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I wrote an article about the need for low-carbon and and the path towards zero-carbon computing.


** The problem:
* By 2040 emissions from computing alone will be close to half the emissions level acceptable to keep global warming below 2°C. This growth in computing emissions is unsustainable: it would make it virtually impossible to meet the emissions warming limit.
* The emissions from production of computing devices far exceed the emissions from operating them, so even if devices are more energy efficient producing more of them will make the emissions problem worse. Therefore we must extend the useful life of our computing devices.
** The solution:
As a society we need to start treating computational resources as finite and precious, to be utilised only when necessary, and as effectively as possible. We need frugal computing: achieving the same results for less energy.
** The vision: please read the article, I'm out of characters.

@wim_v12e I'm not a fan of replacing computers every 2 years and I like the idea of aiming to increase computers' lifespan, but the part about eventually stopping to produce new computers sounds pretty dangerous.
If we stop making computers, we will soon forget how to make them. The only people capable of doing it will die, the infrastructure will fall apart or get sold for scrap. We will end up relying on a technology nobody understands. That's very fragile IMO.


@wolf480pl That is a very interesting point. It is not quite as dramatic as that though. With my assumptions it would take several centuries to get there. And I am not saying that we should not make computers anymore, only that when you've made one it could be expected to last forever. Of course there will still be devices that fail an can't be repaired
And I don't quite agree that not making something means the knowledge will be forgotten. The fact that we need to be able to repair them means we need to know how they work.

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@wolf480pl In particular, CPUs and memory don't last forever, there are physical limits (electromigration etc), so we'll have to keep producing ICs, only fewer and use them for much longer. And we'll need devices where we can replace the ICs, like in the good old days of yore ^_^

@wim_v12e @wolf480pl another option i see is that until we have developed this magical "everlasting hardware" we probably have although developed better ways of recycling, it will still take a huge amount of energy but the failed or outdated hardware will hopefully provide a big part of the needed resources which currently are ripped out of the earth and thave other non CO2 impacts on the environment.

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