Gaming Rig Sustainability – New or Second-Hand?

My gaming rig is 10 years old, and I’m in dire need of a replacement. But how much should I care about gaming rig sustainability?

Every time I buy a new computer, I have to learn everything about hardware and the state of various operating systems all over again. In a series of posts, I’ll got through some of the important things to consider when buying a gaming rig:

  1. Operating system: Windows or Linux?
  2. CPU: Intel or AMD?
  3. Graphics Card: Nvidia or AMD?
  4. Form factor: Laptop or desktop?
  5. Tinkering factor: Parts or pre-assembled?
  6. Sustainability: New or second-hand?
  7. Conclusion: So what’s the ultimate gaming rig setup, then!?

I’ve decided on this specific order of things because decisions taken on the top of the list might limit the available choices later.

This sixth post is about how much I should care about gaming rig sustainability. Should I purchase everything brand new, or is second-hand the way to go?

The FIA World Rallycross Championship Goes Electric

The electrification of the world’s cars have started, and motor sports are slowly catching up. Soon the FIA World Rallycross Championship will introduce an electric car category.

Electric car sales are increasing around the globe. In the EU, electric car sales were up by almost 35% in Q3 2018, compared to 2017. Norway is a peculiar case. In a country relying heavily on oil and gas production, a whooping 25% of every new car sold in Q3 2018 was an electric car. The main reason for this is that electric cars are heavily subsidized. This makes luxury, all-electric vehicles like the Tesla S affordable compared to similar combustion cars. A total of 11 261 new cars with electric power trains hit the road in Norway in Q3 2018. The same number for Greece was 131.

Looking at the total number of cars sold, however, we’re not seeing an electric revolution. Far from it. The electric car sales only accounted for a measly 1,25% of the total European car sales in Q3 2018.

Can the upcoming electrification of the FIA World Rallycross Championship series help boost the electric car penetration?

The Oil Fund: How Norway’s Dirty Money Should be Used

Let me tell you how Norway should use it’s big pile of dirty Oil Fund money.

Norway was traditionally a land of farmers, fishermen, loggers, and miners. Our industry was mostly based on processing these natural resources, and towards the end of the 1960’s Norway’s GDP was comparable to that of Greece.

Today, Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. We also score consistently well in the World Happiness Report, and in general, Norwegians live a carefree, good life.

There are many reasons this change happened. First and foremost, Norway is located in a relatively quiet and stable part of the world. The population of Northern Europe is for the most part of the same ethnicity. We’re also on the same frequency in terms of political and religious views. The wealth is relatively evenly spread among the population, and our part of the globe is usually spared of the most devastating natural disasters. Without armed conflicts fueled by ethnic violence or religious nonsense, and without the need to rebuild the country every time it’s ruined by a natural disaster, we’ve been able to focus is economic growth.

In 1969, Norway got a major boost on it’s way to the top of the prosperity food chain. The Ekofisk oil field was discovered in the North Sea, and Norway joined an exclusive club of oil producers. The country went from an economy mainly based on processing renewable resources, to one exploiting non-renewable oil and gas resources. I’m not saying Norway wouldn’t have been were we are today without the Ekofisk discovery. Our Scandinavian neighbors are proof of that. Sweden, Denmark, and Finland all have a generally happy population, and a high GDP.

But the black gold sure helped.

Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting used to be a thing. Then it was not a thing. Now it’s a thing again. But what is carbon offsetting, and does it have any effect at all?

Let’s start with the “what”. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. There are currently two different carbon offsetting schemes: The EU compliance market, and the UN Clean Development Mechanism.

In the EU mandatory compliance market, governments and industries in the union have to buy carbon offsets to comply with the caps on the total amount of CO2 they are allowed to emit. The market has a fixed number of carbon offsets available. To reduce the total EU greenhouse gas emission, that number is gradually decreased every year. Less carbon offsets means that those available for purchase will become more expensive. In turn, this means that it will be increasingly more expensive to pollute within the EU. At some point it will then be sensible, not just from an environmentally friendly point of view, but also from an economical perspective, to replace polluting industrial processes with greener ones.

The other carbon offset market, the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is voluntary. Using the CDM, individuals, companies, and governments can purchase carbon offsets to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions. The money raised from the sale of carbon offsets is used to fund environmentally friendly projects around the world. As an example, if a German citizen purchases carbon offsets to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions caused by personal air travel, that money can potentially be used to build a solar power plant in India.

The Case Against Nuclear

Many people are touting nuclear as the ultimate solution to the world’s energy problems. But why do they always seem to conveniently forget the technology’s flaws?

First of all, let me get one important thing clear: I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on this fairly complicated subject. But it really doesn’t feel like you need to be one to see some of the issues with nuclear being portrayed as a massive silver bullet.

We have a problem that needs to be solved: The world’s energy usage is ridiculously high – and increasing. As poor countries climb out of property, their energy usage goes up. For many of these countries, the main source of energy is coal. In fact, many countries built coal plants like mad in the beginning of the 21st century.

Unfortunately, coal is bad for everyone, and so we need to find less lethal alternatives to stay alive.