Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Web providers must limit internet's carbon footprint, say experts | Environment | guardian.co.uk

This is something I've been reading about for months, but it's become particularly common in the last week or so.

Could the Internet, with it's Tweets, Spam, Porn and YouTube, News, Blogs, Facebooks, reach a point soon where it implodes due to energy and environmental concerns?

Personally, I think that the growing drain on resources by computer servers will only serve to (finally) push the hardware industries to develop for efficiency as a priority in their future designs. And hopefully, new energy sources such as sunlight, wind and wave will make a great deal of these issues go away.

But there is no way that these efficiencies and new power sources are going to stave off the energy demands any time soon. And if priorities change, how will the Internet be affected? Will it go back to the extreme of being primarily used for military and science? I'm doubtful it would go that far.

Perhaps Internet use will ultimately become metered, despite the emphasis on the Internet as a democratizing tool. Perhaps the energy costs to Comcast and Google and Microsoft et al. will ultimately force them to charge per use.

Now that would definitely change the nature of the Internet.

Web providers must limit internet's carbon footprint, say experts

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