There is no climate protection project more efficient than greeNsort®: rolling out savings up to 51.3 TWh/year and 30.3 MtCO2e/year1 worth 7.1 Billion EUR/year has almost zero cost and with completed R&D it is risk-free

Research sponsors and start up-sponsors fail to fund a project that has less risk than research and better economics than start-ups, private charitable foundations are not allowed to fund technical R&D, patenting would fund the project but destroy its public value.

The most economic project

The economy, stupid — James Carville

has no business model

The market is a mechanism for sorting the efficient from the inefficient, it is not a substitute for responsibility — Charles Handy

and has no risk

I like to do high-risk and high-payoff kind of research — Susan Lindquist

it generates public and private value

There are systematic barriers for German non-profit foundations to fund the development of technologies — Lars Grotewold4

and hence lacks funding

Climate policy is a field mined by interests — Lars Grotewold6

Financing through patenting

The good patent gives the world something it did not truly have before, whereas the bad patent has the effect of trying to take away from the world something which it effectively already had — Giles Sutherland Rich7

Patents should provide incentives for economically efficient R&D

has negative impact on the public

The last thing the public want at this point is a patent holder holding out his test, vaccine, or cure — Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala

Clever governments compensate for market failures

The Critical Role of Federal Investment: In assessing how to maintain America’s leadership in networking and information technology, a common fallacy is to overestimate the role of technology development and to underestimate the role of fundamental research. In fact, computer science research, carried out to a great extent in America’s research universities with funding from Federal agencies such as DARPA and NSF, lies at the heart of this leadership. — Report to the President and Congress8

For example in the US

and attract talent from all over the world

we see that the United States has been, overwhelmingly, the largest contributor to algorithm development with 38% of all discoverers born there and 64% of all discoverers working there —  Thompson et al9

A US publication might be biased here, so let’s do a fact-check for the progress in sorting during the last decades (using a subjective selection of relevant works):

That’s more or less compatible with the above claim, well, unless the greeNsort® are taken into consideration.

Germany is trying to catch-up

The clean-IT Initiative was founded in 2020 by Hasso Plattner Institute … with a focus on Algorithmic efficiency and Sustainability by Design — HPI10

For example SAP via HPI states that to reduce the energy requirements of computer systems it is necessary to:

  1. Raise awareness about the energy footprint of computer systems — yes, what we tell everyone (including them) since 2010
  2. Find feasible methods to measure the energy consumption of computer systems and software — yes, that’s what our footprint measure does
  3. Take the trade-off between performance and energy consumption into account when creating computer systems — yes, and often the other way round: better performance can reduce energy consumption
  4. Establish algorithmic efficiency and sustainability by design as guiding principles in digital engineering — yes, and don’t forget simplicity and robustness
  5. Rethink IT architectures and algorithms — yes, what we do since 2010
  6. Apply clean-IT solutions on a broad scale in popular services and products — yes, for example scaling them via standard libraries

Software is like sex: It’s better when it’s free ― Linus Torvalds— 

  1. Estimation of MtCO2e = 0.59* TWh taken from forecasting model of the Lean ICT Report March 2019↩︎

  2. except the R&D and publishing costs (~1000 man-days) and costs for implementing the algorithms in libraries of popular programming languages (not estimated)↩︎

  3. “I recognized that information was, in many respects, like a public good, and it was this insight that made it clear to me that it was unlikely that the private market would provide efficient resource allocations whenever information was endogenous” — Joseph Stiglitz↩︎

  4. Stiftung Mercator, oral communication↩︎

  5. at least in Germany they would risk loosing their non-profit status↩︎

  6. Stiftung Mercator Interview with Dr. Lars Grotewold↩︎

  7. US judge, 1978 60 JPOS 271,288, cited in CIPA Guide to the Patents Act, page 83 and Gaster/Marlow, CRi 1/2009 pages 3-4↩︎

  8. Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology↩︎

  9. Building the algorithm commons: Who discovered the algorithms that underpin computing in the modern enterprise?↩︎

  10. clean-IT: Towards Sustainable Digital Technologies↩︎

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