Category: climate change

Reducing your Costs and your Carbon Footprint – A Case Study

I am speaking at the it@cork Green IT breakfast event tomorrow morning (5th March ’08). My presentation is “Reducing your Costs and your Carbon Footprint – A Case Study” and I will be using CIX as a case study on how innovative thinking can lower your carbon footprint and your costs.

The event kicks off at 07:45 in the Cork International Hotel, at Cork Airport and the other speakers are James Governor of RedMonk, whose talk is titled “The Sustainability Imperative: Towards Greener Software” and Mike Hughes of Microsoft Ireland who is going to talk about Windows Vista energy conservation features.

Should be a good event (and you get breakfast!).

DLD Conference Highlights

I spent the early part of this week in Munich for the DLD Conference in Munich. It was an amazing experience.

The conference itself is a free invite-only event. The speaker list is unbelievable. The speakers included politicians, business people and convicted criminals!

Apart from the usual tech rock stars (Clay Shirky, Marissa Mayer, Matt Cohler, Jimmy Wales, etc.) there were people from the world of biology (Richard Dawkins, J. Craig Venter), literature (Paulo Coelho), extreme sports (Karina Hollekim), politics (Paul Kagame, Viviane Reding), and unclassifiables like Naomi Campbell (super-model and business woman) and David Silverman (the original animator and director of the Simpsons!).

One of the most impressive talks was also one of the shortest. It was the talk given by Shai Agassi, the onetime next CEO at SAP! In this presentation he explains how he is going to get Israel off oil in 10 years. What is most impressive about this plan is that it is completely reproducible for other countries!

Don’t believe me? See it for yourself below:

Link: sevenload.com

2007 was Earth's 2nd warmest year

According to NASA, 2007 was tied with 1998 as the second-warmest year in a century.

global climate change

According to the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.

The article goes on to say:

The greatest warming in 2007 occurred in the Arctic, and neighboring high latitude regions. Global warming has a larger affect in polar areas, as the loss of snow and ice leads to more open water, which absorbs more sunlight and warmth. Snow and ice reflect sunlight; when they disappear, so too does their ability to deflect warming rays. The large Arctic warm anomaly of 2007 is consistent with observations of record low geographic extent of Arctic sea ice in September 2007.

“As we predicted last year, 2007 was warmer than 2006, continuing the strong warming trend of the past 30 years that has been confidently attributed to the effect of increasing human-made greenhouse gases,” said James Hansen, director of NASA GIS

The data in the graph above are pretty conclusive. The planet’s climate is changing. Now what are we going to do about it?

My interview published on Channel 9

When I was in Barcelona for TechEd last year Charles Torre did a video interview with me. We had a wide ranging chat about data centre energy efficiency strategies, blogs/blogging and the Death Star!

Charles emailed me last night to let me know that the interview has now been published on Channel 9 (Channel 9 is a very high trafficked online forum where videos are posted and discussions on those videos take place).

It has already been viewed over 600 times!

The player is SilverLight and doesn’t appear to work on the Mac for some reason but there is a link to a .wmv version of the video so you can download and watch locally.

CO2 emissions vs income

CO2 vs GNP 1975-2002

I generated this graph on Prof Hans Rosling’s Gapminder.org site.

The data shows, somewhat surprisingly that the increase in carbon emissions in countries like Ireland and the US from 1975 to 2002 are not in any way mirrored by any increases in China or India.

In the recent Bali talks (and the Kyoto talks before that) the US held up the developing countries as major polluters and refused to sign Kyoto (and created all kinds of fuss at Bali) because of the amounts of pollution being emitted by developing countries.

This is obviously delaying tactics for Bush’s friends in the oil business in Texas and Saudi. The US Ambassador to Ireland conceded that China may exceed the US’s total emissions in 2008. Compare the income per capita between the US and China again and even if Chinese total emissions do exceed the US in 2008, they are still far less polluting per capita than the US.

And the Chinese were looking for a stronger agreement at Bali than the US.

The sooner Bush and his oil cronies are out of office, the sooner we can move on with trying to clean up the planet.

Off to Le Web3

I’m heading to the Le Web3 conference this week to deliver a talk on using technology (energy demand management) to reduce carbon footprints.

This comes from our work in CIX on delivering a hyper energy-efficient data centre and my working with Synergy Module (an energy management startup).

If you are going to the Le Web3 conference, I’d love to meet up. Drop me a mail (tom@tomrafteryit.net) or send me a text (+353-86-384 0828).

My Web 2.0 Expo Keynote presentation on reducing our carbon footprint

I’m back in Cork after giving one of the keynote addresses at the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin on Wednesday and speaking on a blogging panel at Microsoft’s TechEd in Barcelona on Thursday.

I didn’t create any formal presentation for the blogging panel in Barcelona but for anyone who might be interested, I uploaded my Web 2.0 Expo Keynote presentation to SlideShare:

Support the US Energy Bill

Chris Abraham emailed me overnight asking me to

blog about the Energy Bill issue as discussed in http://www.energybill2007.org

The Energy Bill is a US environmental focussed bill and the energybill2007.org site Chris links to, urges US politicians to:

protect America’s energy, environmental, and economic security by ensuring that the final Energy Bill that goes to the president includes the Senate-passed 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard AND the House-passed 15 percent renewable electricity standard.

The 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard referred to is an aspiration to have a 35 mile-per-gallon fuel economy target by 2020!

Good God, my current car, which is a standard ’02 Renault Megane Scenic typically gets 35mpg today. By 2020 I want cars to be achieving at least 100mpg!

As for 15% renewables, the Irish government, which has an appalling environmental record, has committed to 33% renewables by 2025!

Yesterday, the United Nations Environment Programme released its fourth Global Environment Outlook report. The report says

climate change is a “global priority”, demanding political will and leadership. Yet it finds “a remarkable lack of urgency”, and a “woefully inadequate” global response.

Several highly-polluting countries have refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. GEO-4 says: “… some industrial sectors that were unfavourable to the… Protocol managed successfully to undermine the political will to ratify it.” It says: “Fundamental changes in social and economic structures, including lifestyle changes, are crucial if rapid progress is to be achieved.

No prizes for guessing what it is referring to there.

If you are US-based, by all means head over to http://www.energybill2007.org. Agitate to get those first steps in place but believe me when I say you will be re-visiting those targets sooner than you think to get them revised upwards.

Al Gore and IPCC jointly win Nobel Peace prize

I see Reuters are reporting that Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have jointly been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The winners were chosen from 181 entries.

This adds even more weight and credibility to the fantastic work being done by the IPCC and the long crusade Al Gore has waged on this very important topic.