Save Watts Searching With Blackle

In a recent issue of MacWorld magazine, they had a cover story called “How Green is Your Mac”. In that article, I read about the website Blackle is powered by Google search, but is designed to save energy. I didn’t know this until reading the article, but displaying white pixels on a LCD monitor uses more electricity than displaying black pixels. This is because they are basically turned on or off, depending on which you are displaying. Blackle’s aim is to provide users with a Google home page that is nearly all black. Hopefully some measurable amount of energy is being saved, considering the size of the online community. It would be nice of Google were to themselves provide a black background in their site preferences.

Power Waste at the Office

People are talking more today about saving energy than ever before. With record heat in many places, and seemingly endless population growth, power plants are being stressed more than ever. Our individual power bills are also growing higher than ever. People point to large industry and home owners as a strain on the grid. I have another idea.

It kills me how much electricity is wasted in my office. People leave their computers and monitors on 24 hours a day, and they are even encouraged to. During the week, I log off of my computer and do leave it running for easy access the following morning, but I at least have a decency to shut off my power-hogging monitor when I leave every day. It stuns me how you drive past office buildings, and see all the lights on, with computer monitors and fans blasting. How hard is it to cut back on this? Aren’t these businesses interested in saving money? I just think it would make more sense to shut as many devices off during the night as possible if no one is going to be present to use them. If you work in an office of 100 people or more, you can imagine how much electricity this all must add up to. Replacing old CRT monitors for more power-friendly LCDs would help a great deal, too.

I won’t even go into the fact that people are allowed to have individual space heaters at their desks. During the hot summer, the air conditioning can keep it quite cold in the building; apparently so cold that some turn on their personal heaters at their desk. It is unbelievable. If the energy industry wants to find a good place to encourage conservation, I say start with large office buildings. You won’t believe the amount of wasteful consumption!

An Inconvenient Truth

A few months ago, my brother Chris suggested that I watch the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth. I finally sat down to watch it the other night. After about 15 minutes into the movie, I had already made up my mind that it was fantastic. I wasn’t sure how the movie would be presented, but I was soon drawn in. My jaw dropped at a many of the statistics I learned. I didn’t doubt global warming to begin with, but this movie will leave anyone without a shadow of a doubt. There is simply no denying it. This film proves that fact using an engaging presentation. As the film states, this is not a political issue, but a moral issue.

This isn’t a popcorn and snacks kind of movie, nor is it something to turn on when you just want to have a good time. As the title suggests, it is not a convenient truth. But its message cannot be denied. My bottom line: I think that every person on Earth needs to watch this movie.