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New push to curb 'cyberwarming' from computers

Google, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard pledged this week to develop and use more energy-efficient computers and computer components.

Dell previewed an ultra-small desktop they say will use 70 percent less energy for Earth Day.

Business Wire

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A new term may be joining the jumble of climate-change jargon: cyberwarming.

That's the new lingo being used to denote the tremendous amount of electricity consumed by the world's millions of computers, which adds to greenhouse-gas emissions.

A Climate Savers Computing Initiative, spearheaded by industry leaders such as Google, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, pledged this week to develop and use more energy-efficient computers and computer components.

That could cut the amount of electricity computers consume by 50 percent in the next four years, saving $5.5 billion in electricity costs, the consortium says. Annual greenhouse-gas emissions would drop by 54 million tons annually – the equivalent of taking 11 million cars off the road or shutting down 20 large coal-fired power plants, according to a story on the initiative by the Associated Press.

Energy Star, a program operated by the Environmental Protection Agency, already sets power-efficient standards for many appliances including computers, The Wall Street Journal reports. The proposed standards would use that requirement as a starting point and set stricter standards over the years.

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