anyone ever told you "premature optimization is the root of all evil"?
a friend of mine just dug up some numbers and did some math for my dyscalculic ass and came up with the conclusion that just by transmitting the minified version of jquery around (not even executing it!), Planet Earth is likely using up somewhere between 7-14 billion kWh of power every year.
let's put that into some perspective.
world war two was the single deadliest conflict in human history. it killed somewhere around 80 million people, which at the time was three percent of *all humans, everywhere.* it left europe in ruins, and nowhere was the damage so intense and horrific as the Soviet Union.
the Battle of Stalingrad is one of the most famous battles of the war. two million people died there alone. in the opening salvos the entire city was flattened by nazi and soviet bombs alike. eventually the Union prevailed, at a tremendous cost.
but Stalingrad was only one of the cities flattened, only one of the battles fought as Europe burned. the devastation was so comprehensive that nearly every western nation had to rely on aid from the US, one of the only powers on either side whose economy was intact, to rebuild. (it didn't help that American wartime policy was designed more to inflict as much Nazi death and destruction as possible on the Soviets, of course).
if we add up the energy of every single explosive device detonated over the course of that terrible war, from hand grenades all the way up to the two atom bombs the US detonated over japan, slaughtering civilians en masse and turning two cities to rubble in the space of a moment, we get the figure of about 3 megatons. or in kilowatt hours, 3.4 billion, spread out across all those years of war.
compared to 7-14 billion kWh just to transmitting the same tangle of bytes around again and again. every single year.
just to zap jquery back and forth across the internet to every computer accessing a website that uses it.
a final point of comparison, now that i have your attention: bitcoin uses up 46,000 billion kilowatt hours per year. a number which is likely to keep on growing.
draw your own conclusions about web design & software optimization.