Right -- so where does this discussion stand?
The OP feels that running Folding@Home is a fruitless and wasteful use of electricity, which contributes too much to creating GHG and increase Global Climate Change -- more than any results or possible future results could justify.
I say to the OP: fine; you have every right to make that judgment for yourself and nobody is forcing you to run Folding@Home on your computer.
You have no right for calling us foolish for not agreeing with you. And you have no blessed idea about the relative academic and professional merit and ability of anybody involved with creating and running a large, cross-disciplined research project, such as Folding@Home. If you insist on denigrating those of us who disagree with you, then we are all done with this discussion.
I actually appreciate you bringing up this discussion (though I am quite upset with your conduct in doing so). Here's what I think on the subject:
We waste all sorts of energy; especially here in the USA. This is probably the single most important problem that the World faces, today. Global Climate Change is a very real problem (I'm glad that you are concerned about it, too!), and I have made as many personal changes to my overall energy consumption as I can:
Almost all of the light bulbs in my house are either CFL or LED, and we have (relatively) low consumption electrical appliances. I know what my refrigerator consumes in a day: 1.6kWh -- which is pretty damn good, especially considering it is a 27 cu ft unit! We use ceiling fans and NO A/C. Suffice it to say, our household electricity consumption has decreased significantly -- like by almost half in the several years that I have been trying to conserve electricity. This savings alone more than compensates for my running Folding@Home.
But, I have not been just conserving electricity! That alone will not solve the causes of Global Climate Change, as I'm sure that you are aware. I have made fairly extensive modifications to my car, and to my driving style (I call it ecodriving), as to raise my average fuel consumption 40-70% above the EPA Combined rating for my car (a 2005 Scion xA). This has saved ~630 gallons of gasoline in just the past couple of years. Since each gallon of gasoline (just in the gas itself, not counting all the embedded energy to find, extract,transport, refine, etc.) is worth 33.4kWh of electricity; brings the total savings to the equivalent of 21,042kWh -- that is more electricity than our household uses in about 2.5 years!
I am also designing an uber-efficient electric car
, that I hope to start building soon!
And that's not all sir/madam! We took advantage of a generous rebate from our energy company, to greatly reduce the cost of heating our house by insulating it, and after the $2K rebate, our out-of-pocket expense was just $740. We reduced our natural gas bill (during the winter months) from ~$350 by over $200 per month. So, as far as the costs go, we already more than recouped our costs, and the energy company will recoup theirs in a few short years. That is about a 60% energy savings; thank you very much! And it alone represents more than an order of magnitude more energy, than is additionally consumed by running Folding@Home.
So, as a cancer survivor, who is related to several Alzheimer's victims, and my concern for many of the other diseases
that are included in the Folding@Home project:
Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many Cancers and cancer-related syndromes
to the well considered conclusion to contribute in a small way, by running the Folding@Home client on my computers.
What say you, OP?