PDA

View Full Version : Hidden Harm of Google Searches



Nachtengel
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 12:26 AM
It looks like Google searches are damaging to the environment. If we care about the environment, we should reduce them!


PERFORMING two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate a similar amount of carbon dioxide to boiling the kettle for a cup of tea.
While millions of people tap into Google without a thought for the environment, a typical search generates about 7g of carbon dioxide. Boiling a kettle generates about 15g.

Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist whose research on the environmental impact of computing is due out soon, said: "Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power. A Google search has a definite environmental impact."

Google, which refuses to divulge the locations of its dozens of data centres, denied the company was harmful to the environment. However, with more than 200 million internet searches estimated globally every day, the level of electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions generated 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 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Evan Mills, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said: "Data centres are among the most energy-intensive facilities imaginable."

Banks of servers storing billions of web pages require power both to run and cool them.

Google says it is in the forefront of green computing.

"We've committed to being carbon-neutral worldwide - that is, zero net emissions - for 2007 and beyond, by creating what we believe to be the most energy-efficient data centres in the world, using renewable energy sources and investing in high-quality carbon offset projects," a Google Australia spokesman said yesterday.

However, 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 kilometres 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.

Mr 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," Mr Wissner-Gross said.

Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch, Rewiring the World, has calculated that maintaining a character in the Second Life virtual reality game requires 1752 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. That is almost as much used by the average Brazilian.

The Sunday Times
Source:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,,24900863-5018012,00.html

Thusnelda
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 01:08 AM
To be blunt honest Im getting severely annoyed by this constant climate-hype! :thumbdown It has become a political agenda to influence people. Ive nothing against environmental protection but this hype is exaggerated and irrational. And I find it laughable that this scientist critizises "Google searches" specifically while active electronic products produce very small amounts of potential harming emissions in general.

Maybe we should stop using Internet fora: They need webservers to run and so they harm the enviroment...;) And maybe we should kill all cows because they produce highly effective methane (which is far more climate-effective than CO2) while they just digest their food. *g*

SwordOfTheVistula
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 03:15 AM
The amount they use is a tiny fraction of the cost of producing and distributing the books, driving the library, etc you would need to replicate this spread of information.

TheGreatest
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 03:21 AM
Well Mr. Liberal, you can go eat your tie and stop using the internet for all I care.
Now Mr. Greenstein, if you want a recommendation, I recommend you quit flying in refugees into my city on jumbo airliners. Trust me, that will go a lot farther to save the environment than scaring people away from using a search engine of all things.


"Oy Vey! We can't have Goyim have access to a search engine!"


To be blunt honest Im getting severely annoyed by this constant climate-hype! :thumbdown It has become a political agenda to influence people. Ive nothing against environmental protection but this hype is exaggerated and irrational. And I find it laughable that this scientist critizises "Google searches" specifically while active electronic products produce very small amounts of potential harming emissions in general.

Maybe we should stop using Internet fora: They need webservers to run and so they harm the enviroment...;) And maybe we should kill all cows because they produce highly effective methane (which is far more climate-effective than CO2) while they just digest their food. *g*


I apologize as I've not read 1984 in years, but didn't Blair use Goldstein as an example of the state's use of scapegoats to distract the population?
That's somewhat what the environment is in the West.
Huxley also wrote about something similar in his novel.

Get people worried about the environment, so they don't focus on real issues like the War on Iraq, Third World invasions of our homes and corruption in the Government.

Colla Magnus
Monday, January 12th, 2009, 03:30 AM
It really is beginning to sound like a broken record again, another control measure for the sheepled masses,... just can't seem to get that tofu thing down.


those afraid to die seem even more afraid to live. Allfather let me live good enough to die well.