Behind the project
Green IT has a great potential to help society optimise resource use, save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To increase awareness on this potential, we have written a non-profit making, internationally collaborative book, released under a Creative Commons license.
Why Green IT?
Today Western economies are largely characterised by service-based economies, sustained by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Our economies evolves around ICT: Our public sector is based on it, the financial sector is based on it, the energy sector, the transport system, the education system, the health system – all are largely dependent on Information Technology.
Our societies developed this way, because IT was able to make daily routines easier, quicker and more efficient. IT has optimised a number of processes and has helped society progress.
IT is responsible for around 2 pct. of the world’s emission of greenhouse gases. The IT sector itself contributes, through its massive consumption of energy, to greenhouse gas emissions – and thereby continuously adds to the cause of the problem. At the same time, however, the IT industry can provide the technological solutions we need to reduce emissions and form a solid base for the Low-Carbon society. We call this Green IT.
What about climate change?
The majority of scientists today, believe that climate change is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide or CO2, which is emitted as a result of consumption (incineration) of fossil fuels. All sectors of society and all IT components require energy to perform their function – thus contributing to climate change.
The effects of climate change is global warming that causes melting glaciers, rising sea-levels, floods and droughts, more extreme weather events etc. All in all the effects of climate change will make life on Earth more difficult, and it will hit the hardest in low-lying and poor areas.
Climate Change and Global Warming are the effects of unsustainable consumption patterns in an industrialised world. And most people are by now convinced that we need to solve the problem, to avoid severe consequences on the environment and on our livelihoods.
IT plays an important role in this development due to its potential to further optimise processes and routines. What we want is a Low-Carbon Society where industrial processes have been optimised, energy production have been turned green (based on renewable energy) and consumption in general has been transformed to a more sustainable path.
There are many methods of collaborative book writing, and there is no single methodology which stands out as perfect. Instead the methodology needs to be selected based on the characteristics of the team members, communication methods, time lines, etc. The chosen method for the production of this book is modeled on the Agile Development Methodology. The concept is quite straight forward and is a methodology that should hopefully fit how we work rather than forcing us to work contrary to how we feel comfortable working.
The modified core values of the methodology which we would like to follow is:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Legible chapters over comprehensive masses of notes
- Responding to change over following a plan
Exploring these values gives us a number of principles:
- Reader/Contributor/Author satisfaction by rapid, continuous delivery of useable chapters
- Legible book is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) – This is really fundamental to how we would like to work. This relates to the concept of timeboxing – the practice of limiting activities to a particular amount of time.
- The legibility of the book is the principal measure of progress.
- Even late changes in requirements are welcomed.
- Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (Co-location) – This will of course be a problem for some of our contributors.
- Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
One of the most important points above is that a legible book is delivered frequently. This is opposed to an approach where the book is only legible at the very end when all the loose ends and all the notes in the margins, post-it notes, etc are addressed and dealt with at the end of the writing process. It is our opinion that this approach, while it may work for seasoned writers working alone, will most likely end up with a book of lower quality which is harder to read. Instead, the suggested approach is as follows – We write in an iterative fashion, every two weeks producing a book which should be a ‘rewarding read’ for someone in our target audience. In other words, our work on the book is timeboxed into two week iterations. If we are unable to complete the work we had in mind for the current iteration, we do not present half finished work, but instead it naturally falls into the work for the following release.
Who are we?
The book is a colaborative effort by both the authors and individual contributors. For details on who took part in writing the book (either as an author or a contributor) please see the contributors page.
Why are we doing this?
The overall goal is to communicate to a large audience how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be leveraged to transform today’s society into one characterised by low emissions of greenhouse gases.