How Not to Decrease Our Carbon Footprint

In what the (UK) Times termed "a considerable embarrassment", the Met Office "has spent £33m on a new supercomputer to calculate how climate change will affect Britain – only to find the new machine has a giant carbon footprint of its own. . . 14,400 tonnes of CO2 a year . . ." The Met Office appears to be rationalizing this based on the virtue of the project.

I have previously cited the Met Office as an example of an organization trying to do its best to balance Green ICT with the demands of ever-growing computing requirements. But it seems they missed an opportunity here.

We can all easily rationalize growing our carbon footprint based on virtue; aren't we all virtuous people doing virtuous things? The real trick is to figure out how to do more with less. Is this truly the most innovative technology for an exceptional energy/computing trade off? If this effort is truly worth its carbon emissions, could they have not have sacrificed less critical work to balance things out? UK residents can encourage the Met Office rise to the challenge and show the world how to master complex Green ICT trade-offs.