Is Second Life sustainable ecologically?

A facinating discussion about the power consumption of Second Life got started over at Clickable Culture as Tony Walsh claimed that SL avatars were consuming as much electricity as people in Brazil. This was picked up on Rough Type where SL CTO Cory Ondrejka commented:

Anywhere SL goes you have markets — to the tune of US$3.5 million a month exchanged for US$ — as well as education, jobs, etc. Think about China, for example. 1% of China is urbanizing a year, so that’s 13 million people a year moving into the equivalent of 2 new New York Cities a year, seeking jobs, education, and opportunties. If you could instead take broadband, power, and computers to the rural areas — carrying SL and markets with them — how much power would you save? Or, if doing business collaboration in SL allows you to save 5% of your travel budget, how much energy do you save in giving up 1 flight in 20? The full carbon picture is where the interesting questions are. How do virtual worlds allow you to dodge traditional geographic limitations?

This is also related to the Power Mesh

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