×

Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.

BtoB

Google searches may have environmental impact

By Published on .

Are we accelerating the earth's decine with each google search we enter online? In a Jan. 11 Times of London article, physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, a graduate of MIT and Harvard, posited that a single Google search generates 7 grams of CO2, versus 15 grams from a teakettle, in what he noted as a “definite environmental impact.” TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid (“Are We Killing the Planet One Google Search at a Time?” published online by TechCrunch), puts the argument into perspective by suggesting that a book garners 2,500 grams of CO2 (more than 350 times a Google search), while a cheeseburger has an estimated carbon footprint of 3,600 grams (more than 500 times greater). “[The] issue with the article isn't that it is factually incorrect, it's that it paints Google as a malevolent force shrouded in secrecy and that, every time you use it, you're adding to the problem,” Kincaid said. “It's alarmist.” Wissner-Gross also co-founded a start-up Web site last year called CO2Stats, which helps other sites optimize “eco-friendly” standards by offering carbon credits and badges to promote the cause. The Times merely referenced the site. Google later released a blog posting, countering that a single search is actually equivalent to0.2 grams of CO2, while also detailing the company's efforts to further green technology and the energy efficiency of its data centers.
Most Popular
In this article: