The Voice of Cassandra: Manufacturing Cost is Not an "Externality"
Published 13:26, 22 October 07
ComputerWorldUK's Green Zone has a new blogger, Cassandra, "a highly experienced IT manager with more professional certificates than any sane person would put down on a CV, and who no one listens to until the things they were warned about really do go wrong... "
Here Cassandra points out that for all the talk of new green products, very few if any vendors seem willing to consider the environmental impact of the manufacture of their equipment. This is a fine example of an economic "externality" in action, and Cassandra is impatient with the approach.
Now don’t get me wrong I thing the focus on being green is great. However I asked the vendors themselves a couple of questions. What steps had they taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacture of their product? It is not just the running cost of the power the causes the carbon footprint but the cost of the manufacture. The result? Blank faces. Servers consist of plastic and metals all of which required carbon to produce. But how much carbon they didn’t seem to know.
The column is I presume modeled after the Cassandra written by Sir William Neil Connor in the Daily Mirror for 32 years from 1935 onwards. Connor had some balls - he was on deck to take this picture from the British Hydrogen Bomb tests.
I try to avoid apocalyptic themes on Greenmonk but this one rather jumped out at me. To further the importance of Cassandra's warnings- he made his name arguing against those that tried to appease Hitler in the run-up to the Second World War. And from that perspective the name Cassandra is incredibly evocative. Today's appeasement surrender monkeys are climate change deniers. We need more irritant, more people asking tough questions of the status quo, so welcome to the party Cassandra.
Al Gore could yet emerge as our generation's Winston Churchill: the guy that got it, a voice in the wilderness when times seemed easy, but someone to trust when the war really gets started. I wonder what the new Cassandra makes of Gore? I certainly look forward to hearing more of his views on all things green.
(Photo credit - the lorry blog says please don't steal this picture. I don't want to steal it, but consider this fair use. If he insists I will take it down. I would really like to see the Daily Mirror waive copyright for some of Cassandra's articles so the author of the blog, Michael Lawrie, can do more justice to Connor's memory.)