the renewed city.


the environmental costs of a google search
January 18, 2009, 9:52 pm
Filed under: commentary

cbc, bbc, and the times (uk) are all reporting on a recent study by harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross demonstrating, albeit probably through very painstaking calculations, that running two google searches releases the same amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as boiling a kettle of tea, about 7g of CO2.

this is certainly interesting stuff, in a very nerdy, academic kind-of-way. but lets get real here. the fact that such minuscule pollution associated with ‘googling’ is making major headlines around the world represents a disheartening distraction from much more pressing emission-related issues that all too often go ignored in mainstream media. these are, of course, the fact that most of us drive too much, eat food from halfway around the world, live in bigger houses and consume way too much stuff.

if we want to make real headway in reducing emissions, we need to get people thinking about how they can change their behaviour and actions when it comes to these ‘big ticket items’, not whether or not they should open up google to peruse for a bootlegged copy of the new U2 single.

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