Those cat videos don’t come out of thin air. Each time you use the internet, massive data servers need power, and power causes emissions. While tech companies are trying to be more efficient and use renewable energy, there is still a cost to every search.
Backers of the Net have long pushed environmental benefits. And it’s true that the Net has allowed us to use less energy by dematerializing many essential activities.
Having said that, the Net’s environmental impact is not bupkis. Recently, campaigners have been sounding the alarm about the cloud-related expansion of data centers around the country, with well-known companies accused of using less-than-clean energy sources to power them.
This infographic by Wordstream points to both sides of the issue...