Consumer study shows broadband can save the planet

  A recent publication by the American Consumer Institute shows that Broadband Internet can reduce carbon emissions worldwide by up to 1 billion tons over the next 10 years.

But widespread adoption of the technology is key.

 The paper discusses the economic and environmental benefits of broadband Internet delivery against the backdrop of global warming and radical climate change. Current carbon dioxide emissions in the United states is currently at nearly 8 billion tons, and growing fast.  

Broadband is seriously good news 

The study finds that widespread adoption of broadband applications alone can reduce these carbon emissions by 1 billion tons over 10 years! To give you an idea of how freakin’ huge this is:

1 billion tons of carbon dioxide equates to roughly 11% of the United States’ annual oil imports, making broadband a lot of carbon bang for your broadband buck.

Everyone prefers it fast

E-mails, newsletters and mobile content have steadily been gaining ground against traditional newspapers and paper-based media, both in terms of convenience and production costs, making it a win-win for consumers AND producers.

It also has the benefit of reducing the demand for paper, saving trees conserving energy and polluting less water during the production process!  

e-Commerce rocks!

Broadband has had a pronounced and very positive effect on the way people shop – both in terms of the need to commute, and that less floor space is required to trade. E-commerce operators such as Kalahari.net and Loot.co.za, for example, don’t have to offset as big a carbon footprint as the traditional bricks-and-mortar retailer does.

Similarly, telecommunications, video conferencing, web-ex type screen-sharing and other broadband applications are reducing the need for business travel, effectively making the modern workplace particularly “carbon sui”. 

Some quick stats from ACI report…

 In the next 10 years:

  • B-2-B and B-2-C e-commerce is predicted to reduce carbon emissions by more than 200 tons in the US

  • Telecommuting could cut driving – and hence emissions – by nearly 250 million tons

  • Teleconferencing could reduce greenhouse emissions by nearly 200 million tons, if 10% of airline travel could be replaced by using this technology

And here’s the feel-good for all you online content publishers:

Over the next 10 years, shifting newspaper subscriptions from paper to online alone will curb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by more than million tons!

Long live the web! 

The key, however, is “widespread broadband adoption”. As commercial demand for broadband rises, the technology could be leveraged even more effectively.  

What SA Climate Crisis wants YOU to do

The climate crisis is everybody’s baby. To hit the 1 billion ton reduction in carbon emissions mark, widespread buy-in will be needed. You’re in the right line of business to make a difference! Here’s how:  

If your company is not already an avid broadband consumer, I want you to walk up to management and inform them that a serious broadband line – perhaps even two – is critical for the sustainability of the planet and, by implication, for their business. Tell them that a 1-to-1 contention ratio is not a luxury – it’s a necessity.

Get up and go demand broadband from The Man; it is your carbon duty!

GO DO IT NOW – VIVA BROADBAND VIVA!! 

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I can haz Carbon Neutral Music???

A challenge to the Larks, Real Estate Agents, Josie Fields and Love Jones’ of this world.

Rock and roll, in the traditional anti-establishment sense, is dead.

Example: U2’s Bono, with his contrived advocacy sainthood vibe, has spawned a generation of mushy emo rockers that ride crowd vibes and promote things like “Third World Aid”.

Some would argue that rock is far too self-indulgent to change the world fundamentally.

I would say I am inclined to agree.

Music lovers want intelligence AND soul
Beth Orton, an electrofunk/alt-folk heroine with lyrics that hijack your mind and a voice that arrests your senses, is the inspiration behind this post. You’ll recognise her voice from down-tempo collaborations with the Chemical Brothers and William Orbit, the man for all things swish-like.

This woman is the shizniz grandmaster.

Carbon NEUTRAL – not merely “carbon conscious”
All her recent albums have been carbon neutral, which means that a tree is planted in the crummier side of downtown Mexico for every certain number of individual records  produced.

By doing this, she offsets the carbon emissions created when her CDs are pressed and album sleaves and marketing material is printed.

And she’s not advertising this fact.

Support carbon-neutral artists
If you aren’t one of the mentioned musos or their managers, you can still make a difference – simply spend your hard-earned bucks to support carbon-neutral musicians and carbon-conscious events  and music festivals such as Rocking The Daisiesand instead use that wonderful MP3 format to –

Nevermind, I didn’t say that – but do put your moolah where your maws are.

Ayeeght?!

Our No-Smut, Green-Topics-Only Pledge to You
When this blog was started, a conscious editorial decision was made rather not to post at all than to simply rant and rave aimlessly.

 I have been giving a lot of though to how the above-average citizen – yes, that’s YOU – can make a meaningful contribution to decreasing mankind’s collective carbon footprint, and will continue seeking innovative ways of fighting climatic change.

I am taking this issue seriously; if you are too, I’d encourage you to keep reading.

Watch this space.

The problem with blogging for environmental change

This weekend’s Sunday Times – News & Opinion carried a syndicated article in which anti-globalisation doyenne Naomi Klein  dealt my excitement – if not determination – to blog for environmental change a bit of a blow. 

Klein, the critically acclaimed Canadian activist and author of No Logo, makes the following point about blogging as a medium:

As a blogger, you get to stand and shout on your soap box, get the issue off your chest (often to no one in particular) and then get on with your day without changing a thing about the very problem that upset you.

And I fear she may have a valid point.

Having read the anti-globalisation bible and fleetingly met her in a Mike’s Kitchen whilst covering the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, I for one can vouch that she has her heart and head in the right place.

Yet in one fell swoop she hammers both Bono of U2 and, by implication, André of SA Climate Crisis’ attempts to spread eco-friendly thinking and ideas as futile.

 

If anything, she reckons, it does the cause as a whole a disservice by bringing about “change-inertia” and trivialising or “Bono-ising” the topic.

 

In a previous entry I wrote about change and ways of mobilising people through the dissemination eco-conscious thinking.

And if Klein is right, we’re not nearly done thinking about it either.

 

Should we organise a “gorilla mobbing” in Canal Walk, or go spray-paint the Minstry of Minerals and Energy’s offices? Should we drive around and deflate the tyres of every stationary Hummer we can find and skull-paint their windshields?

 

Because I will do it. Don’t tempt me.

 

What can you DO?

 

Action Point 1

On a more serious note though, please do let me know how we can take blogging and other forms of social media from mere consciousness into engaged action; this is important, so feel free to comment away.

 

Today being Blog Action Day, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate day to broach this topic.

 

Action Point 2
Go buy and read No Logo, and get hold of The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein’s new book on how Western Politicians persistently screw their voter bases – AND the environment – during times of disaster and crisis.

If nothing else, you can rest assured that the money won’t be funding a US presidential campaign in the near future.

 

This is what to look out for:

 

 

Action Point 3
Subscribe to this blog via the RSS feed and encourage your thinking associates to do the same.

Do it, do it now!

 

 Action Point 4

If you’re blogging today, make sure it’s about something urgent and environmental. Let’s make this one count in the blogosphere!