Speaking at a conference, an analyst at Gartner prodded the IT industry to take the environment more seriously, as he noted that information and communication technology contributes as much carbon dioxide as the airline industry does. This has become a pretty big topic of late, as many companies have announced measures to reduce their environmental footprint, while funding for green technology has soared. Still, the analyst's concern seems a little bit misplaced. It's totally meaningless to say that IT produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as airplanes, since IT is a much bigger component of the overall economy, as evidenced by the relative size of IT firms and airlines. Also, this ignores the fact that the whole point of IT is to make things more efficient. You can't talk about the resources a piece of technology uses up without talking about the resources that it saves. The real problem is that by fretting about the industry's power consumption, it assumes that this is not already an issue being taken seriously. Environmental concerns notwithstanding, companies have always been interested in ways to reduce their electricity bill. The key thing to recognize is that the goals of reducing environmental impact and becoming more efficient not only go hand in hand, they're basically the same thing.
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