Researchers Estimate the Environmental Impact of Googling

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by mkrishnan, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5489134.ece

    Another juicy tidbit:

    And Google issued a rejoinder...

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/technology/2009/01/googles-respons.html

    It is, however, interesting to think about overall the impact on the environment that the growth of the internet creates. And, cough, reminds me much of my complaining that politicians are crazy over plug-in hybrid cars, far in advance of real talk about increasing renewable, sustainable electricity generation.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    runplaysleeprun

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    #2
    Even at .2 g produced, thats still a lot more than I would have guessed, and makes me shiver thinking how much pollution i've created googling.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Theophany

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    Location:
    NW London.
    #3
    Oh noes! Somebody shut down the Internetz! :eek:

    So what the article is essentially saying is that modern technology causes pollution that will eventually kill us all (allegedly...). So their solution is what? Go back to the stone age? Screw that.
     
  4. macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #4
    this is something to think about. i mean, i never really thought about this before.

    but i still can't imagine not using my computers though
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    #5
    the real question is...

    ...and exactly how many google searches did you do to find out this information?
     
  6. macrumors 68040

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    Jan 6, 2007
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    #6
    They do not consider the opportunity costs of what people would use instead to obtain the data they are after.

    Another website? A book? A phone call?

    There is no way to transmit data like this that is free of pollution.

    What they should be exploring is whether google is doing things efficiently, and if not, how they can improve. Just showing an emissions number is not much help, but does get the headlines...
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    GorillaPaws

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    #7
    I'm guess I'm just going to hop in my SUV and drive to the library so I can use their computer card catalog system to find that book that might have the answer:rolleyes:
     
  8. thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    #8
    I don't think they're suggesting anything of the sort. Just that, in the long run -- think about how young the internet still is -- computing is going to make up a larger and larger part of our carbon footprint as well as our consumption of non-renewable energy sources. We pay attention to how green our cars and our power plants (although we clearly need to do a better job with coal) are. We have to pay attention to the greenness of the infrastructure of the internet, too. Of course we shouldn't shut it down, but it's equally ridiculous to say, "OMG, it's the internet. I don't care how much it pollutes the world, I have to have it." Computing needs to get greener like everything else.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Theophany

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    Location:
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    #9
    Well sure, if you believe that the environmentalists are right... Personally, if I'm paying for it, I don't really mind - I get taxed into oblivion for my environmentally unacceptable choices, that eases my conscience on the matter :)
     
  10. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #10
    Friggin' green people are approaching PETA people on my pissed off scale.
     
  11. macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #11
    I've done some googling to see if I can find any evidence of this but failed. I'll try googling again later though...:D
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #12
    Google's been working ways to reduce their power bill for some time now...
     

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