It seems that everyone but global warming skeptics is gravely concerned about polar ice cap melting. I certainly am. For more than a decade, scientists have been warning about the cataclysm of melting ice, particularly polar ice cap melting. Indeed, just a few months ago, I reviewed the fabulous book, A World Without Ice, by Dr. Henry N. Pollack. If you haven’t read it, I exhort you to visit your favorite library or book store immediately to read what this subject matter expert informs us about losing our primordial polar ice caps.
Why do I raise this particular point on this particular date? The simple, tragic truth is that predictions of polar ice cap melting already were long past legitimate skepticism about 5 years ago and now are so blatant that the only option which vocal skeptics have is to ignore the truth or, even worse, spew their basely and harmful propaganda. Polar ice cap melting has reached the tipping point in speed and irreversibility!
Every mammal had better grow gills and fast!
Surely, I am just another alarmist, right? The facts, from some of the most respected scientific bodies in the world, such as NASA and NOAA, cry out for themselves. June 2010 saw the fastest pace of polar ice cap melting ever recorded. The skeptics declared it an anomaly because the pace in July slowed. To the world’s collective horror, the final pace for July was even faster than in June, apparently because all of the thinner ice melted in June and the thicker ice needed time to build momentum of melting in July.
If the massive devastation of polar ice cap melting in June and July weren’t bad enough, in early August, the continent-sized ice sheet of Iceland lost a huge island to breakage.
The era of the ice-free Arctic is at hand, just as I warned right here last year and the year before.
The horror of it all is enough to keep everyone up at night. It certainly does so to me!
Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line
Compared with the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels for heating and transportation, computers are relatively benign. In fact, the Internet age has played only a fractional role in the larger, more devastating increase in energy consumption worldwide over the past 20 years. Nevertheless, computers have an impact and, as the scientists tell us that we already have passed the tipping point of irreversible global warming, every BTU of fossil fuels which we don’t burn is most welcome.
The largest portion of overall energy impact of the Internet age is from data centers, the fireproof buildings which house thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of servers or more, are the worst offenders. Fortunately, since those owners rack up unspeakable energy costs, pun intended, they often undertake concerted efforts to minimize their electric and climate control bills.
Average home computer operators generally are not so fastidious, present company excepted, I’m sure. Even if you pay close attention to how much energy your computer utilizes, while reading this blog, for example, unless you write your own software, you have little control beyond the power plan, which governs how long the monitor or overall system remains active when you have stepped away from the computer for a while.
This situation constitutes overkill. In other words, there are times when you need the maximum processing power of your computer but I guarantee there are other times when you don’t. For example, if you are decoding a movie but pause playback to answer the telephone, during that interval the processor likely remains at full power, consuming, well, full power. This is an unnecessary (and now avoidable) waste.
Enter Granola. Yes, it is named Granola. It offers guilt free computing because it scales processing to your needs in real time. Best of all, it is free. I have used Granola for some time and found it to be entirely unobtrusive. With this writing, I encourage all of my readers, whether they use Microsoft Windows or a version of Linux as their operating system, to install Granola today.
I promise you’ll be glad you did. The download URL couldn’t be simpler:
Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line