Via Slashdot, where there follows some interesting discussion about cap-and-trade, IBM is going to offer carbon credits for moving from no-longer-especially-personal PCs (which really are not typically in the user's full control even in a home setting anymore) back to mainframes which have economies of scale in energy consumption.
If high speed home internet bandwidth weren't being gobbled up by rather ill-designed and accidental video-on-demand system, the time for thin clients at home would already have arrived. iPhones... OK, maybe that's off topic for this blog.. Never mind...
The interesting thing for us here is the emergence of private sector carbon credits. Not only are we reverting to mainframes, we are reverting to private mints as well! Essentially IBM is offering you a private endorsement which can be traded for value and openly exchanged.
As far as carbon goes, this is certainly more silver buckshot than silver bullet, but if it works, more power (er, more conservation...) to IBM and Google too.
There is a Big is Beautiful theme here that I'd like to ponder some more.
The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.
- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)