Environment Variables
The Week in Green Software: AWS & Scope 3 Emissions Data
May 17, 2023
Host Chris Adams is joined by the GSF’s Asim Hussain on this episode of The Week in Green Software. They discuss some interesting news about Amazon, AWS and their scope 3 GHG protocol emission data. We also find out how Python has got its Mojo back and we have a very exciting tool from Catchpoint WebpageTest for measuring site’s carbon footprint. Finally, some great green software events that you can be part of!
Host Chris Adams is joined by the GSF’s Asim Hussain on this episode of The Week in Green Software. They discuss some interesting news about Amazon, AWS and their scope 3 GHG protocol emission data. We also find out how Python has got its Mojo back and we have a very exciting tool from Catchpoint WebpageTest for measuring site’s carbon footprint. Finally, some great green software events that you can be part of! 

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Transcript Below:
Asim Hussain:
I think in an organizational perspective, scope three is turning out to be quite an amazing lever to drive change cuz by calculating the scope three, they're also applying pressure to their suppliers and saying, reduce your scope three, reduce your emissions, reduce effectively your scope one and two and your three or our go to another supplier.

Chris Adams: Hello, and welcome to Environment Variables, brought to you by the Green Software Foundation. In each episode, we discuss the latest news and events surrounding green software. On our show, you can expect candid conversations with top experts in their field who have a passion for how to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of software.

I'm your host, Chris Adams. Welcome to another episode of this Week in Green Software, where we bring you the latest news and updates from the world of sustainable software development. I'm your host, Chris Adams, and in this episode we have interesting news about Amazon and AWS. A programming language with a lot of Mojo and some exciting events coming across from the world of green software, as well as some interesting news with WebpageTest

before we dive in though, let me introduce my esteemed guest and colleague for this episode of this week in green software, which we sometimes call TWiGS, today we have Asim Hussain. Hi Asim.

Asim Hussain: Hiya. So my name is Asim Hussain. I am the executive director and chairperson of the Green Software Foundation. I'm also the director of Green Software at Intel.

Chris Adams: Cool. All right. And most recently, learning about throat singing to go along with your mushroom collection.

Asim Hussain: I'm also becoming quite musical, so I've actually bought, I've actually got two flutes since we've met Chris. I've bought two flutes, a guitar, and, wait, what else? Oh, there's another musical instrument I can't quite remember. Anyway, yeah,

Chris Adams: That's three musical instruments

Asim Hussain: my voice. My voice. That was it. I've been taking singing lessons. I knew there was a third I.

Chris Adams: that's pretty cool. My wife is a trained musician and she's been teaching me the spoons, so that's basically all I have forgot to go with.

Asim Hussain: My wife is also a classically trained musician. She speaks it very hard to be somebody who's learning music inside a house because yeah, anyway, there's

Chris Adams: Wow. I did not know.

Asim Hussain: yeah, yeah. Both quite musical. Yeah. We've got, our partners are quite musical. There you go.

Chris Adams: Okay. And if you are new to this podcast, my name is Chris Adams. I too am one of the directors of the Green Web Foundation, a small nonprofit working towards an entirely fossil free internet by 2030. So before we dive into the rest of this show, it's worth sharing. All the links and all the discussion we do, we will share it in show notes with this.

And the general format is to basically look at some stories in the news relating to green software and share a few reckons on them. And you're very welcome to come chime in with your comments, uh, afterwards as well. Okay, Asim, should we start?

Asim Hussain: Yeah, let's go for it.

Chris Adams: Okay, so story number one is AWS Amazon Web service confirms Scope three GHG emissions data will be made freely available to customers in early 2024.

This is a story from Computer Weekly, and as Amazon is one of, is basically the largest provider. This feels like a fairly big deal Asim, especially when you bear in mind that this may bring AWS's Customer Carbon Footprint tool up to kind of parity with some of the other providers like Google and Microsoft.

Asim Hussain: Yeah, I remember when AWS first came out with their tool. Probably there's a lesson learned here for cloud providers when you come out with carbon measurement tools, make sure it's got scope three in it, because almost all the news are like, great, but where's scope three? Because it's so essential and it's such a large figure cloud providers.

I've heard an argument for smaller cloud providers where they don't own, physically own the data centers with which they are providing services, that an argument can be made that it's so much more challenging to obtain the Scope three data there. But when you own your own data centers, the expectation is that you're going to be able to have to provide that, that data.

Cause it is such a significant number.

Chris Adams: Hi, I'm so sorry, Asim. I realize we've just dived straight into a jargon without even just telling it all what scope one, two, or three might actually be. So I'll just quickly, for those who are new to the subject, or folks who have never heard of the GHG, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, essentially this is a way.

The kind of defacto standard for measuring the carbon footprint of any organization or any activity. And, uh, you typically split it into three kind of buckets of emissions. And because we are nerds or developers and drink coffee, we can use hot beverages as the mechanism from standing. The difference between scope one, two, and three, you can think of scope one, which is from combusting fossil fuel.

That's a bit like. Turning on gas to heat up water so you can have a nice cup of coffee. Alright, scope two. It's like turning on an electric kettle so someone is setting fire. Something to heat up some water somewhere to generate electricity so that you can heat up a kettle. So it's all the emissions associated with electricity that you might purchase, for example.

Now Scope three is a little bit like walking into a Starbucks or a third wave coffee shop, and then. Buying a cup of coffee. So you are not involved in actually farming beans or burning anything, but there is definitely a supply chain associated so that you can have coffee. So these are the three kind of scopes, and typically Scope one and two are quite the common ones that organizations tend to report on. But for these, for lots and lots of organizations, scope three can make up 80% plus of the environmental impact. And this is why we've been talking about it as being quite a big deal because if you do not have 80% of your reported numbers, they may look somewhat different to the other providers.

Asim Hussain: And I, that's a really great, is the word analogy or metaphor? A

Chris Adams: Analogy I think is you.

Asim Hussain: yeah. And I'm gonna use that as well. That's wonderful. And I also realized, as I was saying that I think I may have given the impression in my previous statement that Amazon just made the casual choice not to include Scope three, and I don't think that's, that was the point.

Scope three calculation is hard. It's extremely hard. It's extremely hard to get right. There's a lot of error bars. It's really obvious a lot of the time what to choose, what values to choose, what to input, and so that's why perhaps Amazon's taken this long to come up with the Scope three data because they've been spending a lot of time making sure they wanted to provide Scope three data that they were comfortable with providing.

I just wanna state that it's quite complicated cause as you can imagine, going into Starbucks and trying to figure out. How much a coffee with all the components you can imagine that come up to delivering that coffee to Starbucks, the shipping, the person in the farm, making it, growing it, all of that stuff is someone needs to calculate all of that stuff and it's very, very hard.

Chris Adams: This is indeed true, and even when organizations are reporting Scope three, there's sadly 15 separate subcategories beneath it, which makes it even more complicated a lot of the time. And there is another thing which makes it even harder, is that when you're trying to record Scope three, it's one of the parts of this protocol where.

There isn't the same concern about double counting in other places, cuz initially when the GHG protocol was actually put forward, the idea was that you would use your own scope three figures as something that you wouldn't necessarily compare to another provider, but you could compare to your own performance over time as a way to track your glide path to something which might be avoiding climate apocalypse at an organizational level. However, this is one of the things that has actually made Scope three quite difficult for people to understand because this double counting issue is prevalent in this kind of scope and not so much in some of the other parts.

So yeah, that's one we can dive into. And what I'll do is I'll share a link to that picture. Cause I've got a nice diagram for the coffee one I just shared with you. Yeah.

Asim Hussain: that's the go. But also I think you raised an interesting point with the whole idea of double counting, cuz I wanna dive into that just a little bit more, think it's interesting, so for instance, it's quite easy with like scope one. Like you, if I have an oil drum in my front yard and I'm burning something in it, No one's double counting that.

That's not in your yard. We know that's not in your yard. We know it's in my yard. It's very easy when I'm buying electricity because of the way that you have to trust the system works. The database is actually like allocating that kilo hour to me it only goes to one other person. Whereas with supply chain is quite interesting cuz your scope one and two, if you are a manufacturer, your Scope one and two will actually be another.

Organization's Scope three.

Chris Adams: Indeed.

Asim Hussain: So I believe. The theoretical idea is that if every company, an individual in the world calculated the scope one and twos, that would all sum up to this wonderful total, which is equal to the total of carbon emissions in the world. And you're right, scope three is just, just nice to have.

But I think in, in an organizational perspective, scope three is turning out to be quite an amazing lever to drive change Cuz by calculating the scope three, they're also applying pressure to their suppliers and saying, reduce your scope. Three, reduce your emissions, reduce effectively your scope one and two and your three or our go to another supplier and it's providing that pressure, which I think is really, I dunno if that was intentional or an accident, but it Yeah, I can see the, I can

Chris Adams: This was one of, this was one of the, I think this was one of the principles initially, and there's some very explicit principles designed for the kind of GHG protocol. The other thing that's worth sharing that we might refer to a little bit later before we dive too deeply, is that there is actually a whole process of redesigning how people measure this stuff.

And what we can do is we can share a link to a kind of summary of some of the responses to the World Resources Institute saying, Hey, we're thinking of updating how we measure carbon emissions. Cause there are some problems with the current approach. What do you think? So there's some stuff there that we'll share to, but we'll share a link to, but we won't be able to dive too deeply into it because Asim, I think the two of us are getting outta our depth pretty quickly.

Asim Hussain: that depth. Yeah. Um, but anyway, one of the, Part to this title that my mind zoomed in on. It says AWS confirmed scope three GHG emission data will be made freely available to early 2024. Why was the word freely added? It seems weird. A census could work without it. So the fact that freely is there implies that, can you pay for it now?

Chris Adams: The reason is that if you are a publicly traded company and you need to do your own reporting, there's actually been a while where you. If you spend enough money with that with Amazon under an nda, you can get these numbers. Alright? Now the thing is that basically means that only people who are spending above a certain figure ever get to have an idea about this.

And it also means that if these figures aren't in the public domain, then it becomes very difficult to have a data informed discussion about where we're moving with any of this stuff. And this is. Important when you have the largest provider, which has an organizational carbon footprint of 60, 70 million tons each year, which is, this is like a small European country level basically.

So this is one of the things that has been problematic. So hopefully this may be a reference to saying it becomes available for everyone so we can finally have some understanding around this. But as opposed to just only the people who wanna do an NDA on that, cuz there is a kind of prisoner's dilemma aspect when you basically only get your own numbers so you can get your own reporting, but you make it difficult for anyone to have any kind of effective policy interventions on this at a kind of more wider and societal level.

Asim Hussain: Yeah. Yeah, very brilliant. So basically my personal website is hosted on Amazon s3. So I mean, I was always a major custom of Amazon's prior to this, so now I'm able, but even, I didn't even, I didn't classify, uh, to getting the data, but even now I'll be able to get, anybody can get it. Okay.

Chris Adams: Yeah, next year, eventually. Yeah, so

Asim Hussain: year, sorry,

Chris Adams: we early 2024 basically just in time for the law to make sure it's absolutely essential anyway, so you do feel like, alright, organizations have to report this in 2024, so this May, maybe there's some link between that and all these new laws landing, which have reporting deadlines in May, 2024.

Possibly. We'll see where that goes.

Asim Hussain: it's weird. Weird cause and effect here, isn't it? I wonder. Yeah,

Chris Adams: Oh, we'll see. It's good. It's good to actually see the progress and this does make it easier for any responsible professional to start understanding some of the impacts associated with their use of digital services. Alright, next one. Next story. Up.

Asim Hussain: Yep, yep. Yep.

Chris Adams: This is another one continuing our kind of Amazon tip, which is Amazon's SusScanner for cloud formation templates.

This was shared by Charles Roberts, senior Security consultant at Amazon, and from what I can tell, this is now an open source tool, which can basically scan your cloud formation code to give you an idea of where you might make some improvements. And it's, this is largely referring to some of the kind of pillars, architected pillars, and sustainability from AWS.

And assume, I think you folks might have done something like this in your old Microsoft days about having some recommendations and pointers for this, right?

Asim Hussain: yeah. Maybe I'll just take a step back and talk a little bit about the well architected kind of framework itself, which is, Amazon's got one and Microsoft has one that's also called the Well Architected Framework.

Chris Adams: Oh,

Asim Hussain: I believe Amazon's came first. I used to think all that the well architecture framework was, cuz if you go to the website, you'll see well architected framework and they have I think four or five pillars secure to your reliability, this and that and the other.

And it's advice for how. If you want to build a reliable cloud application, this is how you should build a reliable cloud application. Now, for the longest time, I just assumed it was just advice on our website, but it turns out it's actually a scoring system. And so what Amazon Cloud consultants do and so does Azure ones, is when you work with the customer is it's the scorecard.

You go through and you ask 'em questions about their infra, about their system. Based on their answers, it gives you a literal score and you get a number afterwards. And that number can indicate how much work you need to do to rectify. And so when they added the sustainability pillar, what they also did was they added a bunch of questions.

And if you don't, if you answered no or however it was structured to those questions, you got a yes or no, you got a certain score. And so from my understand from this is cloud formation, is there is what you call it now, infrastructure as code? Is that what Cloud I believe, yeah. It's infrastructure as code.

So it's textual description in configuration files for how your application is defined, and it effectively runs it against that, those scores, and it sees what's your number, and it basically gives you a sustainability score, which is really cool. That's to say, yeah, automatic sustainability score. Yeah.

Chris Adams: this is true. I think there are a number of tools that start, do start doing this, but having something riches in part of the ecosystem. Okay. It's better than not having this. So yeah, if you cut live it a Python, or if you ever have to manage anything related to some infrastructure as code and you're using cloud formation instead of Terraform or some other tool, then yeah, worth a look all.

Asim Hussain: I think from when I, I had an original chat with the, with Charles. I don't believe Charles was the actual person who authored this, but he's the one who shared it. Currently. It's automatically scanning stuff and comparing it to AWS world Architected pillar rules, but you can create your own as well, so you can create custom rules for it, perhaps to your makeup or perhaps other people can come up with their own rules for what makes a good sustainable application, add it to that framework as well. So yeah, it can be

Chris Adams: Wow, I didn't know that. Cool. All right. Next story coming up is Mojo, possibly the biggest programming language advance in decades. This is a link to fast ai. Yeah.

Asim Hussain: It's quite a headline. Quite a headline. Mojo may be the biggest programming language advanced in decades. Come on, let's talk about it.

Chris Adams: Okay, I'll, I, I actually read through this and I, I'm actually pretty excited about this and I shared this before because I do a bit of coding in Python as my kind of main working language, and Python is often maligned for being a slow language, even if it is a relatively pleasant language to be using.

Asim Hussain: Mm-hmm.

Chris Adams: But the general kind of gist of this story is that it combines the ease of use of Python, and it's designed as a kind of super set of Python so that you would actually have all the syntax and all the kind of ease of use and the familiarity of using Python. But you have a really smart compiler, so normally.

Like with kind of, you have different flavors of Python. So for example, there's like maybe Sea Python or Pi Pie or stuff like that. These take this and come up with some kind of much, much faster representation of that code, and there's limits to what you might have there. Now, Chris, what's the guy's second name?

Who's behind this?

Asim Hussain: Latner.

Chris Adams: Thank you, Chris Latner. Yeah, so LVM is known for creating a kind of where you might have things that kind of create assembly or stuff like that. It creates what's referred to as an intermediate representation. So this is like a piece of language, which is easy to turn into, really fast code for hardware.

One of the kind of innovations was that a project which he worked on was called MLIR, so a machine learning focused intermediate representation. This is particularly interesting because it means that you can have that same ease of use of taking something which is relatively easy to write and make something which is really easy to run fast on GPUs or TPUs.

I forget what TPU stands for, but it's a transformer processor unit perhaps.

Asim Hussain: Tensor processing unit

Chris Adams: Thank you. Yeah, tensor. So basically we fast AI essentially. And this essentially means that you get the speed of these really low level languages with a lot of this. And typically you could do bits of that. Like you might write something in Rust, which is like what the COR kids do, and then use some kind of bridge language.

But this idea is that there's like a subset of just extra functions you might type. So rather than typing deaf my function, blah, you just do. Fn my function, which is somewhat Rusty, and then your compiler knows that this part can be super duper fast and they're promising hundreds or thousands of hundreds or thousand fold speed improvement on this one, which is mind blowing in my view.

Asim Hussain: My initial first thoughts were, I've been a user of Python for a long time now, on and off, but it is been aligned for a long time for being slow, and I think that's unfair. Because you would never normally write the things that need high performance directly in Python. Like that's why Python is still used for machine

Chris Adams: Mm.

Asim Hussain: because what you end up doing is you import NumPy or, or even TensorFlow or something like that, and then you actually, your code is executed using those libraries.

Those libraries are written in C and c plus.

Chris Adams: Correct.

Asim Hussain: So a, I think it was off times maligned. And so I was like thinking to myself, is this really necessary? Because. You can still get that performance improvements. But I was just reading it again and I realized that it was a really important point here was that it's actually really hard to debug that.

Chris Adams: Exactly. Yeah.

Asim Hussain: And that's the really, I, as soon as I like read that, I was like, oh, of course. And now you can actually just debug Python code. It's not just gonna make a call to some external thing, mysterious black box that does something fast and you dunno what it's gonna do. You can step through, step by step.

And I think that's very interesting. That's right. Cause that was a learning experience that's really gonna help people. Build performance systems. Yeah.

Chris Adams: I am hoping this means that I don't need to learn how to try and learn Rust or something, to be honest, cuz there's lots of things which seem nice. But this basically is an alternative to having to learn yet another language because if it's gonna take me 10 years before learning Rust, then I'm not gonna be very far from retirement before I'm any good at coding in these new languages.

So yeah, that.

Asim Hussain: I never thought about it from that perspective, but you're right that a lot of people are gonna hate me for saying this. This could be a Rust killer. This could be like, there's a lot of people who know Python already and if this is gonna give you effectively Rust level speeds, which it would, it will do.

Cuz it's a system level, it comp compiles onto system level. That's very interesting.

Chris Adams: See now you see where I share that? See, kind of be exciting, right? Yeah. Alright. But for folks who are fans of Rust, it is the, I think, the most popular, most lovely programming language. This doesn't mean that you won't have a job. There's lots and lots of work for Rust, and I think Rust has actually been adopted in favor of C plus for a number of Microsoft projects now, cuz there's a lot to be said for.

Yeah, absolutely. So there's plenty of life in a Rusty world. Absolutely. And this isn't really out yet as well. We're not even sure if we're gonna have this as open source yet, but it looks like it might be in all the previous projects like LLVM and so on were open source so we can hold our fingers and hopefully Asim, we can stay relevant for maybe a few more years before we are consigned to the aging programmer trash pile.


Asim Hussain: know. There's, there's still people paid to code in a cobalt, so I think we're, I think we're all right.

Chris Adams: You're right. Okay. That's great. Let's hope that stays there and we don't get replaced by some form of machine learning in the future. Alright, should we move on from that one? Because that feels like it's about to just, I can see it yawning open ahead of us.

Asim Hussain: you mentioned AI. Let's close it down quickly and move

Chris Adams: Yes. Okay. So the next story is from an organization called Catchpoint.

And in particular there is a project called Webpage Test, which is an open source, a Web performance tool, specifically designed that's used by governments and lots of Web performance specialists to basically analyze pages somewhat like how we just described the well architected thing for Amazon Cloudworks.

So this is interesting in my view because webpage test is one of the most well known uses like Web performance tools. They've started incorporating the carbon measurements inside this, and it's a really nice quote from. I guess what I'll refer to as the godfather of cloud or what, what would you call Adrian Cockcroft?

Sustainability is becoming a higher priority for organizations globally. Not only is our ethical responsibility, but there are new regulations that will require companies to monitor and manage their environmental reporting, said Adrian Cockcroft, tech advisor and sustainability advocate. Carbon control is making it easy to take the first step by measuring the carbon footprint of a website, a Web application, whilst also providing actionable recommendations on actions that could result in improvements.

So that was like major praise. I was pretty excited to see that actually, because this is, this was like one of the former VPs of cloud and he's very much someone who cast a significant shadow across industry. So yeah, I saw that showing up in LinkedIn. I was like, Oh sweet result.

Asim Hussain: interesting. I remember he also mentioned, cuz Adrian was a year ago, he spoke, he gave a very, a really excellent talk, a very inspirational talk as in, I don't mean inspirational as in go and do it, but as in opening people's minds to the idea of monitoring as an action for this, it really helps inform something of me.

So I think I remember part of the post was, The creator of Carbon Control saying that the idea for it came from meeting at that Monitorama conference like a year ago and how that idea kickstarted this whole thing, which, yeah, which makes me, I always say the most powerful thing you can have as an idea.

So it's just goes to show, just having one one talk can lead to, yeah.

Chris Adams: The thing I might share with you is that success has many mothers. And this is also using a library called CO2.js, which includes some of these numbers, some of the kind of conversion practice. So if you have an idea for how much, what kind of resources a webpage might be using, this is what it converts into carbon figures.

So one thing I've shared a link to the Monitorama talk, cuz it's a really good talk and this kind of process from monitoring tool to carbon tracking tool. Dynatrace is another organization that does something like this. So there is a, it's a real kind of trend in my view, and it's really encouraging, I think.

Asim Hussain: Has Dynatrace added some sort of energy carbon tracking? I haven't seen that

Chris Adams: Yes, last week Max uh, Schulze from the SDIA, he referenced this and I didn't know about it before there. I'll share a link into their show notes. But yeah, they have their own carbon impact figures as well now. So.

Asim Hussain: There's so much stuff happening in this space. It's so amazing. Just, yeah.

Chris Adams: So who knows, maybe Datadog will do it and let's hope they don't charge 65 million per year for the privilege. Sorry, that's a nerdy joke about Datadog's recent investor reporting, realizing, and they mentioned that one of their providers was paying 65 million us.

Asim Hussain: million for.

Chris Adams: it looked like it was Coinbase.

People weren't paying attention, and suddenly the numbers went up. And when Coinbase realized there was a 65 million hole in the reporting and they had to explain what happened, and they said, yeah, someone realized that they weren't paying attention to it. So if you ever feel bad about cloud spend, yes, they,

Asim Hussain: So they literally, they, because of Coinbase's growth, they just hadn't factored in how much the observability was adding to the whole thing, and it just added to

Chris Adams: I think that was the idea. So this was like the, I think the canonical example of sometimes cloud can lead to people not paying too much attention to expenditure. But see, I've never done 65 million of spend before and I'm not sure I will, but that's now my kind of benchmark to make me feel better about myself if anything I have is not very efficient.

Asim Hussain: that, that Datadog account manager is driving around in a new Ferrari, I reckon.

Chris Adams: You hope so, or maybe not, because that's gone now. So they probably had a comfortable disc, had a discussion and said, Hey folks, are you sure you wanna be spending 65 million a year with us on tracking your logs and metrics? So there was actually something ongoing there. So there was some proactive outreach to say, folks, I'm not sure if you mean to do this.

Are you sure you wanna be doing this? Apparently,

Asim Hussain: We're just bringing it back to Catchpoint trying to, because you've been a Major S CO2.js, which is the Green Web Foundation's project. I did put the Green Software Foundation website through and fingers crossed and it, and we scored pretty well. I think there's still room for improvement. I thought believe we did score green, but why don't you tell people what does it tell you?

Chris Adams: So the main thing that webpage test does is it will look at your page and analyze it. And like we mentioned with Well Architect Checker, it'll basically. Tell you some things that you could improve based on what it's seen about your page. So if your pages are very large page and sending a bunch of JavaScript over the wire, which would result in a kind of poor experience for someone waiting for it to be loaded, it will say, maybe you shouldn't be sending such massive payloads over the wire, because it's not gonna be very much fun.

And it also is gonna have a impact on your end user's battery as well. Now what it actually uses is inside the library that we maintain called CO2.js. There are a number of different models, and one of the models that is in use is called the Sustainable Web design model, which is based on some peer reviewed literature. Basically saying for this amount of usage, which is right now is basically the data center of the wire. It basically makes some assumptions about how much energy use happens on the device, in the servers and in the networks. And this gives you some idea of what the actual missions might actually be.

So that's how it works, and you can link back to it and we can share a link specifically to see some of the assumptions for this. There's also a really nice post by one of the people who was actually advising on this and helping get this implemented, Fershad Irani, he's written about, okay, this is the things you need to make.

These are the assumptions we've had to make here, and these are the alternatives we might use in future for this. So this is designed to be a first step that you could then start improving this, cuz as we know Asim, all models are wrong, but some models can be useful.

Asim Hussain: This is the post that Fershad wrote about basically asking the question is network bandwidth the only metric we should be using and

Chris Adams: Yes,

Asim Hussain: between? Yeah. I thought it was a very interesting, yeah, very interesting thought. Cause I think, not how CO2 JS works, but I presume it just says JavaScript is equal to this,

Chris Adams: pretty much.

Asim Hussain: Yeah. So he was thinking about what if you could split and you would give the same carbon waiting to a kilobyte of a JPEG image as you would give to a kilobyte of a video image, but maybe there's a difference.

Chris Adams: Yes. So this was raised by Mike Gifford, who was. So he was a real kind of like sustainability and accessibility advocate based in Canada. He actually opened this issue in the CO2.js repository to talk about some of this stuff. So it's really worth looking and we'll share a link to that. But what we've done is we've shared a link called Is Data Transfer their best proxy for website carbon emissions?

Where he explains this and talks about where this is good and why this is bad. Because very much, a lot of the time, the tools you use to understand an environmental impact of something, it'll often be impacted or influenced by what data you have available because not everything is instrumented to provide the kind of levels of num uh, levels of detail that you would like to have at the moment, but we're getting there.

Asim Hussain: Yeah, like I think my response to him was like, like when it comes to models, as we just said before, like they have inputs and they have outputs, and you tweak the inputs to optimize the output. And so if the only input you have is bandwidth, that's the only thing you would tweak. If you separate it out bandwidth for image and video, and you saw that video is so much higher than image that would change the decisions that you would make, which I think is an interesting thing here cuz I, there's a balancing point between making something useful and ubiquitous and so everybody finds value out of it versus getting enough fine grain information. So the behavioral choices afterwards are the right or better people claim better choices.

Chris Adams: Yes. This is actually a nice segue to some of the events we might be discussing. Actually assume So should we look at some of these on then?

Asim Hussain: Let's go for it.

Chris Adams: the first one is Ottawa, the Green Software Foundation Meetup on the 24th of May.

Asim Hussain: Wonderful. Yes. I'm so excited about this one.

Chris Adams: Abhishek's talking. This is actually exciting cuz Abhishek has been quite involved in this as an

Asim Hussain: unfortunately he had to, for personal reason, had to pull out one at the last minute. It's, Henry Richardson is now giving a talk there, which is just as exciting cuz he's the, I dunno what his title is, at Watttime is Researcher.

Chris Adams: Lord of beards.

Asim Hussain: Lord of beards,

Chris Adams: does have an impressive beard here.

Asim Hussain: lord of beards, emperor of electricity, carbon emissions.

That's what he is by anyway. He'll be giving a talk and I believe also, yeah, Tajinder Singh from GitHub will be giving a talk on sustainable DevOps. Oh, we never heard that one. Have we yet? Su No. Yes, we have SusDevOps. We've heard that one before. No, we haven't. We've heard DevSusOps.

Chris Adams: no. Is this like the people's front of Judea? It does feel like it.

Asim Hussain: one of them will win out in the end.

Chris Adams: Oh, speaking of things with ops at the end, so Google and ThoughtWorks have a thing called green ops. That's their particular term that they use for this and on in Berlin, Google had an event talking about green tech and assume, do you remember your principles.green stuff?

Yeah. I'll have to share a picture. They saw them sighting your principles green and their own internal stuff. It was pretty cool. I've got a really blurry photo. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share it, but I could definitely tell you. It was definitely in the kind of presentation that was shared with various people at it.

Asim Hussain: Ah, brilliant. That actually I just checked now. We haven't actually deployed it. We're on the verge of deploying a change to principles.green. So actually all those pages are now going to get forwarded

Chris Adams: Oh.

Asim Hussain: to the new learn.greensoftware.foundation, the new, I forgot it suddenly, can't quite remember what we called it now, but our green software training.

But if the evolution of this page be.

Chris Adams: All right. Here's the elegant segue I was gonna be mentioning. So the SDIA has a hackathon on the 24th of May. Also in Berlin, where this is actually some work with the German Environment Agency, the equivalent, the Umweltbundesamt. I think they are actually hosting this event. With the SDIA, A Green Software Foundation member to do a hackathon about trying to understand the environmental impact of software.

And they have actually a whole set of tools and a hack day specifically for improving the environmental impact of open source tools. So there's a competition there. The reason I was mentioning this is because this was actually where the initial work with Mozilla to start exposing some of these numbers.

It initially took place. I met some folks at Mozilla and they explained how they've been able to reverse engineer the energy usage figures for visiting a page. So you can actually get some of the numbers, like the environmental footprint for JavaScript versus videos or pictures and things like that. So maybe here's to actually extending it some more so we can make that more available to more people.

So yeah, that's the 24th and available for everyone.

Asim Hussain: I've gotta say, that's the wonderful things about hackathons. It's not even really what happens on, it's not even necessarily who wins on the day, but it's the work that happens. It's the connections you've make and happens after us. I did not know that that may work that you've done with Firefox.

I don't think we've really talked in any great detail about at all. I think we definitely would love to be less deep dive on that, or even deep dive on CO2.js one day.

Chris Adams: We should ask some of the folks at Mozilla because there's a bunch of other things they're doing and there's a bunch of really cool stuff they've been doing with telemetry that I think would actually fit into this. Cuz I think there's a chance to create a kind of public data set, specifically be used on actual observed data rather than the model data that you see, right?

Asim Hussain: because they have data

Chris Adams: Yeah, exactly.

Asim Hussain: not in any nefarious way, but they must be collecting data.

Chris Adams: Anyone who runs a browser, they gonna Google collect this, probably Edge, have this as well. They've got a rough idea of, cuz every single organization would have to optimize this and try to reduce the kind of costs imposed on their users.

Asim Hussain: if it's anything like how it was at Microsoft, like you'd actually ask the users of the canary version of Edge and you actually, you would have a pop-up saying, do you want to give your data? And I go, 0.01% people say, yes, but that's enough to get like a significant amount data. So I imagine the firefighters doing the same out of, I just wanted to just make sure everybody's clear.

There's a hackathon in Berlin 24th of May. There's a prize of 1,700 Euros. That's Space Shack Berlin, which sounds amazing. Chris will be there, Max will be there.

Chris Adams: Yes, I am definitely gonna be there. Some, some of the Green Web Foundation, some of the SDIA folks will be there and I suspect some other people will also be around as well. So there's a nice group of people now said doing stuff in our little town, and I really like it. Actually. I'm very much enjoying it

Asim Hussain: our little town of Berlin. Yes.

Chris Adams: compared to London, where I moved from.

It does feel, yeah,

Asim Hussain: I always thought Berlin was huge. I've never really,

Chris Adams: the population is definitely lower, but it feels a bit more spacious.

Asim Hussain: Berlin. Anyway.

Chris Adams: All right,

Asim Hussain: Great stuff. So you

Chris Adams: back to London.

Asim Hussain: Oh, back to London. There we go. Always comes back to London. Yeah, so there's a London Green Software Foundation Meetup happening the day after on the May 25th at 6:00 PM UK time.

That is actually, I believe it's coming with the UBS offices in London, which have very cool offices actually. And it's also a special anniversary special. It's actually the two year anniversary of the birth of the Green Software Foundation, yet I will actually be there myself. There'll be networking, drinks and pizzas. Will there be a cake? We should definitely have a cake actually now that realized, yeah, there will be a cake. I dunno. Maybe there might be a cake.

Chris Adams: If you've got 10 days, alright, you who knows, you might even have cake pops. Easy for people to eat.

Asim Hussain: Great idea.

Chris Adams: Cake on a stick is the future my friend.

Asim Hussain: Cake on a stick. There we go.

Chris Adams: Yes. All right. Okay, so I think that's it for our news Roundup and list of upcoming events. This is the part of the show. We have a short show closing question to ask to our guests.

This is what we see. We've seen a number of meetups happening recently. If you could travel anywhere without too much impact in the environment, where'd you like to see, uh, meetup and why? I'll put that one to you. Asim.

Asim Hussain: Oh, that's a great question cuz you know, I would actually really like to see meetups happening in places where it is typically been very hard for, not for us, but for people to discuss. Other, other people with an interest in sustainability and find each other. So I often find in, especially in Asia, it's in the larger cities, it's usually better.

We've had meetups in Japan and some of the larger Indian cities, but I'd love to see, oh, I could travel. Oh, I probably wouldn't travel myself because there's a little bit too much impact, but I'd love for other people to go and travel locally to their local Asian GSF meetup.

Chris Adams: Okay, cool. I'm gonna be really boring here. I'm gonna say something like Vienna. Because never been to Vienna. Sounds like a cool place. And what I've been told is that Vienna is one of the cities where if you had like electric scooters and things like that, you had dedicated places to put them rather than putting them in the middle of the pavement.

So there are car parking spaces dedicated for that. And there's even an app in Vienna. So if someone has parked it in the wrong place, you can take a photo. Send it to it. And then the people who are allowed to operate the scheme, they have an SLA to maintain, so they have to get it moved within four or five hours, otherwise they get fined.

This feels like a really interesting use of public space and I feel like, yeah, I quite like using some of these scooters, but I don't like how if you are in a wheelchair they can get in their way and it doesn't feel like it's the best and most equitable use of space. And this felt like a really nice a way to address some of those issues.

Asim Hussain: That sounds lovely. Yeah.

Chris Adams: Yeah, so Vienna, that's what I would say. Alright. Okay. That's all for this episode of The Week in Green Software. All the resources in this episode are in the show description below and you can visit podcast.greensoftware.foundation to listen to more episodes of our podcast. Finally, I think huge thank you.

I've really enjoyed chatting with you again, Asim, nice to see you. So yeah, take care of yourself, mate. Lovely seeing you. Too-da-loo. Ta everyone.

Asim Hussain: Bye.

Chris Adams: Hey everyone. Thanks for listening. Just a reminder to follow Environment Variables on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And please do leave a rating and review if you like what we're doing. It helps other people discover the show, and of course, we'd love to have more listeners.

To find out more about the Green Software Foundation, please visit greensoftware.foundation. That's greensoftware.foundation in any browser. Thanks again and see you in the next episode.