Monday, January 05, 2009

Climate & Energy Change and Facebook

I got t a new Twitter friend. Amr El Beleidy (beleidy) is now following my updates on Twitter. I got a quick look at his blog and this was his latest posting. Read more on his blog.
Climate & Energy Change: "How much carbon do you emit through Facebook?

3% of the electricity produced by the US goes into its computers. We tend to think of computers as a low energy consumption devices, and they are. But without much notice they have crept into every aspect of our life. And now the computers in the US use 3% of its electricity. I wonder how much kettles use.

And some of those computers are housed in massive data centres such as those that are running Facebook. As Facebook adds 600,000 new users every day and as their monthly electricity bill passes $1,000,000 (see here), a lot of carbon is being emitted. We don’t really see it but every time we click on a Facebook link, some computer starts processing and some hard disk starts turning (if it wasn’t already) and some network card starts sending, all contributing to the electricity usage and thus the carbon emissions. But how much is all of this really.

My [Amr El Beleidy] suggestion to Facebook, which any reasonable person in Facebook would strongly reject, is to put a small counter somewhere on the screen that measures your contribution to Facebook’s carbon emissions. Let’s find out how much carbon we emitted just by browsing through our friend’s photos because we are bored at work."
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