Jack Townsend, via Grist
Jack Townsend, via Grist

…we have an incredibly powerful tool for sustainability right at our fingertips, and we don’t even realize it. In fact, you’re using it right now. It’s literally at your fingertips!

It’s the internet — that little old thing that has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives in just a matter of decades. Most people use the web as a vehicle for communication, expression, and learning, but really, it’s a vast piece of infrastructure that we could be deploying in the fight for sustainability, right alongside solar panels and urban farms.

A 2013 study from a think tank that researches market-based solutions to climate change found that using internet-connected sensor networks (aka the Internet of Things — check out our video explainer here) to do things like match energy output with demand, improve the efficiency of internal heating systems, better regulate water use, and route vehicles around traffic could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by as much as nine gigatons by 2020. That’s the equivalent of the 2010 emissions of India and the U.S. combined.

Read the rest on Grist.

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