An 18-Year Climate Anniversary

Today, October 1, 2014, marks 18 years without a measurable increase in the earth's temperature according to the RSS temperature series (note: other series have different durations since warming stopped, some longer, some shorter). This is not a reason to declare victory, as the side effects of our energy usage,…

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Solar Roads and Faith in Innovation

Whenever I see something a wildly create idea like the solar road idea, it renews my faith in the power of innovation and its potential to address our toughest sustainability problems. Given the number of people who sent me links to this project, the idea seems to have captured the…

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iPhone Power Revisited: Still Less Than a Fridge

In August Mark Mill's paper "The Cloud Begins with Coal" claimed that that the annual energy use of an iPhone exceeded that of a standard refrigerator. In my response I showed where his calculations were flawed, and that his claim didn't hold up (a number of others also offered critiques)…

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Energy, Clouds, iPhones and Refrigerators

In the last few weeks an idea has been making the rounds that, when you count all of the required networks and cloud services, your iPhone uses more electricity than your refrigerator. This idea was first presented in a publication called "The Cloud Begins with Coal" by Mark Mills, and…

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Let's Get Serious About Energy

Were you outraged at the Department of Energy over the long-term lack of electricity to millions of Americans following hurricane Sandy? Are you waiting for Secretary Chu's explanation of why 40% of the 2012 corn crop is going to ethanol, raising food prices during an economic slump? Do you follow…

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Rebuilding After Sandy: Can We Do Better On Energy?

Over at Huffington Post my friend Bernard David asks an important question: As we rebuild after Sandy, what are we going to do different than before? Are we going to just rebuild what was there previously, or consciously decide to make changes that will reduce the impact of future natural…

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The Challenge of Efficiency Investments

One question I often get is why companies don't make efficiency update to their datacenters more regularly. Part of the answer is the complexity and associated fear of modifying an operating IT infrastructure, which is especially challenging in 24x7 environments. However, there's another set of issues. Here's a typical scenario:…

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Data Center Energy, Revisited

Knowing my longstanding interest in computing and sustainability, a number of people sent me the NYT article, Power, Pollution and the Internet on the inefficiencies of data centers (or as the link to the article says, "data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html"). Here are my thoughts on some of the points raised by the…

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