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5 papers about green IT
- The article describes some hints in which areas green IT can be applied. Also provide the benefits of green IT and show the 3 pillars of sustainability.
- Benefits and motivation of applying green IT are discussed. The main ones are: customers interests and demand in greenes, energy save by applying green IT and some statistics of the energy usage by IT. I think the article should explain the benefits of energy saving through IT and not only by IT.
- This article describes important information regarding the benefits of greening through ICT. Lots of statistics regarding energy consumption and carbon footprint in the first years of the previous decade and the perspectives of the following years.
- This video shows how sustainability is applied to all business. It shows the perspective of saving energy by eliminating waste through power plants, lighting and water. The state of California is mentioned in which energy was being wasted more than expected in the sector of lighting and HVAC, and that the state demanded forms of controling and reducing this wasting. The benefits in this case involved the lower taxes from habitants since less waste was being produced. One argument in which business receives benefits from sustainability is that companies pay taxes which are partially responsible for cleaning waste. These taxes increase as much as cleaning is required (obviously, partially), and companies have to pay more. Business is also affected by narrower laws regarding restrictions in the use of resources and degradation of environment.
- A more technical paper provides a framework which is possible to verify the amount of carbon can be saved by and through green IT.
Missing class assignment
Introduction and Chapter 1. Loath This Growth: Sources of Sustainability in the Early Modern World
As introduction, it is possible to observe the the main events that brought sustainability topic to society. Also, how relevant this topic has become in the last years by showing that sustainability has been discussed more among books. Although, in the past sustainability was treated as “buzzless buzzword” which was born in an effort to obfuscate. Next, sustainability is defined by the three pillars: environment, economics, equity. Then some analysis of the benefits of applying sustainability are discussed.
In the first chapter, we are situated in the industrial revolution and it describes mostly the pre industrialism. In the author’s point of view, that event helped to spread the word of sustainability by the way of thinking in systems. Although by that time, there wasn’t an Environmental Movement, and industries produced many waste and degradation to the world. It is also brought the term for this time called “unsustainable living”. It is important to notice that the author doesn’t condemn the industrial revolution, but recognizes the benefits of this date to humankind.
In chapter one, it is also linked the start of sustainable thinking. It is said that sustainability was firstly brought into attention because of forestry. Deforestation was the first sign that something had to change, as it was obvious to observe the misuse of this resource. Wood had an important role in people’s life, for heating, cooking, and obviously industries supply.
Finally, the author affirms that industrial revolution emphasized the consequences of non sustainable approaches, so some observers noted that economic policy impacted in society and environment.
Chapter 2. The Industrial Revolution and Its Discontents
The second chapter is about critics of industrialism and their effects and impacts, also the changes from the changing period from pre industrialism to industrialism is brought. Some graphics are shown, in order to check the impacts of the industrialism. Firstly CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions increasing in that period in the world and also analyzed in the south pole. Also a relation with the population that increased drastically in the last couple centuries, triggered probably by the industrialism.
From the graphics two analysis are made: industrialism brought safety and longer lives, but destroyed ecosystems, harmed climate and extinct many species .From another poit of view, it is also commented that sustainability advocates affirm that the values of sustainability are around economic growth and social inequality and nothing beyond it.
In England, Kirkpatrick Sale brought six causes for the end of the pre industrial society, among them the imposition of technology (machines replaced human labour), destruction of the past (privatization of communal lands) and manufacture of needs (manufacturing developed and created needs).
Finally it is also analyzed the factors that the sustainability movement criticize that were originated from the industrialism: social inequality, centralization of resources and power, realization of free trade and economic growth led to environmental degradation.
Chapter 3. Eco-Warriors: The Environmental Movement and the Growth of Ecological Wisdom, 1960s–1970s
This chapter brings differences between environmentalism and sustainability. One important point is that it is affirmed that sustainability wouldn’t exist if environmentalism didn’t either. The seminar work Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson, helped to define environmentalism in a worldwide level. Basically, the definition was based on rejecting ecosystem destruction and industrial growth in the name of progress.
The sustainability movement came later when it included not only the environmental perspective, but also the socio-economic view As important promoters of sustainability UNEP is an important ONG that addresses the ecological problems. It also was founded by the UN which organized meetings that advanced international environmental law.
Finally, a more a final analysis is carried out regarding social movements in 1960 and their impact towards sustainability. As sustainability includes the social pillar they helped to promote the sustainability view. And these years enlightened scientist-activist to divulge sustainability thinking.
Chapter 4. Eco-nomics
In this chapter, the author highlights a modern idea of the sustainability movement closely related to the environmental movement. Also some organizations that promoted sustainability are analyzed. Also book, conferences are discussed. Finally sustainability is brought to the political discussions.
In this chapter there is also the discussions around the Economics dimension of sustainability: “The world needs economic system that exist harmoniously with nature”. The economics of sustainability that promoted that pillar are: William E. Rees, Mathis Wackernagel, Peter Victor, Tim Jackson, Richard Heinberg, and others. Also the author says that modern economics mainly condemn mainstream economic approaches rather than finding solutions for green economy.
The problem of the economic pillar is that, no economics were able to create a full framework for a sustainable economy.
In this chapter is divided in 4 subsections which describe critics around the economical system: The Costs of growth. First critic was regarding the “rigid belief that a “healthy” capitalist society requires perpetual economic growth”. The Natural Environment. The second critique was that in the field of economics “it purposefully ignored the environment or that, at best, it viewed it as an inert entity that was essentially external to the concerns of wealth creation” Useless Metrics and Measurements. Third critique was “toward what ecological economists saw as the worthless indicators of economic well-being that neoclassical economics unthinkingly employed” Technology worship. FInally the fourth critique was “by promoting “more” at all costs, it assumes that man-made technologies are inherently benign or at least “worth” the collateral damages”.
George P. Mitchell
George P. Mitchell was an American businessman, and also a philanthropist.
According to wikipedia: “He started an independent oil and gas company, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. and built it into a Fortune 500 company. He participated in the development of about 10,000 wells, including more than 1000 wildcat wells.
Cynthia Woods Mitchell and the George P. Mitchell, and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, have distributed or pledged more than $400 million in grants to causes, programs, and institutions. The vast majority of this amount is related to science, environmental sustainability, and sustainability science-related fields, including the foundation's current grant-making programs which focus on sustainability science, clean energy, water, and natural gas sustainability. On December 7, 2010, he joined the Giving Pledge sponsored by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, making public his and Cynthia's long-held private intent that the majority of their wealth would be donated to charitable causes.
Working with Meadows and other national leaders Mitchell created The Woodlands Conference series and the International George and Cynthia Mitchell Prize, both dedicated to sustainable development. He was particularly interested in the role of the business community in creating sustainable societies and he himself is “a model of linking entrepreneurial success to the sustainability movement”.The Mitchells also underwrote the National Academies' Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability, the 1999 report that defined the role of science and technology in moving toward sustainability.
In 2004, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth as $1.6 billion, placing him among the 500 richest people worldwide.Mitchell died at the age of 94 on July 26, 2013”
Therefore, the following image describes how George P. Mitchell was related to sustainability when considering the three pillars:
Sustainability Education Model
I found a project in Brazil called “Sustainable School”. It is a whole year project, and it involves 6 steps. The main goal of the project is to implant sustainable behavior for students, community, professors and coordinators. Basically the project recommends to regulate resources used by school and community around it by reducing waste. For this purpose, they propose acquiring data regarding electricity, water, waste and biodiversity, and there might also be the organization of lectures in order to aware people about the environment, pollution, waste, etc. Groups among staff and coordinators, and meetings can be organized with families of students so they can participate more in the project. Finally, results regarding final and initial data gathered are performed, so it is possible to understand better the context, and if the ideas promoted are successfull. Detailed information on how to apply the steps are in the website (sadly in Portuguese).
I think the idea is clear measure, change behavior, and measure again. By following this pattern is possible to compare data and track issues. Also, I believe the project works when organized in not crowded communities, if there are many people involved, it can be difficulty to manage.
One of the interesting steps is engaging people. In this step, motivation and raising awareness of people are implemented by showing the reduction of billings of electricity and water. Another strategy is showing how the school is worried about enviromental issues in different places of the school.
Create 4 exam questions task
1. Provide an analysis of how sustainability can be improved in your country, give examples where your country is making mistakes, and try to figure out a way to solve it by applying sustainability principles, and also maintain order in your country.
I think this may be the most important question, and it involves lots of rationale in order to answer it. In this case, the student will have to apply many sustainability and critical thinking in order to find a solution that suits the problem of the country. Also it is important that the answer for the question can be applies pratically, so that student will have to apply both practical and theoretical knowledge regarding sustainability in order to answer it.
2. Give examples of companies or cases where sustainable growth was applied, and also economic growth was achieved.
This question is relevant because, it shows real cases where sustainability was applied, and also companies had profit from it. This is the case where companies will truly apply sustainability principles because profits are returned.
3. Imagine you are working as the IT manager of a company responsible for 3rd party software development. The company has just started, and it has only 6 months in the market. Initially, nothing was thought about sustainability approaches in order to manage the sector. Describe some principles that you could apply sustainability principles in this company (some of these principles can be followed according to the chapter 5 of the Sustainability: a history).
This is also a complex question where students have to associate theoretical and practical knowledge, the case is related to an IT company where the student will have to think of a role of the manager and sustainability principles.
4. How to overcome the 10 challenges described in the book Sustainability: A history?
This can be the most theoretical question, but not less important, since it brings challenges regarding sustainability faced nowadays, the student will have to imagine various systems and situations in order to answer it.