An Electric Kettle Does Not Whistle

Things change. It used to be that you filled a steel kettle with water, put a lid on its spout and placed the kettle on a gas hob. Because the gas used was made from coal, there was plenty of crud caked around the hob and some of it attached to the kettle. When the water boiled steam was forced through the lid on the spout, and the lid contained a whistle, and the steam kettle whistled. That was the signal that you needed to turn off the gas. Today most kettles are electric. They do not have a whistle because they will switch off when the water boils.

So it is with where we live, that biosphere which is constantly changing. We change it. Some of the changes improve things, some of them make things worse while others simply change things. As we change the biosphere it is easy to pretend that all changes are beneficial to humanity, but this pretence is a comfortable way to justify what we have done and what we want to do.

Perhaps most changes are simply differences of style, rather than substance. Water boils just as hot whatever type of kettle you use. You miss the comfort of the steam whistle if you are old, but after a short while you forget that kettles ever whistled.

2 Responses

  1. I sympathise entirely with your article, however, it’s not true that *all* electric kettles are whistle-less. About 5 years ago, I purchased an electric Morphy Richards kettle with a whistle. Today, it needs replacing and I’m pleased to find this feature on their newer models. Here is a sample of what’s available:

    • For your readers in the US:

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