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Blogging is a waste of energy

January 11, 2009

Nicholas Carr has another provocative post that calls to attention the inefficient use of energy wrapped up in all our searches, Twittering and blogging.

Apparently some researcher has found that two searches on Google are the energy equivalent of boiling a kettle for a cup of tea. While Carr questions the validity of the data behind this research, he raises the issue of the lack of general questioning and discussion that surrounds the energy use of mobile devices and the internet.

While Carr certainly has a point and calls out all the new media advocates who suggest web-based media is more environmentally efficient than old media.

However, I think this is the tip of the iceberg, forget the internet, nobody is really questioning any purchase and action on environmental grounds. We simply aren’t there yet on most things perhaps with the exception of some household appliances and cars, we aren’t really interested, knowledgeable or aware of the environmental cost of anything we buy or do.

Life goes on with scant attention to such things. Carbon credits have yet to take off in the United States and there’s very little transparency as to the real environmental costs of anything we buy or use. Most beer drinkers couldn’t tell you the difference in the environmental impact between a domestic brew and one brewed in Europe for example and nor do they care.

Carr slams Google in his post and make a very interesting point about the company’s serious conflict of interest; encouraging prolific use of the web at any place and at any time and the company’s mission to do no evil, but Google is just one of thousands of companies who unwittingly and perhaps unknowingly are partaking in and encouraging the inefficient consumption of energy.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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