

  • people will vote for washing machines.

  • They love them.

  • And what's the magic with them?

  • My mother explained the magic with this machine

  • the very, very first day.

  • She said, "Now Hans,

  • we have loaded the laundry.

  • The machine will make the work.

  • And now we can go to the library."

  • Because this is the magic:

  • you load the laundry,

  • and what do you get out of the machine?

  • You get books out of the machines,

  • children's books.

  • And mother got time to read for me.

  • She loved this. I got the "ABC's" --

  • this is where I started my career as a professor,

  • when my mother had time to read for me.

  • And she also got books for herself.

  • She managed to study English

  • and learn that as a foreign language.

  • And she read so many novels,

  • so many different novels here.

  • And we really, we really loved this machine.

  • And what we said, my mother and me,

  • "Thank you industrialization.

  • Thank you steel mill.

  • Thank you power station.

  • And thank you chemical processing industry

  • that gave us time to read books."

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

I was only four years old

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A2 US TED washing machine washing machine energy laundry

【TED】Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine (The magic washing machine | Hans Rosling)

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    Max Lin posted on 2016/01/31
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