Internet’s Expanding Carbon Footprint

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

The internet’s increasing appetite for electricity poses a major threat to not only companies such as google and the future of internet use, but is also having a negative impact on the environment.  “In an energy constrained world, we cannot continue to grow the footprint of the internet…we need to rein in the energy consumption” (Suodh Bata, Vice President at Sun Microsystems).  With more than 1.5 billion people online around the world, scientists estimate that the energy footprint of the net is growing by more than 10% each year. This leaves many internet companies in a bind: energy costs are escalating because of increasing popularity, while at the same time advertising revenues come under pressure from the recession. This double bind poses a problem for internet companies affording enough energy to meet consumer demand; and while the demand for electricity is a primary concern, a secondary issue as a result of the explosion of internet use, is the computer industry’s carbon debt, which is increasing drastically. From having a relatively small impact just a few years ago, it is now leapfrogging other sectors like the airline industry that are more widely known for their negative environmental impact. It is apparent, that the demand for internet access far exceeds the readily available amount of energy available.

Title: Web Providers Must Limit Internet’s Carbon Footprint, Say Experts”

Author Bobbie Johnson,

Source: San Francisco Guardian News Media Limited. May 3, 2009

Student Researcher: Anne Cozza

Faculty Evaluator: Buzz Kellogg
Sonoma State University