Computing: A Climate Change Fighting Idea

[Editor’s Note: In this column we invited Katie Fehrenbacher, founding editor of, and a writer for, to write a column for us related to the upcoming Green:Net conference this week, of which EarthTechling is a media sponsor.]

Computing, Internet, and mobile technologies hold the key to creating a green economy, promoting energy efficiency and fighting climate change. Why? It’s all because software, networks and digital systems have a unique ability to manage “stuff,” in incremental amounts, from electricity on the power grid, to fuel consumption in cars to shared goods via the Internet to energy consumed in buildings.

image via Green:Net

According to a report from the Climate Group (the seminal researcher in this area), information technology could be applied across transportation, buildings, and the power grid, and reduce carbon emissions by 7.8 gigatons worldwide by 2020, or 15 percent below business as usual levels by that year. These are not reductions that WILL be made, but reductions that COULD be made if IT companies realize the potentials and savvy entrepreneurs innovate in this area.

For the past two years, GigaOM, and its greentech focused site Earth2Tech, have brought together an ecosystem of innovators, investors, tech execs, students, the media and policy makers for a day long event called Green:Net, where attendees learn about how these computing technologies are being used to reach our energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals.

This year the third annual Green:Net 2011 will be held on April 21, in San Francisco. Yep, just later this week, and a day before Earth Day! Exclusive for Earthtechling readers, we’re offering you folks a 25 percent discount, (get those tickets here) and we’re also selling student tickets (contact katie AT gigaom for student tickets).

While private equity firms, federal and state governments and early-mover power companies are investing billions in clean power, the technologies needed to promote energy efficiency are already here. They’re the same ones that powered the dotcom, the personal computer revolution before that, and the emergence of iPhone and mobile apps.

At Green:Net you’ll hear from thought leader speakers including:

  • NRG Energy CEO, David Crane
  • Google’s Green Energy Czar, Bill Weihl
  • The DOE’s Loan Chief, Jonathan Silver
  • Microsoft’s Environmental Strategist, Rob Bernard
  • Spring Venture’s Founder, Sunil Paul
  • Silver Lake Kraftwerk investors, Adam Grosser and Cathy Zoi (formerly the DOE’s Under-Secretary for Energy)
  • OPower co-founder, Alex Laskey
  • Control4’s CEO, Will West
  • Silver Spring Networks’ EVP & CMO, Eric Dresselhuys
  • eMeter CTO, Larsh Johnson
  • Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass
  • RelayRides CEO Shelby Clark
  • Airbnb Co-founder, Chief Product Officer, Joe Gebbia
  • Principal Otherlab, Saul Griffith

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

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