I love what the reviewer says here, it’s along the same lines that I’m talking about as far as under-consumption:
Twenty years ago, a book review such as this would involve a paper copy of a book mailed across the country. The reviewer would type on a very large and expensive computer constructed with a lot of plastic, metal and glass. It would have weighed 40 pounds, and would have been hauled across the Pacific on a diesel-fuelled container ship. The CPU “tower” would have had a fan in it to keep it cool. The reviewer may not have had such an elaborate piece of equipment at home, so he/she may have had to drive several kilometres to an office. The manuscript would have been physically printed on paper, placed in an envelope, and shipped back across the country to the editor.
In 2012, this book review was written on a tablet that weights 1.34 pounds. It uses hardly any electricity. I wrote it on the rooftop garden of my high-density downtown Calgary condo (ironically, looking out at the towers of EnCana, Husky Oil, Shell and Suncor). I walk across the street for a cup of coffee. And I e-mail it back to the newspaper. In other words, I’m producing as much as would have been produced 20 years ago, but with a small fraction of the oil, electricity, metal, glass, copper wire and plastic as before. It is possible to produce more with less carbon.