Google recognizes that there’s been a lot of talk about the energy needed to power the Internet, and they’ve decided to
throw in their two cents by boldly stating that the carbon emissions required to get a glass of orange juice is equivalent to 1,050 Google searches.
“Our engineers crunched the numbers and found that an average query uses about 1 kJ of energy and emits about 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide,” wrote Urs Hölze, Google’s Senior Vice President of Operations. “We have a team of dedicated engineers focused on designing and building the most efficient data centers in the world. In fact, through efficiency innovations, we have managed to cut energy usage in our data centers by over 50 percent, so we're using less than half the energy to run our data centers as the industry average. This efficiency means that in the time it takes to do a Google search, your own personal computer will likely use more energy than we will use to answer your query.”
The blog post also noted that to do one load of dishes in an EnergyStar compliant dishwasher was equivalent to 5,100 searches, a give mile trip in the average U.S. automobile was 10,000 searches, a cheeseburger would run you 15,000 searches and just one month’s worth of electricity used by the average U.S. household clocks in with 3,100,000 searches. Sure makes you think, doesn’t it?
Image Credit: Chip Litherland for The New York Times