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Visiting this blog emits less CO2 than boiling a kettle

google-kettleWhat an idea! That doing 2 Google searches produces as much CO2 as boiling water for a cup of tea. This is the first line of the Sunday Times article in which the claim appeared:

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.

Problem is that the Sunday Times article seems to have, so to speak, rather over cooked things. The author of the original piece of research distances himself from the claims in the newspaper, as reported by TechNewsWorld.

There’s a very valid issue in all of this though: the amount of electricity used to power web servers and computers the world over. I’ve been conscious of this for a while. My work iMac runs on green electricity from Lampiris, and I have an OWL smart energy meter so I can keep an eye on my consumption. I’m also progressively moving a lot of my websites to a VPS at 1&1, and all their data centres are powered by green electricity.


4 Comments

  • MatGB |

    I was looking at 1&1 the other day just on price grounds, had no idea they also used green power, that’s a nice little extra tick if the projectt does get off the ground.

    It did look like a completely spurious analysis, especially given Google’s preference for hydro electric and other renewable sources.

  • Jon |

    I also think it’s based on putting only enough water in a kettle for just a single small cup of tea… But that’s another issue.

    1&1 VPS XL is good so far. Very fast and stable, and support is reasonable. Just watch however: the Plesk license doesn’t allow you to use SpamAssassin which has caused me some headaches. Their VPSs also run Fedora Core and you need to know what you’re doing to get PHP 5.2.6 running. Overall though I can’t fault it so far.

  • George Barr |

    Taking another tact, how much energy would be used if a body was to maually, e.g. visit the library, drive around the town, collect the information they gather from a google or any other search engine?

So, what do you think ?