I can think of no more fitting irony than this "awareness raising" initiative by Google. Why such smart people at such a great company would get into this kind of goofy greenwashing? Anyway, this sums up the irony:
"As to why we don’t do this permanently – it saves no energy; modern displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display." This is pretty much analogous to all the (marginal) energy conservation programs like NC Greenpower. In other words, it’s sort of like this: if everyone stopped using Google to educate themselves on how to use fewer Google searches (and it worked) Google would have fewer incentives to invest in new algorithms and technologies for Web searches. ‘But the human mind is an unlimited resource and fossil fuels are not’ Google might reply.
The late great Julian Simon argued they – human ingenuity linked to the use of resources – are one in the same. Resources never run out. I think I’ll leave my computer on all night tonight.