Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dicking Around Obliviously

1 comment :
Maybe our parents' generation spent hours upon hours cruising around in their cars around the neighborhood oblivious to the unnecessary carbon emissions they were producing in order to be part of the 'gang' or driving door to door as salesman as part of their job that required the car as a 'vehicle' to get their work done, but today's Sunday's Times article Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches raises some interesting data- that although we should of course question - is something that our digital generation should be paying attention to as we continue to live both our personal and work lives more and more online.

The premise:

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...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.

Nick Carr on his Rough Type blog writes so eloquently as usual:

"But this isn't really about Google, which is only supplying us with services that we want. It's about us. We may be obsessive about turning off the lights when we leave a room, but at the same time we may happily spend hours dicking around online, oblivious of the electricity lighting up our screen, heating our chip, and powering and cooling the data centers we're connected to. (It's true that in some cases Internet use may substitute for other activities, such as travel, that would consume more energy, but let's not kid ourselves: the vast majority of computer and Internet use represents additional energy consumption.) How many Twitterheads think about their electricity use before they tweet? Not many. How many bloggers think about it before they blog? Not this one."

i pronounce myself guilty as well - and picking up a book for the rest of the afternoon.

Image| Cruisin’ the Original: Woodward Avenue

1 comment :

farlane said...

I wonder how much energy I used for this comment?

Interesting post for sure. I am surprised at the amount required. I wonder if its factoring in some kind of allowance for Google going out and spidering the information.

I know that nearly half of my traffic our Absolute Michigan site is Google spiders, so if they aren't factored in, you could probably ship and package the tea with that energy too!

PS: Found this because you're linking over to my Michigan in Pictures blog!