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Can we reason about the use of digital technology as in our way of traveling?

In a study published by Patterns magazine, we learned that the digital sector emits more greenhouse gases than aviation. Explanations

Out of ecological awareness, we change many of our habits, we stop doing many things … Eat meat, take the plane, drive with diesel. But it is rarer that we control our relationship with electronic devices. However, a study reveals that digital technology has a disastrous impact on the planet, emitting more greenhouse gases than the aviation sector, according to data published in Patterns magazine.

The real problem of global warming is information technology.

Your smartphone is not solely responsible: your computer, your TV, your iPad are also responsible. Not to mention data storage, which is extremely polluting. For comparison, your electronic devices contribute 2.1% greenhouse gas emissions, storage is 3.9%. Aviation? 2.5% in total, remember the experts.

We tend to have more and more electronic devices and we want them bigger and bigger – isn’t your smartphone more comfortable with a big screen? Imagine that this indicator plays with the amount of GHG emitted, the bigger the screen, the more it pollutes.

Making a TV is like going back and forth between Paris and Nice

However, if the study is believed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees (established by the Paris Agreement), the digital carbon footprint would have to be reduced by 42% by now. The year 2030. In other words, the opposite of what is happening, to the extent that this sector continues to emit more every year. This curve cannot be reversed, unless there is a great political consultation or great industrial efforts. Another possible option is to use green energy, which would reduce this impact by 86%.

This data includes a large amount of information about the entire useful life of the device, from its manufacture to its destruction, including its transport or even its energy consumption during its useful life. Looking only at the manufacture of a television that weighs 11.4 kilos, the researchers estimate that the emission of greenhouse gases is identical to that of a Paris-Nice by plane (round trip). To get there, the study authors went beyond what had been done before, believing that GHG emissions estimates had been downward in the digital sector. They also specify that there are surprisingly few studies on air pollution from digital technology today.

Source: The Real Climate and the Transformative Impact of ICT: A Critique of Estimates, Trends, and Regulations, Patterns; Futura Science, Global warming: the digital sector generates more greenhouse gases than aviation

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