Feeds

Google blames cheeseburgers for destroying the planet

OJ, newspapers guilty too

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has declared newspapers, orange juice and cheeseburgers that much more harmful to the planet than running a vast network of datacentres.

Urs Hölzle, senior vice president operations at Happyland Central, took to the Google blog today to put its claims that the average Google search "uses about 1 kJ of energy and emits about 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide" in context.

This is dramatically less than Harvard prof Alex Wissner-Gross claimed back in January. He calculated that a Google search was equivalent to around 7.5g of CO2.

Still, for the sake of argument, we'll take Hölzle's figure as a starting point. Hölzle then declares that an average daily newspaper accounts for the equivalent of 850 Google searches, while a glass of orange juice stacks up to 1050 searches. So, that's pages of algorithm sorted links before you've even gotten as far as your morning coffee and muffin.

It inevitably gets worse. A five mile trip in an automobile equates to 10,000 searches, according to Hölzle, while a cheeseburger (remember, you only had OJ for breakfast) is a whopping 15,000 searches.

At this point it's no surprise that an average US household burns enough energy per month to serve up 3.1 million Google searches - or 207 cheeseburgers. Which for a family of four is about 1.7 cheeseburgers each a day. We suppose it's just possible the Google search equivalent in newspapers would be even more nutritious.

Anyway, Hölzle reassures his readers that Google is working hard to reduce its energy usage, and has in fact cut it by 50 per cent; though he neglects to say compared to what, over what period, whether this is a per server or per search or overall figure, and how many cheeseburgers or newspapers this equates to.

But he does point out that, "This efficiency means that in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will likely use more energy than we will use to answer your query."

So there you have it, if you want to enjoy a cheeseburger or newspaper - or even a newspaper's own website - without feeling climate guilt, just steer clear of Google. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.