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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?