These days when you Googled you saw symbols showing that Google was promoting solar and wind energy. Personally as an investor in both I support that move. But when I saw the icons I remembered a dinner with Larry Page at the Clinton Global Initiative in NYC last September when I asked him what he thought was the limits to growth of Google and much to my surprise he did not say servers, or people, but he said electricity. It turns out that Google is by now the largest owner of computers in the world and that computers are consuming more and more of the electricity that is used in the world. Therefore Google has the largest utility bill in the planet. And Larry is concerned about this. And not because of the bill itself but because he truly cares about the polluting effect of Google (do no evil). We tend to think of the internet as a very clean industry. It´s hard to imagine eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google as being responsible for global warming but partly they are, they are hardly carbon neutral and in a small way, nor is Fon. What can we do about this? In the case of Google I wonder if there is a different way of searching that could save a lot of energy. One idea is that if all sites pinged Google a la Technorati, instead of Google crawling them that would save a lot of MWs!
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