Cyberinfrastructure in a Carbon-Constrained World

Educause 2009

Larry Smarr – Harry E. Gruber Prof, Dept of Computer Science & Engineering , University of California, San Diego

Bill St. Arnaud – Chief Research Officer , CANARIE, Inc.

A surprisingly sparsely attended session, all of which can be seen here, even taking account of  the vast room , this must be very off putting for speakers. Smarr started with a n expose of how fast the climate change is and the extreme addition of CO2 to the atmosphere in the last 50 years, highlighted the fact that the heating process is currently masked because of the time delay in the effect taking place – foretelling big problems in the next few years.

Much of the thrust of this argument is also covered in the latest Educause magazine article. The argument goes that what is happening now is terra-forming and the results will be with us for a thousand years. But what can HE do? Well one idea is that campus sites could be test beds for Green IT given that IT in HE equals 2% total emissions, about as much as aerospace, but IT usage is increasing making change here all the more important.

Oh dear maybe its the time of day, maybe the sparse audience, maybe its the presentation style, but this session didn’t engage me despite the obviously very important messages. I feel a bit let down that I didn’t manage to get more from this, my fault I think, but on the whole there was too much about facts and figures early on, making me disengage from the stuff that came later