With most media we consume being available online these days, you’d think that it’s made a positive impact in terms of the amount of waste produced. But it turns out that’s not quite the case.
According to the research by a French think tank called The Shift Project, the transmission and viewing of online videos pumps out about 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year (about one percent of global emissions), which is from all the electricity used to transmit the video data to devices such as phones and TVs
Of that 300 million, streaming services like Netflix account for a third of it, online porn pumps out another third and the rest is from various bits and bobs like YouTube.
To put that number into perspective, Belgium puts out about 104 million tonnes of CO2 a year. If we were to do some napkin math, it means all our Netflix binging and porno watching generates nearly twice as much CO2 in a year than a literal country. Hell, the annual amount of (CO2) emissions from online porn alone nearly amounts to what Belgium pumps out.
So in short, all your Netflix and chilling, and your late night jerkin’ of the gerkin is putting the earth through some hurtin’.
Now this may not seem like much relatively speaking but every little bit counts, especially considering that we’re on track for the end of human civilisation by 2050 thanks to climate change.
With new technology, such as 8K video and Google’s upcoming video game streaming platform, Stadia, gradually making its way to the mainstream, the current online video CO2 emissions figure will only grow higher due to the increased amount of electricity required.
While the think tank didn’t try to guesstimate the projected CO2 emissions figure when these new technologies properly arrive, they did recommend a number of measures to limit the emissions from online videos.
These ranged from small changes like stopping videos from autoplaying and not transmitting video in HD when it’s not necessary to bigger measures like cutting down on the Netflix and porn binging, and implementing regulations.
Maybe the solution to this is to just shut Belgium down. If our adult film and binging habits are hurting the country, let’s just shut the whole thing down so we can enjoy all the porn or Netflix we want. The country and people are nice and all, but we just have to ask ourselves one thing: do we really NEED Belgium over our need of Netflix and porn?
Didn’t think so.
So that’s settled then. Yes to splooge and no to Bruges.