Special thanks to Zach Holman (who’s way too cool to ever read this anyway) for this fun little fact.
Computers require electricity, right? They use electricity for every second they are on, using more when there’s a lot of intense computation being done. This means that faster, more efficient programs require less energy to run. In turn, this helps slow down global warming, even if it’s just a super tiny bit. Conclusion: writing software that runs fast helps save penguins and polar bears.
It’s not even that silly an idea though. Consider if all computers on earth could somehow run 1% more efficiently. That’s a huge amount of energy being conserved right there! I sadly can’t find any hard numbers (someone needs to teach me how to find that kind of info) so I can’t do the math for you. It obviously wouldn’t be an earthshakingly huge number but not insignificant either.
I need to turn this into a nicely typographed poster and hang it above my desk as motivation.