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Googles hates teh environment

zeni

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Carbon cost of Googling revealed

Carbon cost of Googling revealed
By Greg Morsbach
BBC News


Two search requests on the internet website Google produce as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle, according to a Harvard University academic.

US physicist Alex Wissner-Gross has conducted research into the environmental impact of "googling".

Environmental physicists are worried about the environmental impact of information technology.

A recent study estimated the global IT sector generated as much greenhouse gas as the world's airlines put together.

Mr Wissner-Gross's study found a typical Google search on a desktop computer produces about 7g (0.25oz) of carbon dioxide.

If you enter another request you obviously end up with double that amount, which is the roughly the equivalent of boiling an electric kettle for a cup of tea.

Carbon emissions

The Harvard academic argues that these carbon emissions stem from the electricity used by the computer terminal and by the power consumed by the large data centres operated by Google around the world.

Although the American search engine is renowned for returning fast results, Mr Wissner-Gross says it can only do so because it uses several data banks at the same time, producing more carbon dioxide than some of its competitors on the net.

Mr Wissner-Gross says for every second we stay connected to the internet, we produce 0.02g of carbon emissions.

This may not sound like a lot but each day an estimated 200 million internet searches are carried out.
Think about THAT the next time you're looking up porn! I put forth that prez Obama's first official act should be to ban Google.
 

DNW

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You don't ban Google, Google bans you. Don't you get it? Google owns you.
 

MCsommerreid

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I question the ever loving crap out of their methodology.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by MCsommerreid
I question the ever loving crap out of their methodology.

He's from Harvard. That's all you need to know.
 

Duveen

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Originally Posted by MCsommerreid
I question the ever loving crap out of their methodology.

I am on board with environmental consciousness, but agree that this is a bit rich.

At least based on the write-up above, the assumption is that without the search, the computing power would not be used for other tasks on your end. That is unlikely to be the case.

The problem is that the search for a big number to talk about likely led to some heroic assumptions. The said thing is that I am sure there IS a real issue with energy use in data centers, batteries and silicon production, all of which are environmentally damaging. Stuff like this gives opponents of discussion on this issue ammunition to say that the other side is nuts/laying it on too thick.

Finally, as we all know, the easiest way to get to avoid taxing the earth unduly is a suicide by hanging (biodegradable hemp) followed by Zoroastrian burial.
 

MCsommerreid

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Originally Posted by GQgeek
He's from Harvard. That's all you need to know.

So was the cafeteria dude from Scrubs, and Yale no less, and they still couldn't figure out that riddle.
 

dcg

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Originally Posted by zeni


Think about THAT the next time you're looking up porn! I put forth that prez Obama's first official act should be to ban Google.


A few weeks ago I convinced a coworker (she was a big McCain/Palin fan) that Obama was considering shutting down the internet due to the recession. Had a bunch of people in on it. Fun times.
 

Modernist

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That is a bit of an exaggeration, but Google's consumption of energy and overall environmental impact is a real issue. I believe that Google is among the world's top server manufacturers, and their large data centers consume a lot of power (the main reason they build their own servers), that is why it's putting a lot into research of so-called green computing.

Such oversimplifications of course are a disservice to a serious issue.
 

zeni

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Originally Posted by dcg
A few weeks ago I convinced a coworker (she was a big McCain/Palin fan) that Obama was considering shutting down the internet due to the recession. Had a bunch of people in on it. Fun times.


 

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