Should computer technology be regulated by sustainability?
We all know that flying is not the best in terms of sustainability, but neither are some crypto, for example, because they require a lot of computing power. However, in general, computers also leave a footprint and some experts say their use may need to be curtailed to create a smaller carbon footprint.
At the same time, computers have also provided many great inventions, such as new ways to fight cancer.
IT would have been responsible for about 2.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. And yes: that is more than flying (that is 1.9 percent). This is partly due to the electricity consumption of these devices, but even more due to the data centers. These huge buildings full of servers have a bad impact on the environment. They also use a lot of electricity, but also a lot of water, for example.
Scientists even say it should be different. In Nature they write that the IT sector should not just grow and that the world should become more aware of the consequences of all those computers and servers for the earth. At the same time, it is somewhat double because science itself also makes extensive use of computers, for example for artificial intelligence and processing a lot of data.
Professor Michael Inouye says (via Scientias): “Even as new data centers become more and more energy efficient, if we don’t do something about it now, the environmental footprint of this sector will be completely bursting at the seams in the coming years.” However, that doesn’t mean it has to stop completely, that computer use. There are ways to use computers more sustainably. For example, they wrote the GREENER manual to give scientists tools to work more sustainably. Not reading that manual once, but continuous training is needed.
Plus: you can request a co2 estimate for each project. The idea is that it is possible to look more specifically at each project at what the footprint really is. It is not only helping the earth, but above all creating awareness. University servers don’t just run without problems or emissions either.
The carbon intensity per kilowatt-hour generated seems to be as much as 7700 times greater in Australia than in Iceland. Plus, 72 percent of the footprint of streaming like Netflix comes from your laptop, and another 23 percent from servers.
Scientias writes: “Storing a terabyte of data, including depreciation, costs about 10 kilograms of CO2 per year. The programming languages Python and R are the most used by computer scientists, but are among the least energy-efficient languages available. efficiency gains.”
In short, work to be done.