Friday, 22 February
Did you ever think about the carbon footprint of your last Google search?
Consider this from the latest issue of Sierra: "Google is hunting for cheap renewable energy....The Internet powerhouse is investing millions in solar, wind, and geothermal technology, with the aim of generating a gigawatt of renewable energy that is cheaper than coal. A gigawatt is enough to power a city the size of San Francisco or three of Google's energy-sucking data centers."
Google is usually pretty silent on the subject of those "energy-sucking data centers"--where they are, how much energy they suck, how many there are. But if just one takes the power of one-third of San Francisco, well, in unproprietary layman's terms, that's a lot of electricity.
Giga- is a prefix meaning one billion, a 1 followed by 9 zeroes. A googol is equal to a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. I hadn't realized that Google's name is an apt reference to the amount of electricity it consumes.
So, what's the carbon offset for my next Google search: Geelong Tour?