Saturday, January 10, 2009

Google searches cause global warming: How can Al Gore live with himself? 

In the pantheon of silly climate propaganda, mark this near the top of the list.

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.

I'd love to hear Al Gore's take on this, but I'm guessing that this nugget will not make it into the next edition of An Inconvenient Truth. Not only did Gore earn millions as an advisor to Google, but -- heh -- if he had not invented the Internet in the first place we would not face the cruel choice between Googling stuff and destroying the planet.


By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Sat Jan 10, 09:34:00 PM:

I wouldn't call this climate propaganda. The genre is more, 'stories connecting everyday behaviors to big issues in a counterintuitive way'. Editors love this stuff.

I'm pretty skeptical of the science here, in any case, and I'd like to see more authoritative sourcing for this kind of thing. A physicist, Harvard or not, actually isn't the guy who specializes in the environmental impact of Google searches.  

By Blogger joated, at Sat Jan 10, 10:14:00 PM:

Did someone say "Luddites?"

So how many page views does it take to raise the temperature 1 degree F? If it's going to be below zero next week I need to get started now.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jan 10, 10:55:00 PM:


Hey joated, maybe the slogan should be Save the planet, turn off the Luddites.  

By Blogger Brian, at Sun Jan 11, 03:04:00 AM:

"but -- heh -- if he had not invented the Internet"

I wonder how many readers will realize the joke is in pretending that Gore made this claim.  

By Blogger Noumenon, at Sun Jan 11, 05:53:00 AM:

The statement seems ridiculous, so I really want to know what's the trick that makes it true. Is it that a tea kettle actually makes a very small amount of carbon, or isn't a lot of energy? Is it something about their assumptions? Is Google really a unique thing so that spending an hour Googling is actually worse than spending an hour clicking on links? I mean, they might send your search to several servers, but look how mnay servers it talks to get all the ads when I load your comments page. I was glad to hear they'd factored in whether you have to turn the computer on, but I still want to know more. Maybe Ben Goldacre of badscience will cover it.

Now the comparison in the article that really caught my eye was that keeping an avatar going in Second Life uses as much electricity as a Brazilian uses in a year. That I can believe, and would like to have my awareness raised about. Some kind of suspicion of this is why I recently disconnected my second monitor. (Gore uses three.)  

By Blogger Thingumbobesquire, at Sun Jan 11, 09:22:00 AM:

Ach du lieber. What a dilemma for dem Greenshirts. Heil das Climatenschangenheit!
A Gorey Truth: A Deduction from Certain Premises
It is the case that the Internet is indisputably a major, if not the major cause of enormous amount of energy usage around the world. Furthermore, it is beyond dispute that former Senator Gore profoundly and publicly prides himself as a major player of promoting said Internet (if not its inventor.) It being the case that our global climate change is putting the fate of humanity, nay all living beings in peril (as averred and propounded most vociferously to widespread renown and accolades by the aforementioned Mr. Gore.) Furthermore, the headlong promotion of a perverse technology which so threatens us all being akin to a palpably criminal enterprise, it would seem that those purveyors of this poison, including DARPA (a.k.a. the military industrial complex) be summarily charged with crimes against humanity. This certainly may be brought up in a court of law commensurate under the provisions of hate crime. It is a crime which will destroy in its course perhaps everybody and every living thing. It is therefor beyond the promotion of simple genocide. In fact, it has been hypothesized by serious scientists that the very earth may be plunged off its orbit by climate change. Indeed there can be no greater degree of criminality ever contemplated. Q.E.D.
(I say: to the Hague with Mr. Gore and his ilk!)  

By Blogger Dan Kauffman, at Tue Jan 13, 08:22:00 AM:

If we are going to get this picky, should not hunter's get Carbon Offset Credits for the CO2 a deer for instance will not be putting into the atmosphere over it's theoretical lifetime?

Oh and the hunter is eating venison instead of commercially raised meat, so that should increase the Offset Credit?

PETA causes Global Warming

I LIKE it ;-)  

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