Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches

More “junk science” from the Environmental Cult:

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches
Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea

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’s response to the story

I am wondering if it is concern about the environment or is it concern that people may learn the truth about the lies of the environmental cults. I lean towards the later. Knowledge is one of the enemies of the left.

Junk science? Mathematics is not a junk science. He did the math and those are the numbers he came up with. What they might mean is open to debate, but it is not junk.

And how is it that everyone who is environmentally concerned is labeled as being a leftist in your view, and ignorant.

Knowledge is one of the enemies of the left

I consider myself to be very much a fiscally right-wing, morally conservative sort of person, and yet I too am deeply concerned about the environment and our impact on it. Though I think that such terms as ‘global warming’ need to be used carefully and further study is required as to our overall impact on such a thing, I feel that it is clear that we humans do indeed impact our environment sometimes quite significantly.

We need, therefore, to raise our c[FONT=Arial]onsciousness about this as is our biblical mandate to be good stewards of the gifts Gd has given us. Rather than name calling I would think that we would wish to respond positively to any information provided as a manner in which we might be able to improve our record. In this particular instance, I note that many data centers (such as Google, EBay etc.) have identified the heat produced by there computers as an asset and made improvements to their building structure that allowed for them to reuse this heat in heat differential devices that assist in heating and cooling the building. This has lead to significant reductions in their redundant use of fossil fuels for the same purpose. However, before such pragmatic actions can be taken there potential needs to be identified, along with its impact. Maybe that’s the job of those granola crunching, Birkenstock wearing Leftists out there?[/FONT]

Eh, I am not so sure about the article. Computers don’t generate CO2, do they? But they do use electricity, and that electricity has to be generated… and that is the source of the CO2. So the numbers in the article would depend on how the author assumes the electricity is generated (with coal-powered plants being the worst, and other sources such as solar or wind power much less so).

Add to that the fact that servers are running continuously whether someone a search in google or not.

Yes, but its possible (I really don’t know) that the servers work harder with increased demand, producing more heat, and this might require more electricity for cooling.

Another point is that the article assumes the relationship between CO2 and global warming/climate change are a fact. Yet, if you performed a google search on global warming a Pravda, you’d get the following:

I wonder how much CO2 it took to complete this study. :rolleyes:

How is knowledge an enemy of the left, eh?

AAAHHH the sky is falling, the sky is falling…

I mean, is intolerance of knowledge not used as an insult against conservatives!
I suppose PE Obama isn’t knowledgeable, even though he is a Harvard graduate and taught law at Chicago Law School. He is indeed an enemy of knowledge. Sure.


I was being sarcastic. It was said earlier in the thread that the left is an enemy of knowledge.

Depends on if Algore was involved :cool:

I think they were referring to the masses. Knowledge is a fine thing for the elites (BO) but not the common person.

Note: I consider elites to be from both the political left and right. And I consider AGW/CC to be a political debate, not science.

Something a man once told me rings in my head. Some of what he said wasn’t true, but it went something like in Britain, the Prime Ministers are generally intellectual and witty, yet in the USA the ‘common man’ thing works - for example George Bush (I’m not Bush basher, but he ain’t exactly quick off the mark at times). His reasing for this was because in the UK we have what’s known as ‘Prime Minister’s questions’ a time of the week when in parliament, as much abuse as possible is hurled at the PM. It is necessary to have a sharp intellectual mind for something like this. As far as I’m aware, there is no real equivalent in the USA (probably because the President is independent of the congress). It’s an interesting take.
I think everyone should be knowledgeable.

Wouldn’t the amount of carbon depend on the kind of power plant Google’s data center’s are connected to?
I mean if one in France comes from nuclear and one in the US comes from coal and one in the US comes from some combo of hydro and coal – how can he make a calculation? And since the data centers and my computer are running anyway, how does my search add to the aggregate?

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