I know what you're thinking. Well of course Chris is going to jump on this. He's a paid corporate hack for Microsoft. But you're wrong, I'm in a contrarian mood today. First, for you unmotivated linkers, it points to an article in the Independent which notes that Apple has been rated among the worst of major electronics firms for environmental policies. The real story here isn't how bad Apple is or isn't but how myopic this view is in the first place. It's akin to having a discussion about a gang of murdering and pillaging pirates and figuring out who murders and pillages the most-does it matter? And I understand what Greenpeace is trying to do here by singling out Apple but I think it's akin to how we fight the war on drugs in the US. We presume that if we kill the source or the supplier that people will stop doing drugs neglecting the fact that many people WANT to.
The truth is that the high-tech industry and consumer electronics in general, along with our insatiable need to purchase this crap (I am guilty as charged) is just about uniformly evil. As John Thakara has noted more on one occasion the amount of raw materials that goes into a laptop (any laptop) is about 10,000 pounds of resources. How many computers have you owner over your lifetime? Here's a tip if you want to help the environment and reduce your footprint. Instead of saving up for the Prius stop buy a new laptop every two years. Ahh but you see this sucks, because technology and services are what make our little world go around right?
Sure there are some folks that are saying "Zero is the new black." (I'm surprised we don't already have to give Seth a nickle overtime we say that, it's a clever tagline for what's starting to happen). But the reality is that most of us haven't wrapped our head around that. Does sloppy code have an environmental cost? It might if your or my bloated, crappy application requires more powerful and resource consuming infrastructure to run. Who would have thought that playing World of Warcraft or tooling around in Second Life would have an environmental cost too? We're measuring the wrong things today, I wonder how bumpy the ride is going to be for all of us as we come to grips with this.