by William Teach | January 11, 2009 10:08 am
It’s confirmed: the Internet is bad for global warming, er, climate change, or whateverthehell they are calling it nowadays. Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches
Performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, according to new research.
While millions of people tap into Google without considering the environment, a typical search generates about 7g of CO2 Boiling a kettle generates about 15g. “Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power,” said Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist whose research on the environmental impact of computing is due out soon. “A Google search has a definite environmental impact.”
Google is secretive about its energy consumption and carbon footprint. It also refuses to divulge the locations of its data centres. However, with more than 200m internet searches estimated globally daily, the electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions caused by computers and the internet is provoking concern. A recent report by Gartner, the industry analysts, said the global IT industry generated as much greenhouse gas as the world’s airlines – about 2% of global CO2 emissions. “Data centres are among the most energy-intensive facilities imaginable,” said Evan Mills, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Banks of servers storing billions of web pages require power.
I guess they are calling AGW the “environmental impact” now. Kinda like how they call the lifestyle the 15 people who actually live the life they think everyone else should in order to be “carbon neutral” “going green.” Strange, since plants, plankton, and basically “the environment” needs CO2 to sustain life.
So, I guess it is time for all the Believers to walk the talk and give up their Internet connections. Yeah, that’ll happen! Most of them believe that it is the other guy, or the government, or Big (insert industry here) that should “do something.” I applaud the 15 Believers (double Randi Rhodes’ listener-ship) who actually live the life.
The funniest part of the story is that the majority of people who will read it will read it on the Interwebz. But no one is missing the subtext, which is that people should BUY carbon credits to offset their ‘Net usage. That’ll come later.
Oh, and I did about 15 Google searches this morning. On purpose. For no reason.
Jules Crittenden: There’s an Al Gore exception, because he can’t save the world without checking his email while jetting from his sprawling mansion to his uberboat. But the rest of you, off now. For Gaia.
Fausta: Guilt is a powerful emotion and propagandists never hesitate to use it, even when they risk being silly. (Sea kittens is also mentioned)
Jammie Wearing Fool: Just for fun I allowed this blog post to simmer for about 20 minutes, hoping to generate even more CO2.
Patterico: So which will it be, my internet friends? If you’re still worried about the environment, maybe it’s time for you to log off.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove, where we like the weather warm
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