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Google Searches Cause Global Warming

From the UK’s Times:

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches

Jonathan Leake and Richard Woods

January 11, 2009

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.”

Google is secretive about its energy consumption and carbon footprint. It also refuses to divulge the locations of its data centres. However, with more than 200m internet searches estimated globally daily, the electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions caused by computers and the internet is provoking concern. A recent report by Gartner, the industry analysts, said the global IT industry generated as much greenhouse gas as the world’s airlines – about 2% of global CO2 emissions. “Data centres are among the most energy-intensive facilities imaginable,” said Evan Mills, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Banks of servers storing billions of web pages require power.

Though Google says it is in the forefront of green computing, its search engine generates high levels of CO2 because of the way it operates. When you type in a Google search for, say, “energy saving tips”, your request doesn’t go to just one server. It goes to several competing against each other.

It may even be sent to servers thousands of miles apart. Google’s infrastructure sends you data from whichever produces the answer fastest. The system minimises delays but raises energy consumption. Google has servers in the US, Europe, Japan and China.

Wissner-Gross has submitted his research for publication by the US Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and has also set up a website www.CO2stats.com. “Google are very efficient but their primary concern is to make searches fast and that means they have a lot of extra capacity that burns energy,” he said.

Google said: “We are among the most efficient of all internet search providers.”

Wissner-Gross has also calculated the CO2 emissions caused by individual use of the internet. His research indicates that viewing a simple web page generates about 0.02g of CO2 per second. This rises tenfold to about 0.2g of CO2 a second when viewing a website with complex images, animations or videos.

A separate estimate from John Buckley, managing director of carbonfootprint.com, a British environmental consultancy, puts the CO2 emissions of a Google search at between 1g and 10g, depending on whether you have to start your PC or not. Simply running a PC generates between 40g and 80g per hour, he says. of CO2 Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, estimates the carbon emissions of a Google search at 7g to 10g (assuming 15 minutes’ computer use)…

Isn’t this a bit ironic, given the Mr. Gore himself invented the internet?

Hopefully, he will be tried for his crimes against the planet.

And it is also nice to see Google hoisted on their own canard.

Still, what a great excuse to take away the new media, huh?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, January 11th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Google Searches Cause Global Warming”

  1. proreason

    This won’t matter when we are all living in caves again.

    Except of course for AlToad and the Gooble multi-billionaires who will have to continue to live in sumptious luxury to rule us properly.

  2. 4USA

    “And it is also nice to see Google hoisted on their own canard.
    Still, what a great excuse to take away the new media, huh?”

    I’m more inclined to believe this is just the first step toward a carbon off-set tax that will require the Feds to have more access to the public’s web activities.

    You know, all for the good of the environment.

  3. I wonder how much CO2 was produced doing the research?

    Let’s face it, “carbon footprint” is the 21st century version of the “labour theory of value”

    Both economic schemes seek to demolish those things we value (as measured by free consumers in a marketplace), and replace them with a construct that can only be measured by the producer. Once the producer gains power over the consumer, then all the producers can come together “collectively” and form a dictatorship of the proletariat that controls all economic activity. Otherwise known as communism.

    (And just how totalitarian do you have to be to bother about measuring a single google search? Seriously? And how do you measure the VALUE of a google search as compared with the value of a cup of tea? I’m glad there are sites like sweetness-light to expose this thinking).

    • proreason

      “all the producers can come together “collectively” and form a dictatorship of the proletariat”

      The dictatorship is being formed by the wealthy in this country (Soros, Kennedy’s, Kerry’s, Bloomberg, etc.), and it’s purpose is to destroy the entrepreneur class, so that class cannot threaten the ruling elite.

      That’s why every tax burden falls on the producers, and exempts the wealthy elite. And that is one of the main reason for the Global Warning hoax. It’s a method to control and destroy business.

      The Google guys are ultra-libs and among Obama’s chief money backers, so there is no chance they will ever pay a measurable amount of carbon tax. Somehow, they will be exempted.

  4. 12 Gauge Rage

    Total control over us ‘proles’, that’s all this is. What’s next? Having sex causes global warming? Probably so since besides the pleasure another result of sex is kids which the more you have, the greater the carbon footprint. Sometimes I’d like to take my carbon foot and leave a print up their eco asses.

    • cjokry

      That kind of thinking about population control is already evident among many liberals. I have lots of liberal friends and relatives, several of whom have gently chastised me for having a bunch of kids (4 of em) and not properly considering what that’s doing to the planet. They’re polite and all, but still, you shouldn’t regard your fellow man as a plague upon “your” planet.

    • pinandpuller

      What’s the average carbon footprint of a laden jihadist?

      I think Mark Steyn needs to write a book about the demographics of conservatives and liberals. I’m an only child of an only child mom but my dad’s one of six and my family is extremely conservative. It seems like liberals can’t even breed for replacement. The only way they can recruit is to monopolize schools and government and brainwash our kids.

  5. “The dictatorship is being formed by the wealthy in this country (Soros, Kennedy’s, Kerry’s, Bloomberg, etc.), and it’s purpose is to destroy the entrepreneur class, so that class cannot threaten the ruling elite.”

    Well exactly … my phrasing was bit clumsy. I agree with your analysis completely. I apologise for my lack of clarity, because of course those who create wealth are the solution not the problem.

    What I meant to say is that in a free society the producer responds to market demand, whereas in a socialist society, the producer produces exactly what the government says they should produce. And the concept of “carbon footprints” is one link in this totalitarian chain.

    (I just find it so ironic that the concept of “carbon footprints” fits so easily into Marxist thinking … even with my limited knowledge of Marxism I can see how this can work).

    • proreason

      There might be some Marxists who actually believe in that crap, but in practice, Marxism has always been simply a brutal method to contol the lower classes and suppress upward mobility.

      Of course, our schools now teach that Socialism is a superior system to capitalism and that Marxism is “misunderstood”, so the knowledge about the true face of those evil systems is disappearing from this country. Now, we can see how superior Cuba is to the greedy Republicans in the U.S.

  6. Zeusshiloh

    Well, as cold as it is right now, we all need to Google some more to warm up everything. This could especially be true for those in the Northeast and Northwest.

    So, lets set up a national Google day, and see if we can warm things up a bit.

    I can not believe that rational, normal, logical people would fall for global warming. The chicken little syndrome is alive and well. As to what sky will be falling depends on whomever you are talking to at the time. Global warming is one scenario being pushed; there are many more.

    If there is any consensus amongst scientist, it is that global warming is the biggest bunch of horse hockey on the planet. But we no longer live in a time where Science determines politics. Today, Politics determine Science.

  7. Colonel1961

    Instead of saying ‘Neener, neener, neener!’ to the tin-hat brigade, may I now suggest ‘Google, Google, Google!’

    lol

  8. Colonel1961

    I wonder about the carbon footprint of the four (visible) extra large monitors (overcompensating) that Algore is pretending to view?

  9. wardmama4

    Of course the Left wants to shut down the InterNet as it is the only (besides talk radio – which we all know how the Left feels about that) thing that keeps harping on questions for and about The One ™. I find it deliciously ironic that these idiots are going after the one thing that they tout as making them cooler, hipper and just so much more than the old geezers on the Right that ‘can’t’ do email (and other tech stuff) – sort of like the corner they painted themselves into electing The One.

    Let’s not forget that White Americans (the Republican/conservative ones most especially) are the scourge (greedy, mean, intolerant, and of course violent) of the World.

    Wonder how long that will be propagated now that The One ™ is ascending the Throne of Power – as he is both White and African – kind of causes the ultimate paradox for the Barking Moonbats of the Left, don’t you think?

    They finally painted themselves into the proverbial corner and it shall be a hoot to watch them flay themselves – while congratulating themselves at the same time for the next 4 years (provided The One ™ even survives that long – which I personally doubt).

  10. BillK

    This is great – it will be entertaining to see how “Don’t Be Evil” Google deals with this one.

    One can hardly wait to see how much the Internet tax will be under “cap and trade” and how long it takes before the RIAA notes that music downloading is not only a theft of intellectual property but an outright environmental crime.

  11. It is nothing more than an elitist liberal derangement. Create a faux “enviro” cause, that is devoid of science, common sense; wraught with hypocrisy and sprinkled with scare tactics.

    It allows the left to claim, at most – a higher marching order from a diety that don’t even believe exists. So Mother Earth replaces it.

    As George Carlin once said “who said mother nature doesnt WANT more styrofoam, considering it will last forever”

    This ponzi scheme is fodder for fools.

    I blogged 1 1/2 years ago concerning Al Gore’s “Earth Day Concert” in July 2007. The mass amount of waste, generated waste purposely – as the net negative outcome from this day long event is equal to a Carribean nations monthly usage. That is all the “net carbon emmissions” needed to calculate this fraud of a theory.

    Liberals know the ignorance of the masses and know the dialogue, akin to Bambi Mania, just needs to be perceptually “moral” as opposed to actually useful. The are marketing dumb to the masses – and the masses eat it up.




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