Profile of Kevin Ferguson
News & Commentary Posts: 78
Articles by Kevin Ferguson
IBM may have reached the height of opportunism with its Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic consulting service and Strategic Water Information Management (SWIM) solutions platform -- two related efforts to cash in on our stressed environment. Good for IBM.
Never mind what's in your wallet. What's in your Dumpster? If you're among the 15% of IT managers interviewed by Osterman Research, electronic waste is sitting there.
Fifty-eight percent of utilities surveyed by Oracle recently said that while they offer net-metering programs only 11% of their customers take them up on their offer. I'm hoping that 100% of those utilities know why: The up-front costs are way too high.
When I read the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) just-released Supply Chain Report 2009, I can't help thinking about Vinny Gambini's (Joe Pesci) question to the lard-scooping short-order cook in My Cousin Vinny: "Excuse me, you guys down here hear about the ongoing cholesterol problem in the country?"
The Carbon Disclosure Project, which secured a remarkable 634 responses to the first supply chain questionnaire of its kind, is looking for fuller disclosure: Later this year it will issue a "lighter questionnaire" in hopes of convincing hundreds or thousands more suppliers to participate.
Where do you draw the green line when it comes to buying a notebook? I may have crossed it with my purchase yesterday of an Acer Aspire One netbook -- ironically, to cover an environmental summit in Istanbul in two weeks. Between the jet fuel and Acer's poor environmental record, I may be doing more harm than good.
The Carbon Disclosure Project's first global supply chain report, due on March 5, should be an eye-opener -- not only for what it contains but for what it lacks. Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM are among the IT companies that joined the CDP Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration and will be represented in the report.
PricewaterhouseCoopers says the winds of change that have blown a few clean-tech IPOs off course aren't strong enough to stop the renewable energy market from moving ahead. That includes wind power. Certainly, Intel, Cisco, Google, and other high-tech companies agree and continue to invest in wind and other renewables. There is, however, still that pesky question of a new, or revitalized, electrical grid.
Former Gov. George Pataki delivered perhaps the most powerful assessment of the move to rebuild the national electricity grid yesterday when he called for a greater federal role in the permitting process. This was the same Pataki who had championed deregulation in New York state -- and later defended deregulation after the huge 2003 blackout of the Northeast.
Kansas has had a few shining ecomoments, most recently on Jan. 24 when Sedgwick County collected more than 500 tons of e-waste. But any hopes environmentalists have of really cleaning up the state may be no more than dust in the wind.
It's difficult to see who is winning California's environmental war: the polluters or the polluted. Today, California lawmaker's passed a bi-partisan budget roundly criticized by environmental groups for loosening air pollution regulations. Elsewhere in Sacramento, the state Environmental Protection Agency was holding a symposium on the "greening of electronics."
I'm hoping that somewhere tucked in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are provisions for the General Printing Office to upgrade the servers it used to distribute the stimulus bill. I finally got through at 3 a.m., after six hours of trying. I could have accepted and withdrawn my nomination for a Cabinet position in less time.
Sprint has made quite a call: It thinks that by 2017 it can get consumers to recycle 90% of the cell phones they discard annually. Right now, the industry rate is about 10%.
The Syracuse Orange are looking to go green with Big Blue. Syracuse University's Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction says IBM "will sponsor the development and construction of a first-of-a-kind Green Data Center."
A few hours ago the U.S. Senate passed its version of the economic stimulus plan. The plan will unquestionably -- depending on your economics ken and party affiliation -- either create millions of jobs or bury the country further in debt and hopelessness.
As unemployment ranks swell -- 598,000 jobs were cut in January -- it's hard not to look hungrily at green collar jobs. They are the hope of millions, but the reality of few. And unless federal, regional and state policies on energy distribution and taxation change, that may not change.
T. Boone Pickens is not an environmentalist. He may be a patriot. He is definitely a pragmatist. That may not turn out to be a bad thing for the environment. Unless Pickens finds environmental protection competes with the national security or his own business interests.
Oil and water don't mix. That is, unless you're T. Boone Pickens and you're rounding out your investment portfolio.
Cisco's new EnergyWise technology, which measures and manages energy consumption on just about everything on the network, is, indeed, wise. But it's going to get a whole lot wiser and useful early next year when it will be extended to the management of HVAC and other building systems.
The debut of the Sun Modular Datacenter (nee Project Blackbox), a complete data center housed within a shipping container, is an important reminder that data centers can grow greener as they expand.
Throw me a life preserver: I'm drowning in environmental bad news from NOAA, NASA, and academia the world over.
Carbon nanotubes, the wonder material that is used in some solar cells, batteries, and circuits, has the California Department of Toxic Substances beginning to wonder. The agency yesterday put manufacturers and importers of the material on notice that it wants more information on the health effects of exposure to CNT byproducts.
If you can't trust the geeks at MIT when it comes to leveraging technology, whom can you trust? Still, the memo the other day that students and faculty save a half-watt of electricity by turning off the backlit LCD displays on their VoIP phones seemed a bit over the top.
Is your collar green if it's covered in coal dust? How about if it's covered in powdered sugar? In some instances, both collars may be green, a new study suggests.
It's been more than 60 minutes now since Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and still the economy is in a shambles and the environment remains trashed. Go figure.
Demand response is in demand, according to a new federal report. That's good news for operators of data centers, disaster recovery, and business continuity sites, and large users of electricity.
If you're looking to green your data center and wondered what effect sourcing new components might have, The Green Grid has some details you should look at.
Yesterday, I wrote of five green IT stories worth following in 2009: Energy Star data centers; cap and trade, carbon offsets and RECs; federal business energy tax credits; e-waste; and corporate purchases of green IT equipment. Here are five more:
There have been a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings around green computing in 2008. As a new year begins, expect intense scrutiny as green efforts take shape, including data center metrics, cap-and-trade programs, vendor claims of power-management features, and state and federal legislation. Here are five stories to watch in 2009 (another five to come tomorrow).
Bookmark this page. Contained herein are some of the more useful links I've come across in 2008. They are by no means exhaustive, but I believe they'll come in handy when you're looking for some eco-answers. They include private-sector sites, government agencies, NGOs, and 501(c)3 sites.
The U.S. EPA has proposed five changes to its Green Power Partnership program that will affect how Intel, Cisco, and other large purchasers of renewable energy credits (RECs) are credited. The five changes, proposed to take effect on Feb. 13, 2009, lend credibility and accountability to green efforts.
John Holdren, professor of environmental policy at Harvard University and director of the Woods Hole Research Center, will bring a principled, reasoned approach to the White House as science adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. Holdren, who also serves as co-chair of the independent National Commission on Energy Policy, is expected to be named to the post tomorrow, according to a Post a Comment
Computer makers may be robbing Peter to poison Paul. Recent articles published by the American Chemical Society found that decabromodiphenyl ethane (deBDethane), an additive flame retardant marketed as a replacement for decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), has been showing up worldwide in waterbirds, red pandas, and sewage sludge.
Corporate purchases of green IT equipment will remain fairly strong amid the economic crisis, separate reports from IDC, Forrester Research, and Panel Intelligence indicate. These will not be purchases made in spite of the recession, though -- they will be made because of it.
Two-thousand-nine is shaping up to be a watershed year for energy efficiency on data networks. Often overlooked among the eco-conscious, information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as those used in networking products, contribute at least 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Brother, can you spare a kilowatt? If you can, EnerNOC and other demand response service providers are willing to pay you handsomely for it.
Think you've had a rough week? Try being a carbon credit. Here's what happened in just a few days: First, the price of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), used by carbon traders, tanks. Then, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issues a report questioning the efficacy of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and Kyoto Pr
Poznań politics are not for the un-caffeinated, as you can see from the live Web casts. That's unfortunate because some of the events may ultimately be jarring to environmentalists, industrialists and the man -- literally -- on the street.
Counting carbon is getting easier. Counting carbon counters is getting measurably more difficult. At least once a week an online tool to calculate one's carbon footprint, based on self-reported energy consumption, is introduced or improved.
In what appears to be a truly holistic recycling effort, news put forth by the University of Michigan on its green computing efforts last June has been finding new life on news feeds in early December. Not one to shirk my recycling duties, I offer now a roundup of other relevant nonbreaking news. And for what it's worth, not only are they are all related to the U-M story, but I probably would have missed them if not for the Detroit Free Press Post a Comment
My BlackBerry went for a swim the other day. I'm too embarrassed to tell you where, save to say that I find myself multitasking these days in the oddest places. I will say that when it sank beneath the surface, its lights flickered like those of the doomed Titanic. That meant, aside from having an intense desire to boil my hand, I had to get a new BlackBerry and, yes, recycle the old one.
So, what do we make of this week's climate summit in Poznań, Poland? That may well depend on what emotional baggage we bring on our trip.
Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have taken a major step in launching a "net-zero energy" facility: They lit a road flare and began burning wood chips. No kidding.
The momentum for green jobs seems to be building. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty just introduced his Green Jobs Investment Initiative for the 2009 legislative session. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell is banking on a nearly $12 million investment into alternative clean energy projects to create at least 1,200 jobs. And California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, recent host of an international summit on the issue, has repeatedly thrown his political weight behind clean-technology businesses. But there a
Where is President-elect Barack Obama headed with environmental protection and renewable energy? The answer lies not so much in the encouraging but ultimately self-serving video posted on the transition team's Web site on Friday, but rather on links elsewhere on the page. In particular, look at the appointment of senior transition official Rose Mc
There have been a few sparks generated in this space recently. But what excites me more are the sparks being generated in my basement. That's right, I'm finally generating my own electricity.
The Green Grid has thrown its support behind the new European Commission's Code of Conduct on Data Center Energy Efficiency. While critics regularly assail the EC's voluntary Codes of Conduct as toothless, the latest code offers much-needed guidance for data center operators.
The Climate Group, a global coalition of governments and businesses, today is expected to announce specific policy recommendations for the U.S. federal and state governments to use so-called "smart" monitoring and metering technology to reduce environmental damage.
It's quite tempting to dismiss Dell's claim today that since 2005 it has saved consumers $3 billion in energy costs and spared the environment 29 million tons of CO2. The savings, says Dell, came through power management and energy efficiency features found on the OptiPlex desktop, Latitude laptop, and Precision workstation.
At first, I thought it was some new Nigerian e-mail scam that slipped through my spam filter: "I designed and developed a really green pc. After months of hard work, I came up with a product that I think everybody will love." Right ... and you want me to send you money so you can buy back the patent or something?
My fellow blogger, Bob Evans, apparently was left slack-jawed upon reading a recent post of mine suggesting that we appeal to business interests to help save the environment. From what I gather, Bob believes that we should "protect" the environment but that the urge to "save the environment" is "silly." Also, he says, that by not ratcheting down the hype "we'll end up doing terrible damage."
Finding ways to turn Las Vegas's Consumer Electronics Show green should be like shooting khaki-clad fish in a barrel. Right? Everywhere you look, vendors are doubling down to waste more natural resources than the competition in the adjacent booth.
Chances are you don't remember EcoSynergy. It was an environmental firm that began making some noise 18 months ago at green gatherings. But Silicon Valley powerhouse Draper Fisher Jurvetson and angel investors are betting $2.3 million that you'll remember the company under its new name, Planet Metrics, after it makes its debut today.
Economics are fast becoming the lingua franca of the environmental movement. And that's a good thing.
OK, it's been all over the Web lately, but if you haven't seen the online teaser for the upcoming 60 Minutes episode this Sunday, it's worth taking a look.
SiCortex, which in September introduced what is arguably one the most energy-efficient high-performance computers, today is expected to introduce the Green Computing Performance Index (GPCI), a tool to rank the "greenest" computers.
Missouri voters stood alone yesterday in approving a renewable-energy ballot initiative. Californians rejected two measures, and Coloradoans rejected one. A nonbinding measure was passed in Massachusetts.
Renewable energy was given a faint boost of praise this evening in Massachusetts, where voters in 11 districts are voting -- in a nonbinding referendum -- whether to encourage their legislators to vote for a reduction in greenhouse gases. As of 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time, voting was running at a 2-to-1 margin in favor.
Kohl's Department Stores exhorts its customers to "expect great things." Judging from the retailer's eco-friendly efforts honored last week at the 2008 Green Power Leadership Awards, Kohl's customers already are seeing great things.
Now that Joe The Plumber has a manager, I thought I'd give equal time to Troy the Turbine Builder. United Steelworkers member Troy Galloway, in this video posted on a site operated by a group calling itself Cleantech and Gr
You can manage what you can measure. You can tame what you can name. However you choose to say it, it's becoming abundantly clear that any efforts to go green must begin with accurate and actionable measurements of energy consumption.
AMD today released its eighth annual Global Climate Protection Plan, incorporating for the first time the environmental impact its suppliers have on its finished goods.
Is there anything positive to be said about "carbon neutral" computing? The premise of carbon neutrality is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset.
AMD next week is set to release its annual Global Climate Protection Plan, its eighth to date. The environmental report is remarkable in its candor, according to those who've read advanced copies. In particular, its disclosure -- best guesses, really -- of how big its carbon footprint is when the entire product supply chain is considered. It's a task that relatively few manufacturers bother to take.
After noting recently that there was movement again in the portable fuel cell market, a reader dryly noted that we'd been down that road before and come to a dead end. More like an uneventful drive with no scenery and nothing but rest stops, I'd say. Regardless, there is a parallel road that isn't examined quite as often in the press: stationary fuel cells.
The Consumer Electronics Association offers a mix of optimism and green spin in the release of what it calls the "first industry-wide consumer electronics environmental sustainability report."
Hewlett-Packard yesterday provided a ray of sunshine amid some gloomy green-energy prognostications, announcing that it recently completed a 1.1-megawatt solar panel installation at its San Diego facility and that it would begin selling special-edition desktop PCs that consume 45% less power than its comparable PCs.
Need another reason to go green? How about stable, predictable energy costs?
The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday outlined the steps they are taking to not only measure power use in data centers but to give meaning to those numbers, as well. The Zenic goal is to create a standard for measuring efficiency.
In less than two weeks, as part of the National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference in Denver, the U.S. EPA, U.S. DOE, and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) will host the annual Green Power Leadership Awards to recognize those who advance the market for renewable electricity sources. Can't wait for those envelopes to be opened? Take a look at three other environmental winners from the computer industry.
Do you live in a red state or blue state? In less than three weeks, Californians and Missourians will vote on how to make their states greener.
Toshiba said last week at Japan's CEATEC show that it would begin incorporating fuel cells into some mobile products, including cell phones and laptops. Maxell also demonstrated a prototype at the trade show.
How many jobs can be created through a clean-energy economy?
Toshiba's new 14.1-inch laptop, the Satellite E105, has earned the company more green laurels and a Silver classification from the Green Electronics Council's EPEAT program. That sounds great, but when you look closely, Silver has a dull finish.
What's the total cost of ownership of IT? It depends on who's footing the bill. When it comes to the environment, of course, we all do. And that's why it's important to consider IT sustainability in its entirety, from cradle to grave.
It takes green to go green. That's readily evident based on data released yesterday by Enterprise Management Associates that shows that the larger the enterprise, the more likely the business will sink money into greening its IT.
You're familiar with the tired phrase, "eating your own dog food?" Well, I'm here to tell you that I've begun eating my own granola. Rather than simply espouse green computing, if only by tracking eco-friendly developments on the Web, I'm about to launch a green computing experiment in my basement.