Please visit to see the new & improved site.
Please visit to see the new & improved site.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why Would you Aspire To a Carbon-Constrained Future?

One of the obstacles for individuals and corporations to taking action on climate change is the negative pictures that have been drawn of a carbon constrained future. Why strive for a future that looks so poor? Might as well enjoy the present.

A number of corporations are trying to address that barrier by painting positive views of what that future might look like – all include the role of ICT in reducing emissions and enhancing lifestyles. BT produced a paper in 2006 called, “What would a genuinely carbon neutral BT look like?” It includes a wonderful image of a grandmother in real time contact with her children and grandchildren halfway around the world through a “video mirror” hanging on the back of her front door.

IBM has also just produced a paper, “A day in a low-carbon life”. It uses the day of a corporate executive in 2012 as the narrative vehicle. ‘Tom’ drives through London much quicker now (so reducing congestion-based emissions) as a result of ICT-enabled congestion reduction initiatives.

And, last week, Duke Energy announced a Smart Grid initiative. It is underpinned with a range of ICT technologies. But rather than focus solely on the technology they have also sketched a picture of a future with better service, less outages, more control for the consumer and improved energy efficiency. It is a great overview of the potential of the Smart Grid.

Drawing rosy pictures of the future is no substitute for taking action and providing ‘here and now’ solutions. But, as an antidote to the resistance to take action and as a catalyst for thinking outside of the box, they should be welcomed and these three initiatives include much of that thinking to inspire new ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment