Green IT specialist reveals impact of ICT on climate change in public talk

Zero carbon networks, cloud computing, server farms and electric roads are among the topics that will be presented by Bill St. Arnaud, one of Canada’s most prominent figures in the information and communication technologies, in a public lecture as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series.

The lecture takes place Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College’s Kalamalka campus.

St. Arnaud, former Chief Research Officer for15 years at CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Internet Development Organization, is now a Green IT networking consultant who works with clients on a variety of subjects such as the next generation research and education and Internet networks. He also works with clients to develop practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as free broadband and electrical highways.

“We must now focus on how to adapt to a much warmer planet,” St. Arnaud said. “ICT can be a powerful instrument in helping society adapt to this new world. But unfortunately ICT itself has become the heavy industry of the information age. CO2 emissions from ICT exceed that of traditional heavy industry smelters, steel mills and cement plants with a continuing dramatic growth rate of over 6% a year. At this rate ICT will represent 12-20% of all CO2 emissions by 2020”.

 “Energy efficiency is not enough,” explained St. Arnaud. “We don’t have enough time to reduce emissions of ICT through energy efficiency.  We need to find alternate solutions that enable ICT to become zero carbon immediately.  Building zero carbon networks, data centers and computers will be our major task in the coming years.  We also need to design ICT solutions that can survive dramatic climate disruptions such as floods and droughts”.

St. Arnaud is a regular contributor to the CBC’s technology show Spark and he also publishes a number of blogs including “Future Internet, R&E Networks, Green Internet, Green IT” and “Green Internet and Cyber-Infrastructure”.

The Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College) is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Starbucks Coffee, Sweet Caroline’s Bakery, and the Vernon Morning Star.

 Admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door. For advanced tickets and more information, visit the Okanagan Science Centre at http://www.okscience.ca or call (250) 545-3644.

 For more information, contact:

Carl Doige, Okanagan College (250) 545-7291 ext. 2286

Sandi Dixon, Okanagan Science Centre (250) 545-3644

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