Feeds

Canadian prof: Green IT is a waste of time

Digital nomads will destroy the planet

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A prominent Canadian academic in the tech-policy field has said that "Green IT" initiatives don't work.

"Most of the negative environmental impacts [of IT] occur in the form of completely unintended, second and third order effects," says Professor Richard Hawkins of Calgary Uni. "These 'rebound' effects may not be mitigated by inventing 'greener' IT products and, indeed, may be intensified by such changes."

As an example, the prof cites mobile phones, saying that even if the phone itself has no environmental consequences its existence will still encourage people to move about more - in cars, planes, whatever - than they otherwise would, so contributing to carbon emissions and climate change.

"We didn't adopt the mobile phone so we could drive and talk on the phone, we adopted it because we were already driving so much. Creating a greener cell phone won't reduce the impact of increased mobility. The real question is what amount of mobility is sustainable?"

This line of argument would also no doubt apply to such technologies as mobile push email, voip, video calling, netbooks etc. If you didn't have that smartphone or UMPC you'd stay in the office and burn less transport fuel, sort of thing.

This isn't just your ordinary academic pondering - Hawkins' research may influence global policymakers. He and his team will be presenting their thoughts at a Euro comms-policy conference in Spain next month, and to the UN Earth Summit at the end of the year. This will inform the OECD IT'n'sustainability initiative, among other things.

There are full details from Calgary Uni here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'
Public IaaS... something's gotta give - and it may be AWS
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.