Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 24 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Sci Tech    H4'ed 10/5/20

Dear Greta: Letter #2 - Test Your Internet-Footprint IQ by Katie Singer

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments, In Series: Dear Greta
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 500620
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Katie Singer
Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Dear Greta,
I thought I'd make this letter a quiz. It's the best format I know for introducing some of the Internet footprint's invisible issues.
-Katie

Q: Name three of the Internet's main energy guzzlers.
A: Embodied energy. This is the energy used to design a product, extract and refine its raw materials, prepare and ship every necessary substance through its supply chain, then manufacture and ship every finished device and infrastructure part to its end-user.

Access networks. An access network provides internationally deployed infrastructure including cellular sites, fiber optics cables, copper legacy wires, satellites, battery backups. antennas and routers... so that users can access cellular and Internet services.

Data-storage centers. Data centers store websites, videos, GPS, software, social-media posts, email, utility data, and financial, medical, education and military records. Data centers are packed with computers from the floor to the ceiling and cooling systems that keep the computers cool. Some data-storage centers are large enough to be visible from outer space. UK data-center expert Ian Bitterlin says that the amount of energy consumed by data centers doubles every four years.[1] Data centers account for two percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, as much as the aviation industry.[2] By 2025, data centers alone are projected to consume 4.5 percent of total global electricity.[3] Their CO2 emissions grow 13% per year.

Inside view of a data center

Aerial view of the U.S. National Security Administration's Utah Data Center. Photo credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Q: Every manufactured device uses energy from its cradle to its grave. How much of its cradle-to-grave energy has a laptop used before its end-user turns it on for the first time?
A: 81%. [4]

Q: Why does energy efficiency increase energy use and extraction?
A: As devices get more efficient and less expensive, more people buy them. Manufacturing more devices means increased extraction of more raw materials and increased energy use. (For more info, study the Jevons Paradox.)

Q: What are transistors?
A: Transistors are the building blocks of a computer. Transistors are made from semiconductors. They amplify, control and generate electrical signals so that our devices can transmit and receive signals, store data, provide memory and apps. One electronic device can contain billions of transistors. Soon, I will write a letter about how semiconductors and transistors are made.

Q: Compared to the number of grains of wheat and rice grown by the entire world's farmers, how many transistors do manufacturers fabricate?
A: Manufacturers fabricate 1000 times more transistors than farmers grow grains of wheat and rice combined. [5]

Q: How many substances are in one smartphone?
A: 1000+. [6]

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Katie Singer Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Katie Singer writes about nature and technology in Letters to Greta. She spoke about the Internet's footprint in 2018, at the United Nations' Forum on Science, Technology & Innovation, and, in 2019, on a panel with the climatologist Dr. (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

26 days after the NIH's National Toxicology Program reported that cell phone radiation definitively causes cancer

France: New National Law Bans WIFI in Nursery School

Remarkable New Radiofrequency Radiation Cancer Animal Study

Swedish Researcher Reports Key Studies Showing How Ants, Bees and Children Respond to Exposure to EM Radiation From Wi

Part 2 of An Electronic Silent Spring

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Summary by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: