Thursday, October 15, 2009

How many planets do we need?

“On an average, a normal Google Search emits about 7 grams of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere” – claimed my friend, 'S', in her presentation on ‘Green IT’. A prominent hand shot up in our class with a question. It was my friend 'G'.

“I have performed so many searches through Google and I’ve never seen any fumes coming out of my system. Can you explain the logic behind your statement?” - He queried with his ever-present ‘innocent’ expression, triggering a ripple of laughter across the class.

'S' and her team went on explain how the servers and components working on our search query use up huge amounts of electricity. This in turn necessitates greater power production resulting in larger quantities of carbon dioxide emissions.

“In that case, how can you cite increased Google searches and such operations as the cause of emissions? Shouldn’t you be looking at the manner in which the electricity is produced? If electricity is generated from renewable sources, then increased Google searches will not lead to global warming.” – shot back, 'G'