Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good planets are hard to come by

As everyone begins to set New Year’s resolutions for 2011, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and make some resolutions of my own and on behalf of Climate Savers Computing Initiative.

I joined CSCI in November with the goal of setting forth strategies that can really influence behavior change in smart computing practices. The greening of IT needs to be more than a buzzword; it needs to be a call to action in 2011. We have reached a critical time for changing behavior around PC power management - not just in our industry, but also in ourselves. Climate Savers Computing is built on the belief that individuals have the power to make a difference through practicing better computing habits.

According to the Global Footprint Network, humanity currently uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide resources and absorb waste. In other words, it takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. If population and consumption trends continue to grow at their current pace, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us by 2040. As poignantly stated by an oft-cited but un-identified author, ”Take care of the earth and she will take care of you.”

We all know that our industry contributes to the use of these global resources. As of 2007, ICT was responsible for 2 percent of global carbon emissions. As global demand grows, so too will the number of devices and the amount of data required to keep those devices connected. If left unchecked, this situation will lead to exponential increases in energy and carbon emissions, on the order of 6 percent annually. The bottom line: by 2020, the global ICT industry will be emitting almost twice as much as it did in 2007.

Aside from the dire predictions, there is still a silver lining; research estimates that the implementation of ICT can contribute to a 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions for all industries through energy and productivity efficiencies. From our domain of ICT we can reach beyond the 2% and help reduce the 98%.

It goes without saying how important our efforts are, and we all can be agents of change and leadership for smart computing practices. We do have the power to make a difference. Please join me in pledging to power down, eliminate waste and promote smart computing practices. Pledge your support now.

Cheers to a fantastic and greener 2011!

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