[LINK] NBN may increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Fri Apr 10 02:57:29 AEST 2009

swilson at lockstep.com.au wrote:
> This is fundamentally barking up the wrong tree.
> Computers don't emit CO2 -- power stations do.  While power
> efficiency at the consumer end is important, the really urgent
> problem is to switch to electricity generation systems that don't
> burn carbon.  It's not even especially useful to argue to and fro
> about indirect improvements arising from better information etc etc
> etc etc.  It's just a distraction.  The real issue is how to get off
> coal.

I disagree. Focusing on any one thing is naive. For example, US reliance 
of gas is being "resolved" on the supply side over and over again. What 
they need is to think of the demand side for a while. Specifically on 
the consumer PC aspect:

"How much energy do computers really waste?

In a typical desktop PC, nearly half the power coming out of the wall is 
wasted and never reaches the processor, memory, disks or other components.

In offices, homes and data centers, the added heat from inefficient 
computers can increase the demand on air conditioners and cooling 
systems, making the computing equipment even more expensive to run. 
Servers are typically more efficient than desktops, but still waste 
30–40% of the input power. With proven technology that actually saves 
money in the long run, the vast majority of these energy losses can be 

In addition, there is a significant opportunity to reduce overall energy 
consumption by putting systems into a lower power-consuming state when 
they are inactive for long periods of time. Even though most of today’s 
desktop PCs are capable of automatically transitioning to a sleep or 
hibernate state when inactive, about 90% of systems have this 
functionality disabled.

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative promotes efforts to increase the 
use and effectiveness of power-management features by educating computer 
users on the benefits of these tools and by working with software 
vendors and IT departments to implement best practices. For a typical 
business desktop user, implementing advanced power-management policies 
alone—without compromising productivity—could save 60% of the 
electricity consumed."



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