This picture is informative rather than elegant, but…
I was sitting at my desk thinking about nothing in particular when it struck me that there were a surprising number of different kinds of energy represented on the left hand six square feet of my desk.
The phone and the speaker both convert electricity into sound, while the former also converts air waves into vibrations that in turn convert into electrical pulses. The Click and Grow hydroponic grower converts electricity into light that the plants then use to photosynthesise, er, more plant stuff. The old windup clock converts muscle power into spring tension and the mechanism then transforms that into movement.
The green Tate and Lyle tin is labelled ’By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, Tate and Lyle PLC, Sugar Refiners’. It once held syrup which has long since been converted here (and no doubt in Buckingham Palace too) via biochemical processes into human energy. Behind that the red and yellow recycled tin lamp on the window ledge, if filled with paraffin/kerosene, could create light and heat. The tin top of the lamp is made from a BP 1 litre petrol/gasoline can, the base from a tinned food can. (The slogans on it read ‘Makes a Meal Taste Better’ and ‘Kwa Ladha Spesheli’.)
And globalisation? The speaker is from China, the phone probably from Japan or some other part of SE Asia. The clock is probably English, though the numerals come from an Republic and Empire that disappeared over a thousand years ago. The syrup tin was probably made in Britain and most likely at that time the steel used would have been made in South Wales or England, while the syrup itself probably came from sugar cane grown in Central America or the West Indies. The lamp was made in Tanzania and brought back for me by our son.
Finally the hydroponic grower was built in Finland and Estonia by a small company based in Tallinn, Estonia and Palo Alto, California largely staffed (as far as I can tell) by very pleasant Scandinavians. And, to complete the globalisation picture, the development was part funded through the European Union’s Regional Growth Fund and through Kickstarter, so financially owes its existence to some 3000 people from all round the world.
Adds up to a more complicated six square feet of desk than I expected