Well, here’s an interesting analysis of the lifecycle emissions of a computer. Turns out that computers require something like ten times their weight in fossil fuels to manufacture. Which is an order of magnitude higher than other durable goods, like cars and fridges, which only require about their own weight in fuel to manufacture. Oh, and the flat screen display accounts for the majority of it.
Okay, so I’ll concede that my computer is an order of magnitude more useful to me than a fridge (which after all, only does one thing). But it does mean that if we focus only on power consumption during use, we might be missing the biggest savings opportunities.