From the "you’ve GOT to be freaking kidding me" department:
Dell’s Virtual Plant a Tree for Me program into the computer game Second Life has many tech savvy people wondering if this represents a new low in Earth Day marketing tie-ins. It looks like in the rush to pander to green-ness, some Dell executives maybe didn’t think beyond the boardroom door.
Yes that’s’ right, you can plant a virtual tree in a video game for Earth Day. And, Dell is only too happy to take a couple bucks from you in the process as well for their real tree planting program designed to assuage your guilt at using a computer that uses electricity.
You have to wonder just how hypocritically lazy some people might be to take this offer seriously, though with 5.7 million "residents" in the Second Life game, I suppose its hard to deny that this offer would have an impact.
Just how much electricity is used by PC’s in pursuing this pointless exploit in "green-ness"? And with Dell soliciting and online Earth Day Party, that will tie up PC’s, routers, and Servers nationwide, using even more electricity. There’s no mention in Dell’s press release of the expected carbon footprint on this bogus promotion. Maybe Gore will fly in on his private jet to make a “virtual appearance” to preach to the faithful.
But since some people nowadays seem incapable of disconnecting themselves from the virtual world of gaming, it stands to reason that a virtual eco-delusional activity might very well appear valid to them.
Maybe next the researchers at Berkeley can tap into the seti@home background processing idea and instead of searching for intelligent life in radio-telescope signals, we could program our wasted CPU cycles to grow virtual trees on a screen-saver. It could boast onscreen counts of virtual carbon sequestered, and virtual O2 produced. I can smell the virtual fresh air already!