Tilti has been on vacation and what better way to come back swinging than to post for Blog Action Day (under the wire though it may be). I’m here to tell you the Good News: the Internet is going to save the planet! Sure, author Karl Burkhart blogged this in the form of a question last year but I’m hopeful. Read to decide for yourself if ‘perception tech’ is the next wave.
Perhaps the more timely question for some of us in the tech realm, since the economy tanked after Burkhart’s Dec 2008 post, is the question of whether there is money to be made leveraging the Internet to address climate change? According to this CNN article, technology to measure and address greenhouse gas emissions is an emerging market. The Microsofties are working to help cities measure GHG with the launch of Project Two Degrees, a collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative. The Clinton Climate Initiative is a prong of Bill’s William J. Clinton Foundation.
Here’s another article that outlines in broad strokes why the Internet has already begun to help fight climate change and many of Mr. Singh’s points come back to something I’ve been ranting about for years now: the Internet makes it possbile for people to WORK REMOTELY. So let us, Employers! Especially with H1N1 underway and regular flu season approaching, we should use the tools we have to contain disease and let people work at home in their jammies if possible (and for many knowledge workers, this is a doable arrangement).
What about the Internet as environmental enemy? What about server farms requiring AC and the watts we waste twittering ourselves into oblivion? I found that this not-new list of green computing best practices from Verdant Computing is still very useful. Particularly the prohibition against Keeping Up With the Joneses, never a green activity, unless your next door neigbors are obsessed with having no carbon footprint.
While asking the Internet to Save the Planet may be dramatic, I do think there are many ways the Internet can help us to help ourselves. But we will still have to change some of our perceptions and habits. I will be practicing turning my computer off by going unwired at least once a week. What will you do?
Happy Blog Action Day!