This video is bad for climate change: Thank you for watching!


Julia is aware of the environmental issues. She is therefore striving to reduce her energy and environmental impact as much as possible to avoid irreversible climate change. She, therefore, pays attention to her consumption, whether in terms of food, clothing or transport. But what Julia does not suspect is the growing impact of her use of digital technology. Julia has been wanting to buy a new phone for some time. She changes it every 2 years like most people. The manufacture of this telephone requires the extraction of rare, non-renewable mining resources. The greenhouse gases emitted during the extraction phase, manufacturing and the transport of the final product represent 90% of the emissions generated by the life of this telephone. The remaining 10% is issued during the period of use, when the phone is charged. When Julia goes on the Internet with her phone, she multiplies by 9 the CO2 emissions related to the use of her phone. Especially because of video streaming. To play a video, Julia’s phone must establish a connection to the Internet and then to the data centres where the video is stored. The information then makes the opposite journey so that the video finally arrives on Julia’s phone. Video accounts for 80% of the world’s data traffic, and is roughly equally distributed among 4 main types of uses: movies and series, Youtube, social networks and pornography. Worldwide, the energy impact of data is increasing. This leads to carbon emissions and at this rate, digital could account for 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2025. That’s almost as much as all cars today. The resources of our planet will not be able to sustain such an evolution. To control our impact, we will have to arbitrate our uses and decide which ones are the most essential and in what quantity, collectively and on a large scale. Julia has already started to change her habits: she has finally decided to keep her old phone for another year. And has limited herself to one hour of video streaming per day. It’s high time to question the true benefits of our digital overconsumption. The viewing of this video emitted 8.7 grams of CO2. Will you dare to question your choices for real?

Comments 11

  • Très intéressant, ça serait bien aussi que les industries du multimédia valorise leurs énergies fatales comme les data-center qui rejettent en grande majorité leurs calories à l'extérieur au lieu de chauffer les locaux des bâtiments, les serres, piscines municipales de proximité… par exemple
    Le gaz est pas encore assez cher !

  • C'est combien de CO2 un équipe de poulet qui s'amuse a gazer des gens convaincu par votre vidéo en sitting sur un pont?

  • A quand un navigateur ou un module qui reduit la definition des images et des videos pour limiter le traffic ?

  • Bonjour, sauriez vous évaluer le rapport entre flux et stockage des vidéos : une heure de vidéo demande autant de stockage qu'une autre (à qualité égale) mais certaines vidéos sont plus vues, et font donc intervenir plus de flux, que d'autres. Ainsi à partir de quel nombre de vues sur une vidéo sa part de flux dépasse-t-elle sa part de stockage.
    La plateforme de streaming Twitch supprime de ces serveurs les rediffusions des lives après 2 mois sans que cela gêne réellement l'utilisation.
    Un contrôle de YouTube et Cie pourrait permettre d'envisager la même méthode, par exemple en réduisant la qualité de certaines vidéos après un certain temps, et selon la catégorie dans laquelle elle se trouve. (Musique, gaming, société, science et technologie, etc)

  • The Shift Project: Alors pourquoi la proposez-vous en definition 1080p et 720p?
    Le message passe tout aussi bien en definition 360p, ce qui reduit la taille de l'image (donc potentiellement la taille de la video de maniere similaire) d'un facteur 9 par rapport a 1080p…

  • You don't take in account the beneficial impact of online porn on Earth ecosystem – each time someone get an orgasm watching porn instead of having real sex, he/she do not procreate a child. Every child less, means some 1000 Tons of carbon emission less, but also less resources consumption, less terrain used for agriculture – just benefits. Pleas include in your calculation the impact from reduction of population increase from porn. United Nations should promote porn use in Africa to reduce still very high birthrate in this continent.

  • And I dont care.

  • You know killing yourself is good for the climate. Do it stupid climate freaks !

  • Transportation is responsible for 29% of Greenhous gases, that means it is nearly 30 times as bad as the Internet.

     What is the alternative to Video streaming? Buying CDs that have to be produced, shipped and ultimately recycled? Will emit more CO2. Communicating over videochat instead of traveling somewhere is a great reduction in CO2. Watching Pirates of the Carribean every day is a great reduction in CO2 compared to flying there for vacation.

    Access to a great library of series and films and being able to communicate with people far away improves the quality of life for billions of people across the socioeconomic spectrum. Flying to vacations and conferences, however, and driving big cars, eating meat, … are all habits that are especially prevalent with richer people. Breaking those habits would reduce CO2 by a far bigger margin than making poor people feel bad for using the internet.

    Porn could save people from sexual frustration and the resulting vulnerability to extremist indoctrination! A youtube video can show me how to repair my smartphone, preventing the emissions of producing a new one! A video of the squalid working conditions in Bangladeshs Sweatshops can get people to buy second hand!

  • And ironically this video is hosted on YouTube

  • The irony of making this into a video is golden

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