Your Computer is Causing Global Warming

Did you know that you're causing global warming just by reading this article on your computer screen?

Or that a medium-sized server has the same annual carbon footprint of an SUV that gets 15 miles to the gallon?

Well, shame on you for not being aware of just how harmful to the environment your laptop is, because according to an English environmental organization called Global Action Plan, the Information and Computer Technology industry is about to surpass the aviation industry in annual carbon dioxide emissions.

I kid you not.

Here are some of the highlights of this organization's paper on the matter entitled "An Inefficient Truth":

  • Gartner, the ICT research and advisory company, estimates that the manufacture of ICT equipment, its use and disposal accounts for 2% of global CO2 emissions which is equivalent to the aviation industry
  • Servers and data centres have become integral to business but as the size and capacity of these servers increase, so too does the energy consumed by them
  • The intensive power requirements needed to run and cool data centres now account for around a quarter of the ICT sector's CO2 emissions
  • It is estimated that a medium-sized server has roughly the same annual carbon footprint as an SUV vehicle doing 15 miles per gallon
  • The manufacturing process for computers is very energy intensive. A recent study at the United Nations University in Tokyo found that most electrical products consume around 95% of lifecycle fossil fuels when in use; however, 75% of PC fossil fuel consumption has already happened before the computer is even switched on for the first time
  • Furthermore, the study found that the manufacture of one PC requires about 1.7 tonnes of raw materials and water, and consumes over ten times the computer's weight in fossil fuels.
So, do the world a favor and turn your darned computer off!
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.