Issue No.6


Contents:
1. NEWS
2. THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE TO INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
A. SHIFT TO INTERNET COMMERCE
B. RECYCLING IMPROVES ENERGY EFFICIENCY
C. PAPERLESS NEWSPAPER FINALLY ARRIVES
D. INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES IMPROVE "LEAKY" APPLIANCES ON STANDBY
E. SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURERS TO REDUCE EMISSIONS
3. EDITORIAL OFFICE
4. CALENDAR

1. NEWS

This issue of the newsletter is a technology special bringing all news under the next section.

NOTE: The new study mentioned in the last issue under the heading EU RESEARCHERS ADVOCATE FULL FLEXMECHS has now been published on http://futures.jrc.es/PANELS/PANEL3/panel3.html; there at the top of the left page a line reading "Final Report" with a box beside it needs to be clicked on to open the report in Adobe Acrobat Reader's pdf format).

Quote of the week: “If you think mitigated climate change is expensive, try unmitigated climate change,” Dr. Richard Gammon, science professor at the University of Washington and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contributing author warning the U.S. Congress on June 28th (http://www.weathervane.rff.org/features/feature072.html).

2. THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE TO INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)
We at the ASIS project begin with the thesis that computer networks, along with lower transport costs, are helping make possible the current "globalization" of the economy. The Climate Change Action Group is continuing its debate on how to harness the powers of computer networks and globalization to counteract the twin challenges of world poverty and climate degradation. See the theses on the potential of information and communication technology outlined at http://members.tripod.com/ruddyconsult/theses.htm

There will be a face-to-face meeting of persons interested in discussing these theses at the conference on 27th July 1999 in Stuttgart. The resulting solutions will be covered in the next issue and submitted at COP5 in Bonn.

This issue of the newsletter first provides a look at potentially positive effects of computer networks to mitigate climate change in newsstories A, B and C. Any thorough technology assessment, though, also has to look at the negative effects of computer networks. We ask therefore how such negative effects could be minimized in newsstories D and E, which follow.

A. SHIFT TO INTERNET COMMERCE
U.S. industrial CO2 emissions droppped 1.2 % in 1998. Business Week magazine ponders whether the Information Economy could be the cause in its current issue dated July 26th, http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/july1999/nf90706a.htm. Reporter Evelyn L. Wright talked with Howard Geller, director of the NGO American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Geller argues that the emissions reduction was due to a drop in U.S. energy intensity, the amount of energy needed to produce a dollar of gross domestic product, http://aceee.org/press/pscore98.htm. ACEEE reviews and sells the 1999 book by Former Assistant Energy Secretary Joseph J. Romm entitled _Cool Companies: How the Best Businesses Boost Profits and Productivity by Cutting GHG Emissions_ at http://www.aceee.org/pubs/coolc.htm. Like Geller, Romm also speaks of energy intensity, predicting that annual reductions of 5% will become commonplace by the 2008 to 2012 period.

B. RECYCLING IMPROVES ENERGY EFFICIENCY
A recent German conference on environmental management featured presentations on a young company that coordinates car recycling better with the aid of the Internet, http://www.renet.de. Another speech dealt with a new application of an intranet at a major German chemical company to coordinate the use of scrap material, http://www.henkel.de. Selling organic food through electronic commerce was also shown. The recycling concepts will be described in the German-language proceedings to be published in December 1999 by the Institute for Ecological Economic Research, Berlin, http://www.ioew.de, mailbox@ioew.de.

C. PAPERLESS NEWSPAPER FINALLY ARRIVES
"A dynamic newspaper connected to your computer that gives updates in real time," it was called by Matt Howard, research and development engineer at Xerox. Together with 3M Corporation, Xerox has just introduced a form of "electronic paper" that can be used to make newspapers, magazines and books with plastic instead of wood pulp. Such products will be both reusable in the sense of being rewritten with information many times and recyclable as polyethylene and polyester. For details see http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jun99/1999L-06-29-01.html


D. INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES IMPROVE "LEAKY" APPLIANCES ON STANDBY
The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California has a Webpage devoted to standby issues at http://eetd.lbl.gov/leaking/. LBL also participated in a conference held by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, at which innovative devices were demonstrated from the US company Power Integrations Inc., http://www.powerint.com/discoverwinpr.htm, and the German company DIK, http://dik-power-safer.de/. Like LBL, IEA has a Webpage devoted to standby issues, http://www.iea.org/standby/. There the European Commission is said to be "currently negotiating an agreement with [the U.S.] EPA to use the Energy Star program for office products." The "Energy Star" program is also mentioned in an EC paper entitled "Policy Instruments to Reduce Stand-by Losses of Consumer Electronic Equipment," http://www.iea.org/standby/ecpaper.htm (COM/99/120/fin.1999/03/15/17p.). Recently a debate was held on these instruments in the Energy Council. The stand-by programme is also mentioned in the overall energy-efficiency strategy of DG XVII described at http://www.europa.eu.int/en/comm/dg17/c98246en.htm


E. SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURERS TO REDUCE EMISSIONS
In April members of the World Semiconductor Council (WSC) pledged to reduce emissions of perfluorocompounds (PFCs) from semiconductor manufacturing by 10% by 2010. In 1998 IBM pledged to reduce by 40% by 2002. Our thanks to ASIS member the European Business Council E5 for this information, http://www.e5.org/pages/ccg.htm#23


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