Climate Killer Smartphone: Just As Bad As Low-cost Airlines?

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Climate Killer Smartphone: Just As Bad As Low-cost Airlines?
Climate Killer Smartphone: Just As Bad As Low-cost Airlines?

Video: Climate Killer Smartphone: Just As Bad As Low-cost Airlines?

Video: Climate Killer Smartphone: Just As Bad As Low-cost Airlines?
Video: Как устроена IT-столица мира / Russian Silicon Valley (English subs) 2023, March

The facts that Ralph Hintemann, energy researcher at the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability in Berlin, put on the table speak a clear language:

  • One billion emails are written in Germany every day: makes 1,000 tons of CO2 (1 email = 1 gram of CO2).
  • If you enjoy Netflix (video streaming) for an hour, you could also drive a kilometer - in the end the same CO2 emissions.
  • A Google search results in 0.2 grams of CO2. Not much? Let's multiply this by the daily 3.45 billion searches - wow!

Well, if you look at the innovations of the month at Netflix, the climate is bad - sounds strange, but is true:

Netflix: New in December 2019

Above all, it is the global data centers that hold and distribute the data that require a lot of electricity here. If you think about it: Worldwide, all IT devices and applications account for 800 million tons of CO2 per year - as much as Germany emits entirely of greenhouse gases annually. Data centers in Germany already require 40 percent more electricity than in 2010. If the trend continues, the value compared to today will double again in the next few years according to the report. In short: Every connected person with smartphone and Co. is per se a "climate sinner". What you can do for the climate, according to the ZDF article, sounds like a dubious “digital diet” to me:

  • Delete old emails.
  • Unsubscribe newsletter.
  • Avoid the cloud, backup photos and videos to external storage media instead.
  • "Deduplication": For example, do not send pictures via mass distribution lists.

The green way is a matter of power generation

Doesn't sound so exhilarating and comfortable now. It is even better to start with the data center, to reduce electricity consumption there through innovative cooling technology. But even then I think about it: isn't it the head of the fish that starts to smell first?

Price comparison: electricity and gas calculator at Check24

Not only the electricity consumption, but the actual generation is the problem. Only climate-neutral electricity generation (primarily wind, water and sun) can help. For example, Apple is leading by example and has been running on 100 percent green energy since April 2018, and not just in data centers. Only this can be the way in the end.

My thoughts on the weekend: The column wants to provide food for thought, call for discussion and reflect on the “news surge” of the week towards the end. A small selection of the previous articles in the column:

  • Smartphone secretly films - what now? Time for this feature
  • Going back in time with smartphones: are retro phones cool or embarrassing?
  • Smartphones from Africa: isn't Wakanda a dream after all?

Because honestly, I don't want to miss out on sending emails, sharing cat videos and using the blessings of the cloud. After all, if it is up to the little Greta, we have to reduce travel considerably. Then at least I also want to bring the wide world into my home with a smartphone. I am not drawn back to the sealed-off cave of the Neanderthals.

Have a nice Sunday and please turn off your smartphone for the rest of the day. No, but rather not? I thought to myself, you little bitch.

Sven Kaulfuss
Sven Kaulfuss

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