The carbon cost of searching?

A Sunday Times article is causing a tea-with-3-sugars-type stir by claiming that carrying out two Google (why specifically 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 will never sup tea while searching again!

Hmmm, I feel the need to burn some carbon to hunt down further explanation.  Ah, this article looks a bit less sensational: Harvard Physicist Sets Record Straight on Internet Carbon Study

I’m fully aware that my job has an environmental impact and I’ve nothing against people reminding me about it now and then.  No one would deny that web searching uses energy, as does switching on my computer every working day, but luckily there are many other (more productive) ways the information profession can reduce the energy it uses, rather than handing in resignations en mass (on recycled paper, of course ) due to eco-guilt!

Right, back to my searches and a nice cup of tea.

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