But the other part is the waste. Taylor sums it up here:
Mention environmentalism in relation to IT and it’s usually a debate about a CPU’s power consumption or clever power management modes and recycling scams. But as I found out after following up some of Diamond’s references, the total energy consumed during a PC’s lifespan is only about 19 percent of its overall energy impact – the rest is used during its production.
All too true, especially the part about 81 percent of the energy in computing being used to make the iron. That's about ten times of the weight of the PC, probably the most wasteful thing in common use on Earth. Cars have a 1:1 ratio.
I read an article about transportation a while saying that planes will be the first thing to go, because flight is so fundamentally costly. There's a lot of evidence that that is the case, with national airlines folding and a lot of the US ones in bankruptcy. Could the computer be the first thing to go? More importantly, and I don't know the answer, how can they be so cheap?