Can you imagine life without the internet? I can, but only because I’m “of a certain age” and grew up before the internet became the incredible, almost omnipresent being that it is today. Kids these days (I just jumped from “a certain age” to “90”) cannot conceive of a time when information and endless procrastination were not constantly available online.
Just a few short decades ago, we couldn’t have imagined computers the size of a phone, GPS devices that can keep us from being lost, and internet technology that makes it possible to talk to a friend halfway across the world through your laptop.
It only makes sense that the technology currently
Quick. What uses more electricity? The American automobile industry or the Internet? Has to be cars and trucks, right?
Not even close. The Internet is a massive user of electricity. One reason for the tremendous need for electricity can be traced to the continuous need for
The carbon footprint of the internet: Around 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to every person in the UK flying to America and back twice over.
All carbon footprints are hard or impossible to pin down accurately, but the internet is a particularly complex case. This isn’t just due to the fact that the “net” consists of
The Internet is becoming a great tool for getting information on facilities that are emitting air pollution, discharging water pollution, and generating hazardous wastes. In the past, this information was difficult for the public to access, and in some cases either was not made available to the public, or required a Freedom of Information Act filing to obtain. This is changing as more states and the federal government is making this information available on line.
The latest effort comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which has released enforcement results for fiscal year 2009, and has developed a new Web-based tool and interactive map that allows the public to get detailed information by location about the enforcement actions taken at approximately 4,600 facilities.
What first sounds ironic makes sense at second sight: Instead of having to fly thousands of miles to get to a conference, participants save energy and costs by simply staying where they are. The Virtual Energy Forum makes it happen by choosing the internet as its event location. No expensive plane tickets, cab rides and hotel rooms are necessary to attend the event, thereby reducing not only the carbon emissions, but also the expenses typically involved in a global conference like this. Cheaper, more efficient and less impact on the environment? What an example of CleanTech!
CleanTech at work
CleanTech products and services are based on innovate technologies that optimize the use of natural resources by offering cleaner or less wasteful and more economic alternatives to traditional products and services. In that context, The Virtual Energy Forum makes great economic sense – for both participating companies and attendees – as investments are smaller and opportunity costs lower than at a traditional conference. The forum is expected to have 5,000 attendees and save 6,500 tons of CO2 emissions (or 14.5 million pounds) that would be generated by travel and production for a conventional event of that size. The environmental impact and the cost for participating in the online event is tremendously low.