Googling Alone Produces More Carbon Emissions Than Laos

January 14, 2009 / No Comments

According to stats given by Harvard University’s Alex Wissner-Gross, it would be safe to deduce that by just using the Google search, the world actually produces as much carbon dioxide as a country like Laos would do.

google rendering Googling Alone Produces More Carbon Emissions Than Laos

But how far are these claims real and if they indeed are true, do we really need to go ringing the alarm bells? According to Wissner-Gross, co-founder of Enernetics, two Google searches produce as much carbon dioxide as boiling enough water in an electric kettle for a cup of tea. And that is just the energy used up at Google’s end and not on our own system it seems.

The claims statistically might not really have much backing and to be honest it would be impossible to verify as there is no way Google is going to let you in to check on how much energy its hardware components eat and hence how much pollution it actually costs.

But the larger question on hand is about how the ICT sector is contributing to global warming and how it can actually cut back on its carbon footprint. It is already known that the carbon footprint of the ICT sector is as much as aviation- about 3% of the total carbon emissions produced.

But there is also little doubt that it is a necessity that we cannot escape and in fact saves more energy than it spends in the form of digital information. While we do hear the odd Yahoo and Google offices going green, Wissner-Gross’s statements do indeed merit a discussion. The net and its giants have a responsibility of going green to save energy, and they do indeed need to take the cause of the planet more seriously.

We wonder if that will help hasten the green wave, or not!

Source: Guardian
Image courtesy of Mark Knol