Julian Oliver wrote:
if you're using a CRT you shouldn't be.
LCD users can dress in white.
ah, but LCDs don't look the same.
BTW, this 750 megawatt-hours/year is not actually very much at all. If
you convert it to megawatt hours per hour, which is to say, megawatts:
750 / (365 * 24) = 0.0856
you get 85 kW. Heaters, kettles, and vacuum cleaners use in the order
of 2kW each. Hot water cylinders and ovens use more. So a power cut in
a tiny place like Otira or Ophir, where everyone is sitting in front of
their heaters drinking tea, will save more power than blacking out
google for the whole world. There are other effects to consider too.
In winter the 15 extra watts from a white screen are not entirely
wasted. The power ends up as heat, and you're warmer for it (huddle
close to your monitor).
Another perspective is that an ordinary car engine will generate about
85kW when it is going fast.
Nonetheless, before that, Julian also wrote:
i've argued for years that working in a terminal
environment with white
text on a black background gives me more battery life on my laptops.
perhaps we'll see 'Carbon Offsetting' in the context of high-traffic
sites in future..
this principle could even be extended further to software design: bad
software design can lead to unneccesary loads on the system (redundant
clock-cycles, memory leakage, bloated file formats): an MS Word document
is typically much larger than other document formats of similar features
and so requires more hard-disk useage. this is multiplied when sent over
a network: how many millions of watts would be gain a day if using the
Open Document Format instead?
similarly user interfaces with excessive eye-candy (animated toolbars,
panels and windows) could be seen to be less environmentally friendly.
There is increasingly something in this. In the last few months, even
weeks, a lot has been done to the Linux kernel and various parts of the
X desktop to save power. For example, this page shows a few patches
giving a 25% power saving:
This works by doing nothing in longer stretches than before, so the CPU
can get better sleep. Desktop animations continually wake it up, so
your plain desktop *is* friendlier, and it will be more so soon.
I think this has partly been spurred on by the OLPC project, whose
laptop is supposed to go completely to sleep between keystrokes.