Energy Advice: Think Long Term and at the Local Level!

Energy is closely linked with sustainable development (or not). Without energy, there is no possibility for development, but if you pay too much for energy, we’re stuck anyway and development suffers, becoming a victim of constraints and instabilities. The country must have a very clear idea of sustainable development, tied to a plan for producing and consuming energy. The two go together. And even if you use “clean” energy for the purposes of unsustainable development, you will win nothing.

Is using the internet as carbon heavy as flying?

For this week’s opening piece on technology I wanted to find out more about communications technology. Phones, computers and the internet have become crucial not just in my own life but also to the spread of the Transition movement, and an essential part of projects like Social Reporting. A book published last year, ‘Greening the Media’, reports that in 2007 emissions from electricity consumed by information technology were 2.5-3% of the total, and comparable with aviation, but this is not something my Transition group have yet discussed, nor something there seems much getting away from. So I spoke to my friend Toby Miller (co-author with Richard Maxwell, of Greening the Media) to find out more.