Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

10 Green Heresies – According to Wired (Part II)

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Continuing the post from last week re: Wired’s article – “Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green“.

6. Accept Genetic Engineering
Genetically engineer crops to lower greenhouse emissions.
Role of IT: Unclear.

7. Carbon Trading Doesn’t Work
Carbon credits and trading (whether you think they work or not) are enabled by electronic markets. Role of IT: High.

8. Embrace Nuclear Power
The claim is that nuclear power is the “Most Climate-Friendly Industrial-Scale Form of Energy.” Depends on how you look at it, e.g., nuclear waste material. Role of IT: Modest.

9. Used cars – not hybrids
Wired suggests that buying a (small) used car is better than a new Prius. Role of IT: Modest.

10. Prepare for the worst.
No paraphrasing here: “Climate Change Is Inevitable. Get Used to It” IT will be critical in monitoring use, and feeding it back to us in ways that help us to make small but important changes on an every day basis.

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

One thought on “10 Green Heresies – According to Wired (Part II)

  1. Telecommuting is a simple cost effective way to get cars off of the road. Unfortunately, too many managers do not trust a large bulk of there staff to work proficiently from their home.

    Management does have some legitimate concerns. However, these concerns can all be addressed with a new format of telecommuting based on Remote Office Hosting Centers. Remote Office Hosting Centers would be managed and leased out by commercial real estate management companies. They would lease office space to employees from different companies in a center based on location – not company. ROHCs would provide professional grade network access (and support), professional phone systems, a mail stop and card scanner security systems, which could be used to track employee attendance and work hours. Remote Office Hosting Centers would be located near or in population centers throughout suburbs and cities, so that employees would not have to commute to the company office.

    With Remote Office Hosting Centers, employees would go to a real office. However, instead of driving across town or down town to a centralized office, the employees would drive down the street to a converted industrial park, strip mall, or office building that leases office space out as an ROHC. There usually is an office building near where people live, but it usually is not owned by the company you work for. Rather than workers going to the office, ROHCs bring the office to the employee.

    Remote Office Hosting Centers would require companies to lease office space, but companies are already doing this. In this scenario, companies out source office space to office retailers.

    Remote Office Hosting Centers would get cars off the road. However, since ROHCs address many management concerns, they have the potential for greater level of adoption the traditional telecommuting. I have created a web site that describes the advantages of Remote Office Hosting Centers.

    http://www.remoteofficehostingcenters.com/

    This web site allows leasing companies to list their locations and facilities so that anyone looking to find an ROHC will have a place to get a list of centers in their area.

    This presidential election may in the end be decided by who ever is able to solve the ongoing fuel crisis. Taking 5-10% of commuters off the roads through the use of telecommuting and Remote Office Hosting Centers would go a long way towards solving the energy crisis. All that congress need to do is provide tax credits to companies that allow workers to telecommute. The savings in fuel and road maintenance would more than offset the tax credits, as wells as cut down on green house gases.

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