Can computing clean up its act? The industry consumes as much electricity as Britain—and rising

  • stabby_cicada
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    11 months ago

    If you want to judge whether energy consumption is a waste, you have to consider the value of what’s consuming that energy.

    Keeping the internet running? A global storehouse of humanity’s collective knowledge available to almost everyone around the world for free? The ability to communicate in real time with your family on the other side of the world, or coordinate protests in every major city in your country, or host a live meeting that would have required fifty people to fly cross country into a single zoom room?

    Yeah, data farms could become more efficient and sustainable, as could we all. But I don’t begrudge the power they spend one bit. 2% of global energy consumption is low for the benefit.

    Compare to Bitcoin, which accounts for 0.5% of global energy consumption, and benefits no one and nothing…

    • wolfshadowheart@kbin.social
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      11 months ago

      Out of sheer curiosity I wonder how much energy consumption is used for standard currencies. I’m sure it’s less than 0.5% but I wonder

      • solbear
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        11 months ago

        I’m not sure that the combined energy consumption of the aggregate financial system is less than 0.5%, but it does, unlike Bitcoin, provide utility, not withstanding any reasonable objection to the fairness of this system.