Yesterday, the Sunday Times published an article saying that making two Google searches generates as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle – an act long associated with energy inefficiency. This outlandish claim comes from a Harvard University physicist working on the environmental impact of computing.
Far be it for me to try to debunk a Harvard physicist, but this is mostly rubbish. Google is a company that cares considerably more for the environment than many. Although it’s true that datacentres are remarkably inefficient creations, and the IT industry has a carbon footprint like any other industry, Google pales into nothing when compared to cars, fossil fuel power stations and the aviation industry.
I suspect that the real reason for this jab at one of the world’s biggest IT companies is simply a desire for more research funding, particularly since the article inexplicably ends with an utterly unrelated jab at celebrity Twitterers. Google’s Senior VP of Operations, Urs Hölzle, clears things up on the Official Google Blog.
Abi over at our sister site Hippyshopper has been running a feature lately where she interviews the inhabitants of Shiny Towers on their ‘green’ness. How planet-friendly they are. Yesterday, it was my turn.
I like to think that I’m quite a good boy, ecologically speaking. I re-use shopping bags, and take public transport everywhere. There’s a big bad monster, however, lurking in my carbon footprint. Watch the video above to find out what it is.
If you’re into sustainability, and living in harmony with our environment, then go read Hippyshopper. Abi will sort you right out – she’s greener than an RGB display minus a blue screen of death and a red ring of death.
Roads get really hot. Really really hot. But 2cm below the surface of the road gets hotter still, and some researchers at Worcester Polytechnic University reckon that we could use that heat in power generation…
Okay, I confess – I actually just wanted to put a picture of this boat in here. This is what Batman would drive (sail?) if he was fighting climate change as well as crime.