A Havard man, physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, says that two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup to tea. (I use a laptop, so I guess I’m not a carbon footprint ogre).
A typical search, according to physicist, 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,” He told the Financial Times. “A Google search has a definite environmental impact.”
Of course, Google doesn’t release carbon footprint data, so we’ll never know if it is truly the evil one. But Google says slow down, ” the average car driven for one kilometer (0.6 miles for those in the U.S.) produces as many greenhouse gases as a thousand Google searches.” Neither one has released data, as of yet, to back their claims.
Wissner-Gross (ahem) founded a website that can make money from something like this, and as Techcrunch points outs, the things that searching saved you from doing could easily offset the energy generated.
I do think Jason Kincaid goes a little off the deep end (relative to search being deadly) when he says that it could stop people from going online. Comfort today always beats hoped for, maybe, could be comfort tomorrow.
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