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.”
After careful computation, I have come to the painful realization that I, a mild-mannered Granny minding her own business, am personally responsible for a 1.1 degree rise in global temperature in the past five years. I have single-handedly melted icecaps from my recliner and caused the extinction of polar bears from my featherbed. The Sahara now extends 46 miles farther in three directions because of my nimble fingers, coupled with my unfortunate ignorance of the consequences of my selfish actions.
I repent. I hereby promise that every time I fall off the wagon and perform a Google search, I will compensate by hanging my next five loads of freshly-washed clothes on a clothesline to dry instead of using electricity, and for one solid week I will refuse to eat meat from animals whose gaseous "emissions" coupled with my technological malfeasance have this earth careening toward destruction.
Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches
How you can help reduce the footprint of the Web
Labels: Theater of the Absurd