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Banks pollute more than China?

I was intrigued to see a report earlier this week that every Google search is equivalent to boiling a half-full kettle of water. 

In reports on Monday, all the newspaper headlines were saying things like: "Two Google searches 'produce same CO2 as boiling a kettle'".

OMG!  I'll never use Google again.  In fact, I'm gonna bury myself in a hole in the ground.  Vgreen.

There's nothing like stirring up a hornet's nest of anti-emissions by producing some research that says:

"Dr Alex Wissner-Gross, a physicist from Harvard University who is leading research into the subject, has estimated that browsing a basic website generates about 0.02g of CO2 for every second it is viewed. Websites with complex video can be responsible for up to 0.2 g per second, he believes."

Boiling a kettle generates about 15g of carbon emissions, and Google searches about 7g he reckons.

Dr. Wissner-Gross's research was published on his website, CO2stats.com (how many trees did I kill googling and accessing that website)?

Turns out the story is complete balderdash, if you believe Google, but there is a serious point as Gartner estimate that IT creates about 2% of CO2 emissions, exceeding those of the world's aviation industry for the first time in 2007, although that is still far less than cows.

So, why blog about this now?

I guess because we have a timely session coming up next Thursday where the Financial Services Club's Capital Markets Chamber is debating whether banks pollute more than steel plants in China, based upon the amount of tech carbon emissions we make.

For the motion, you will hear from the heart of the bank’s supply chain, Sreeni, (ITC Infotech) and Richard Farnworth (NEC). Speaking against will be Andrew Lawrence (Eco-Efficient IT, The 451 Group) and Henry Garthwaite (Carbon Trust Standard Company).

The evening is being run as a joint venture with ecoConnect and JWG-IT in a series of Green in the City events.

If you fancy coming, then register.

And there's nothing like the timing as the government approves Heathrow's third runway today, against a huge environmetnal backlash.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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