Last month, The Times said that two typical Google searches generate the same amount of carbon emissions that are generated by boiling a kettle, “about 15g of CO2.” This week Zaproot focuses on this and other information in its stranger than truth show “That’s Just Weird.”
As much as you might think that living life online saves a vast amount of resources, the IT industry contributes to about 2% of carbon emissions (The Times). When it comes to companies like Google, the very fact that it generates more than 200m internet searches daily, provokes concern regarding electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Although Google claims to be committed to sustainability, the truth is that typing in a term into a Google search bar, offsets many competing servers to search for content related to that particular term. All too often the search is generated by the ‘fastest’ rather than the ‘most efficient’ server.
The contentious information was initially brought to light by Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist who has also set up a website www.CO2stats.com. However according to Mike Harvey, Technology Correspondent for The Times, it is not clear whether Wissner-Gross has taken into consideration what it actually costs you to run your PC while you are running your search. John Buckley, managing director of carbonfootprint.com, a British environmental consultancy, says that the CO2 emissions of a Google search is between 1g and 10g, and depends largely on whether you have to start your PC or not.
Google is not the only internet company that has come under scrutiny recently. Internet favorites like Second Life and Twitter are also suspected to contribute significantly to global warming. Now just think about all the ‘tweets’ you send out on a daily basis?