Thanks scdr for the upbeat message.
I am concerned about the environment, and am trying to do things in a more sustainable way, but I am not "OMG the sky is falling, global warming". There have always been big overhyped catastrophies, and if they were true, we should not be here. In the late 60's and early 70's, I remember that we should be out of oil by now, out of gas, and the whole country should have been buried in garbage 20 feet deep by now.
The planet warms up and cools down, and we might well be in a naturally occuring warming cycle. It is not clear how much of that can be attributed to humans. I believe that some small amount can, and we can do better, but we do not need to get too extreme. I see that even you turned on an evil power wasting device to be able to browse this thread and post a reply.
I am a computer engineer, have enjoyed computers most of my life, and am always doing something at home with computers. I have several in the house, and have several that run 24/7.
As long as I am going to have computers running 24/7 anyway, I thought that it would be good to donate some of my wasted CPU cycles to folding. Certainly folding is not the absolute optimal use of time or money to attack cancer, but it is a little bit that I can do and enjoy. And at least realistically for me, if I turned off folding, I would not then make the effort to research that optimal use of that time and money for charity, and instead, I would just pay a slightly lower electricity bill, and that would be the end of it.
Tuning my computers, and seeing the results of the point output, and a little friendly competition amongs the other folders is enjoyable. Certainly I could go hide in a cold dark cave for a hobby and do less impact to the environment, but I do not find that particularly appealing, and I think that as far as hobbies go, running a little extra power through my computers keeping them busy instead of idle is a pretty insignificant impact on the environment.