Here’s a PCWorld piece wondering whether the “green” trend in information technology is a fad or a fixture, “Green IT: Popularity Due to Savings or Morals?” One beef I have with the piece is that it presupposes a conflict between “morality” and “efficiency” concerns. Isn’t it a part of morality to be concerned with waste and economic stewardship?
These need not be contrasted in such a way, as is evident by the words of Brian Cobb, senior vice president for enterprise systems management and IT at Fannie Mae and a presenter at IMW: “In IT, we have a responsibility to be as efficient as possible.” Surely at some level that responsibility has an explicitly moral component, even if it is cast in purely utilitarian terms.
What we have at play often are competing moral claims, not explicitly moral vs. immoral/amoral claims. To present the case otherwise is a rhetorical choice that skews the argument, whether intentionally or not.
So here’s a brief tip for the article’s author Johanna Ambrosio: You don’t need to oppose environmental stewardship and economic responsibility.