Matters of Scale - Pointless PC Pollution

PC Image


Number of office personal computers in use in the United States (2007 est.) 104 million
Estimated maximum share left on overnight (percent) 60
Resulting quantity of CO2 emitted per year by electric power plants (tons) 14.4 million
Number of automobiles it takes to emit the same amount of CO2 2.5 million

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Total number of personal computers in use in the United States (2005 est.) 231 million
Estimated quantity of CO2 emitted per year if 60 percent are left on overnight (tons) 32 million
Equivalent number of automobiles 5.6 million

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Total number of personal computers in the world (2005 est.) 906 million
Estimated quantity of CO2 emitted per year if 60 percent are left on overnight (tons) 125 million
Equivalent number of automobiles 21.8 million

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Forecast number of personal computers in the world in 2015 2 billion
Resulting quantity of CO2 emitted per year if 60 percent are left on overnight (tons) 277 million
Equivalent number of automobiles 48.1 million

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SOURCES: Office PCs, share left on, CO2 emitted, equivalent number of autos: 1E & Harris Interactive. Rest: World Watch estimates based on data from Computer Industry Almanac (total PCs) and Forrester Research (forcast PCs worldwide).

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