Compared to hairdryers, kettles and cookers PC's have very low power consumption. A computer only emits energy in a few forms:
1)light, from the display
2)sound from the speakers
3)heat from the resistance in all the tiny wires and components
Compare this with a kettle which although it emits power in only 1 way it is using it to heat water, a substance with a shockingly high specific heat capacity. To boil 1 kilogram (given water is used as a standard density this is 1 litre) of water from 20(degrees) c to 100(degrees) c and then boil it to steam uses
E=mc(delta T)+ ml where m is 1 kg, c is the specific heat capacity(4181 J/Kg), m is the latent heat of vaporisation(2260x10^3 J/kg). this comes out as 2.59x10^6 joules, even just the heating to boiling point without evaporating takes 334 Kilojoules. if that heating to boiling point(but not actually boiling) takes 1 minute then the kettle needs 5.5 kilowatts or so. A laptop usually needs less than 100 watts, i couldn't find the figures quickly but i doubt any desktop is over 1 kilowatt. Your computer should be safe.
I would suggest any EU bureaucrat thinking that average computers are damaging the environment should learn some basic physics, assuming that the blokes in Brussels can understand that i should think computers are quite safe from legislative lunacy. As for power consumption of other devices it makes sense for manufacturers to be encouraged to design devices with lower power consumptions, climate change (and more dangerous resource depletion) are very significant threats of the near future, so a higher VAT tax on the most power hungry appliances would make sense but a ban might just drive consumers "underground"
("want to buy a high powered hair dryer,mate?" [lifts up coat to reveal rows of older appliances hanging from hidden internal pockets] [potential buyer complains]"they were cheap in the shops" "but you can't get them in the shops no more!" ).
Ofcourse investment into nuclear energy sources, especially fusion power, would make the whole worry of carbon emissions, unreliable gas suppliers and peak oil a thing of the past, though some geoengineering may still be needed to clean up the climatic damage already done. Renewables are technically "OK" but they can't really cope with the sheer amount of electricity our society requires*.
*requirement is a non-negotiable fact, as a society advances it will always have higher power consumption than it did previously, the trick is to provide this power cleanly and reliably.
Edited by rp88, 01 September 2014 - 11:03 AM.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.
My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB