[Foundation-l] WMF-projects: Carbon neutral/low/aware website?

Kat Walsh kat at mindspillage.org
Fri Jun 8 12:17:52 UTC 2007

On 6/8/07, Walter Vermeir <walter at wikipedia.be> wrote:
> Alison Wheeler <wikimedia at ...> writes:
> > I don't want to get into discussion about Carbon-Neutral and the rest, but
> > have to say I would worry if we started putting the logo on the WMF
> > projects, and for one simple reason.
> >
> > Who is to say why *this* logo should be added? Why shouldn't the logos for
> > Breast Cancer awareness, Aids awareness, etc be added too? Or let's get
> > really serious and add the Taiwan flag proclaiming it is entirely
> > independent of China? or a Basque flag?
> [cut]
> Putting a logo or some sort expression on a WMF website is independent from the
> issue. This is not about putting logo's on websites but to be aware of the
> environment impact of the WMF-projects. And to try include those aspects as a
> factor when making decisions like buying hardware to consider the energy
> consumption as a factor.
> If the WMF would become carbon neutral then that could be included in the
> relevant Wikipedia articles and on some page on the Foundation website. I
> personally would not mind to show that by putting a logo on the website but
> there is no need to do that.

Though I support the principle of reducing environmental impact, I am
skeptical of this proposal.

We use a large amount of power. I imagine the expense of buying carbon
offsets to become "carbon neutral" would be a significant one, and I
think using our resources for something not directly related to the
mission would not be responsible. (And would we have to account for
all of the energy used by contributors to the site, also?)

(I am skeptical of carbon offsets in general. I think they are a fad
and have read that many of the programs set up to sell them are only
dubiously effective; I'd personally rather simply conserve power where
possible and support environmental causes as appropriate.)

There are a lot of good causes that we do not support directly because
they are not in line with the fairly narrow mission of WMF, all of
which you could say contribute in a broad sense -- feeding the hungry,
housing the homeless, and disaster relief, for example -- and I don't
think it is a failing if we do not attempt to tackle all of them.

We are currently motivated to conserve energy simply because it costs
less if we are efficient, and certainly I think we should take care
not to be wasteful! But anything beyond that is using the money that
people have given to us to further the creation and distribution of
free reference works, and putting it to another purpose -- as if we
had given it directly to an environmental organization. And I don't
think that this is something we should do.


Wikimedia needs you: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising
* *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mindspillage | (G)AIM:Mindspillage
mindspillage or mind|wandering on irc.freenode.net | email for phone

More information about the foundation-l mailing list