I just read an article by the University of Calgary where the author claims (and I think he's correct) that IT is a huge pollutant. For example, we have hardware that becomes obsolete, we have to produce electricity to pump into our gadgets, etc.
Not long ago I read another article where it's calculated (or so they say) how much pollution is produced by each search on google.
But, man.... I just couldn't resist the temptation of asking myself "... then how much power is spent on Windows implementing DRM protection mechanisms?". It has been disputed that it be a lot of energy to implement DRM mechanisms. It has been argued that this is not too much of an effort... that DRM in Vista is rougly a couple of LOC on the whole system. I just couldn't care less about it.. but then the next even more obvious question was "then how much pollution is produced by the usage of antivirus?". And here you won't tell me that it's just a little effort. Antiviruses checking whole computers (millions of them) weekly (at the very least), an operation that can take a while to complete, plus the effort of checking every jpg file that gets into a system. And using the antivirus is no low-cpu-ussage activity. I know that when a computer running windows is dragging behind a turtle for no apparent reason, I could just check processes to see if the antivirus is doing its stuff, if the box hasn't already being been invaded by the random virus that's hot at the time and that is eating all of the CPU sending all those beautiful Xmas mails.
What bothers me the most is that windows users are still paying for the ultimately bad design that was implemented on Windows early on (every .exe you downloaded from internet could be executed right away, default user is administrator, programs that won't run unless the user is an administrator, Firewall? What's that?, the usually long etc.). Vista is barely trying to fix all those problems, and we all know the backslash that things like UAC has been for Windows Vista (at least in its inception).... but we know where Vista is staying in user's preferences... so people are sticking with XP design flaws instead... and seems like it will be a little longer till it fades away into oblivion.
So... coming back to the question: Windows = Antivirus = Pollution? Can anybody try to make a wild guess about how much pollution is produced by antiviruses?
PS And I didn't mention hardware that's not capable of running today's systems. How many times have you being forced to buy more hardware (or another computer) just to get the latest incarnation of Windows to work acceptably well turning your perfectly working system (so far) into digital trash? That's another thing where at least GNU/Linux will help you avoid as well. As a matter of fact, I'm using the very latest release of Kubuntu, patched to use KDE 4.2 (using some of its 3D eyecandy, by the way) in a computer that's a little dated (I guess 4 or 5 years is a safe guess) on a box with a D865GVHZ motherboard (4 years old? Maybe 5?). I wonder if I could run Vista with Aero on this box. I guess that makes up another equation: Windows = New Hardware = Pollution? By the way, I'm sure other OSs will help you avoid those update cycles as well... but my experience is with GNU/Linux, so I won't speak for other OSs.