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  • 3. Limitations of ICT in Fighting Climate Change

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1. Freedom of Expression

Panel

The Internet is easily accessed by anyone who has a computer and internet connection. With user-friendly web platforms such as websites and blogs available throughout the Internet, any individual is able to express their opinions freely and easily. As such, people who are social dissents have posted articles and videos that decry the validity of the scientific truths of global warming, specifically the causes behind global warming. Such information is readily viewed by the international audience, and could distort truths and mislead people to dismiss efforts taken at reducing greenhouse gases emissions.

Climate change activists make use of the Internet to express their viewpoints and provide radical comments that influence public views. Such online information calls for for online users to question the creditability of the information and whether such information might provoke dangerous emotions through controversial or sensitive discussions. 

Debates and criticism

One such group of activists is the GlobalClimateScam.com, which a activist network that disagree with governmental and missionary agenda on global warming. This group justified that such agendas were built on dubious unscientific data and invalid claims climate change. GlobalClimateScam.com aims to challenge proposed programs and solutions created by towering governmental officials. GlobalClimateScam.com believes that "There's a better approach to addressing the issue of global climate change rather than the campaign of mass hysteria being promoted by most of the media, much of academia, and many of the special interest groups that stand to profit from their "doom and gloom" pandemonium." The GlobalClimateScam.com website includes blog and video postings that expose global warming hoax and debates on claims and reports from the public mass media.

The Campaign against Climate Change is another group of climate change activist that were formed in the U.K. The Honorary President of Campaign against Climate Change said: "We need to put climate change right at the top of the political agenda — it is by far the biggest threat to humanity. We have to turn this into the primary political campaign. That means keeping on the streets, keeping up the demonstrations and putting an enormous amount of pressure on our politicians." On top of the doing demonstrations and campaigns, the Campaign against Climate Change also created its own activists portal, and profiles and groups on social networking networks such as MySpace and Facebook

Also, some video clips were posted to internet to decry the truths, such as expressing vehement opinions against the notion that global warming is driven by man. See here.

Disinformation
Online hoax created by activists

Wiki Markup

The

[

Rising

Tide

North

America

|http://www.risingtidenorthamerica.org]

environmental/climate

activists

network

made

a

false

press

release

that

announce

that

the

[

U.S

Climate

Action

Partnership

(USCAP)

|http://www.us-cap.org/]

,

which

comprises

of

33

corporations

and

nonprofit

organizations,

pledged

to

reduce

greenhouse

gass

emissions

by

90%

by

2050

and

immediate

suspension

of

construction

of

all

new

coal

power

plants.

The

hoax

was

created

to

coincide

with

the

United

Nations

Conference

on

Climate

Change

in

Bali,

Indonesia.

The

[

Rising

Tide

|http://www.risingtidenorthamerica.org]

created

one

fake

website

www.climateactionpartnership.org

for

the

false

release

and

another

website

www.us-cap.org

to

imitate

the

USCAP[

USCAP|http://www.us-cap.org/]\[1\unmigrated-wiki-markup

CC:1].

The website GlobalWarmingHoax.com provided a few kinds of features, like forums, news feeds, in order to gather the voice which is against validity of scientific truths, including videos, news, and articles. To show the climate change from a "historical and common sense perspective", and above all the perspective of dissenting scientists. The audience can share or bookmark the article easily by using the tools provided in website such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.

False videos created by activists

During

January

2007,

the

international

non-governmental

organization

for

environmental

protection

and

conservation

[

Greenpeace

|http://www.greenpeace.org]

made

up

a

fake

video

to

embarrass

Apple

Inc.

by

showing

Steve

Jobs's

pledge

to

create

eco-friendly

Apple

products.

The

[

Yes

Men

|http://www.theyesmen.org/]

group

of

activists

who

impersonate

powerful

people

and

spokespersons

for

prominent

organizations

for

the

purpose

of

humiliating

them

also

showed

false

videos

created

using

3D

animation

to

show

a

fake

new

Exxon

oil

product

call

Vivoleum,

which

was

made

from

human

flesh during 

flesh during  Canada's

oil

convention

in

June

2007

\

[CC:2

\

].

2. ICT's Two-fold Role

Panel

As seen in section 2, ICT serves as a major linchpin in the efforts to fight climate change. The versatility of ICT does not merely stop at empowering people at work, education and personal living; the appropriate harnessing of the power of ICT would aid in reducing carbon gas emissions into the atmosphere. However, ICT is in fact also a contributor to the upward spiral of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global ICT Footprint

Wiki Markup

In

2007,

analysis

conducted

by

Gartner,

a leading information technology research and advisory firm based in Stamford, has pointed out that the intense use of the Internet has contributed to 5.3% of the world's energy consumption while ICT in general is responsible for around 2% of the world's greenhouse gases emissions \[3\]. In addition, the ICT industry's own carbon footprint is predicted to grow at 6% annually and double by 2020 due to greater uptake of technology in China and India, the two economic powerhouses, as well as the rest of the world \[4\

a leading information technology research and advisory firm based in Stamford, has pointed out that the intense use of the Internet has contributed to 5.3% of the world's energy consumption while ICT in general is responsible for around 2% of the world's greenhouse gases emissions [CC:3]. In addition, the ICT industry's own carbon footprint is predicted to grow at 6% annually and double by 2020 due to greater uptake of technology in China and India, the two economic powerhouses, as well as the rest of the world [CC:4].

The global study predicts PC ownership will quadruple between 2007 and 2020 to 4 billion devices and emissions will double over the same period, with laptops overtaking desktops as the main source of global ICT emissions (22 per cent); mobile phone ownership will almost double to nearly 5 billion accounts to 2020 but emissions will only grow by four per cent; and broadband uptake will treble to almost 900 million accounts over the same period, with emissions doubling over the entire telecoms infrastructure.

The ICT sector must manage its own growing impact and continue to reduce emissions from data centres, telecommunications networks, and the manufacture and use of its products.

SMART 2020 Report

The 'SMART 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age' report highlighted that the ICT sector can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage energy savings, and assist efficient and low carbon production. ICT can also provide the means to reduce greenhouse emissions of other sectors, which could result in much more carbon savings and cost savings than the total savings in the whole ICT sector in 2020. The ICT sector could reduce emissions by 7.8 GtCO2e (Giga/Billon tonne Carbon Dioxide equivalent) in 2020 which corresponds to 15% of emissions in 2020. This also meant an estimated 600 billion cost savings.

Reduction of emissions from PCs and peripherals, data centres, and telecoms device

The ICT sector (consisting of personal computers (PCs) and peripherals, telecoms networks and devices and data centres) contributed to about 2% of the estimated total emissions from human activity in 2007, with a quarter of the emissions coming from the ICT materials and manufacture and the rest from ICT use. The SMART 2020 report provided several practices to reduce emissions from three main areas: PCs and peripherals, data centres, and telecoms device.

PCs and peripherals

The use of PCs has grown ubiquitous over the years which also increased the global carbon emissions. The increase in PC computing demand is expected to be compensated by advances in power management and two major technology developments by 2020.

Laptops are expected to largely replace desktop PCs, which today accounts for 84% of the market, by 2020. It is estimated that 74% of PCs will be replaced by laptops. The other technological advancement is the production of low energy alternatives of cathode ray tube (CRT) screens.

Other forms of energy reduction technological breakthroughs include solid state hard drives, choleristic LCD screens and direct methanol fuel cells.

Data centre

The data centre buildings, which contains servers, storage devices, power supplies, fans and other cooling equipments, has increased with the evolution towards the "information age" where large amounts of data is requested, stored and used. Such increase has lead to an increase in the generation of carbon emissions.

Virtualisation technologies will allow pooling of resources when their usage is low to allow the resources to be used by other areas of the enterprise. Virtualisation could reduce emission by 27% with good planning of service delivery and resources pooling.

A further 18% reduction is expected by 2020 with the use of technologies to check high temperature sections of the data centre and shift direct cooling to those sections. Some other ways to reduce energy usage due to the use of energy for running back-up, power supplies and cooling systems includes reducing the air conditioning and allowing the external environment to cool the data centre when climates is cool.

Telecoms devices

It is predicted that the growth of China and India will increase the use of telecom devices such as mobile phones, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) boxes and home broadband routers, resulting in increased carbon footprint.

Most of the mobile devices carbon emissions originated from the standby mode, which is the power is used by chargers that are plugged in but not being used. The adoption 1W standby standards and the use of "smart charger" (charger which turns off when mobile device is not plugged into the charger) can help compensate the forecasted growth of mobile accounts to 4.8 billion in 2020.

3. Inability of ICT to stand as an independent solution


unmigrated-wiki-markup
Wiki Markuppanel

Although

ICT

is

increasingly

being

recognised

as

one

of

the

strongest

candidates

among

all

industry

sectors

to

lead

in

the

fight

against

Climate

Change,

ICT

alone

is

insufficient

to

conclude

sustained

success.

ICT

needs

to

be

complemented

with

other

solutions

or

measures

to

improve

and

support

its

role

in

fighting

climate

change.

ICT

technologies

and

hardware

has

to

be

accompanied

with

the

common

standards

and

skills.

Incentives

for

business

to

adopt

and

spend

on

carbon

reduction

technologies

are

also

crucial

to

tackle

climate

change.

\

[CC:5

\

]

The

ICT

sector

needs

the

support

of

environmental

organisations,

communities,

governmental

authorities,

and

other

industries

to

realize

its

potential

to

reduce

greenhouse

gases

emission.

Government

regulation,

information

and

education,

and

research

&

development

are

key

areas

to

look

into

in

order

to

make

big

changes.

Projects

financing

and

proper

implementation

of

standards,

supporting

policies

and

secure

communications

within

and

between

sectors

also

accounts

for

the

success

of

ICT

in

combating

climate

change.

\

[CC:6

\

]

"PCs, mobile phones, and the web have transformed the way we all live and do business. Global warming and soaring energy prices mean that re-thinking how every home and business uses technology to cut unnecessary costs and carbon is critical to our environment and economy. Supported by innovative government policy, ICT can unlock the clean green industrial revolution we need to tackle climate change and usher in a new era of low carbon prosperity." Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group.

Wiki Markup

"This

rigorous

assessment

underlines

that

the

world

can

realise

a

green

economy

and

make

the

transition

to

a

low

carbon

economy.

It

also

underlines

the

*

crucial

importance

of

the

international

community

reaching

a

deal

on

a

new

climate

agreement

*

at

the

climate

convention

meeting

in

Copenhagen

in

2009."

_

Achim

Steiner,

UN

Under-Secretary

General

and

Executive

Director,

UN

Environment

Programme

(UNEP)

_ \

[CC:7

\

]

"If we are to better use ICT technology to move away from existing energy intensive work habits and lifestyles, we need government policy innovations, incentives for companies and the active participation of consumers." Tang Min, Deputy Secretary-General, China Development Research Foundation






References:

1. Elsa Wenzel. (2007). Green disinformation stunt fools media. Retrieved on October 28th, 2008 from http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9829723-54.html
2. Elsa Wenzel. (2007). Green disinformation stunt fools media. Retrieved on October 28th, 2008 from http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9829723-54.html
3. ITU.(2008). ITU and Climate Change. Retrieved on November 9th, 2008 from http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/
4. GeSI.(2008). SMART 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age. Retrieved on November 9th, 2008 from http://www.gesi.org/index.php?article_id=210&clang=0
5. The Economist. (2008). Computing sustainability: How computers can help to cut carbon emissions. Retrieved November 1st, 2008 from http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11585208Image Removed
6. GeSI.(2008). SMART 2020: Enabling the Low Carbon Economy in the Information Age. Retrieved on November 9th, 2008 from http://www.gesi.org/index.php?article_id=210&clang=0
7. US Department of Energy.(2008)._Energy Sources._Retrieved on November 9th, 2008 from http://www.energy.gov/energysources/index.htm





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