According to a recent study by the energy company OVO, British citizens send about 64 million “unnecessary” e-mails every day. According to The Guardian, every polite “thank you” has its own stage – if every young Briton sent one less e-mail, it would reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 16 tons.
One of those who participated in the OVO study is Mike Berners-Lee, the birth brother of Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web (WWW). The Guardian asked him to comment on the results of the OVO report to assess the impact of email on the environment.
“When you print a message, your computer consumes electricity. When you press “Send”, it goes into a network that is also powered by electricity. Eventually, the e-mail ends up somewhere in the cloud, and these data centers consume huge amounts of electricity.
We don’t think about it because there’s no chimney of smoke sticking out of the computer, but the carbon footprint from IT is huge and growing,” said Mike Berners-Lee.
He added that the main problem lies in the huge number of data centers (DCCs) that are located around the world. They consume so much electricity that efficient communication and information storage capabilities are gradually killing the planet.
Berners-Lee admitted that the figures presented in the report are approximate, but mentioning them is a good way to draw attention to the problem.
When asked by the Guardian if he censure his own brother for the pollution, Berners-Lee laughed: “There are many good things on the Internet. that make your life much better”. This service is a great sample.
We also interviewed several IT experts to get their opinion on the network’s environmental impact. Some of them were sceptical about the problem raised.
Now it is very fashionable to hike on the topic of the environment, and the approach in the material is from the same series.
“About 64 million messages a day is a rather ridiculous figure, which is unlikely to affect the architecture and electricity consumption of data centers and the network. Whether these messages exist or not, the infrastructure will consume approximately the same amount of gas. But that’s why gas is necessary? Rather, it is worth thinking about.
“Greenpeace”, data centers, free cooling, energy from the sun, wind and sea are the main ways to reduce emissions, rather than rejecting unnecessary polite “thank you”.
I am glad that at least there are no offers to return to paper letters – this is where the real nightmare for the environment,” the expert said.
“This is nothing more than a populist statement,” agrees Igor Tyukachev, business continuity consultant at Jet Infosystems.
According to him, indeed, the volume of data is growing, and together with it the computing capacity and power consumption are growing.
“However, the question is in the ratio: while I send an e-mail, my operating system reports to Microsoft data center the volume of data exceeding the e-mail itself several times.”