[iDC] Introducing: Real Costs & Oil Standard

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Tue May 15 09:03:21 EDT 2007

Christiane Robbins wrote:
> I came across this article and thought it might add to the current 
> discussion:
> Can Capitalism Be Green?
> Stephen Leahy* - IPS/IFEJ
> Inter Press Service News Agency Tuesday, May 15, 2007
> http://www.ipsnews.net/print.asp?idnews=37712
> ...
Excellent article. Thanks!
> Equally important, he says, is the social dimension:
> true prosperity is possible only when income disparity
> between the rich and poor is small.
> "U.S. executives are paid 500 to 1,000 times more than
> their workers, and this inequity continues to worsen,"
> he said.
That detour into the corporate wage inequalities as they exist today do 
not naturally link up with the ecology debate. In fact I would go as far 
as disagreeing with the statement that a leveling of income disparity is 
the key to "true prosperity". The success of capitalism as a means to 
mobilize economic capacity could for example held against that.

So as far as I can tell, what it boils down to is that we need to find a 
way to create a balance from the postulated 25% excess in consumption 
vs. Earth-Production (... how the hell did he get that number??). The 
Plant-a-Tree-per-Flight-to-NewYork ideas is flawed as the previous post 
suggested, because we still consume energy (by flying) we should not 
have used in the first place.

So ultimately we need to get our head around the exercise of 
"Konsumverzicht" (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konsumverzicht). Use less!

But how to we limit our voracious appetite to consume. The author of the 
article suggests a "service based economy", but I doubt that will work. 
Could it be more education. Maybe a new form of religion? Have less 
people around would help too?  Or more digital 'Soma'?

If we assume the Internet is part of the solution we could least try to 
explore mechanisms that teach us to 'consume' less - like a 'Sandbox' of 
the real world, the Internet could be used to explore solutions.

Here is an example of what I mean:

The Internet which its "unlimited information" metaphor is basically 
part of the problem we try to solve when we attempt to "use less". Why 
must internet servers be ON and available 24/7 ... Smaller, less used 
Websites could have opening hours! Technically, one server could "park" 
thousands of domains advertising "opening hours" and serve them 
according to a schedule. So what, if I can't access the iDC mailing list 
archive all the time - it could have opening hours at which time one 
could access the information. After the opening hours, the domain is 
parked again. This way one could probably "compress" thousands of 
servers into a single machine (saving significant amounts of energy). 
Translated into the real world: Why do some stores have to be open at 
midnight (fully lit, heated, staffed, etc.)?

If we argue this way, we could for example say: To make use of Google's 
webservices is a bad idea unless one uses a resource efficient way to 
access them - i.e. a ThinClient or shared terminal. Because when I use 
gMail, I not only use the power to run my PC, but also the power for the 
infrastructure to connect and the power to operate the servers to run 
the application.

As for John's idea of cutting down in size of your email (yes, we hate 
these large attachements too, but...), better try to get spammers 
caught: "Daily porn emails sent - 2.5 billion" (see 2006 stats 


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