Is the Cloud damaging the planet? – asks BBC TV’s Panorama

Posted: February 6, 2023 by oldbrew in Batteries, climate, data, Emissions, Energy
Tags: , ,

Hyperscale data center in Dublin developed by EdgeConneX. (Image credit: EdgeConneX)

The BBC thinks we should agonise over our ‘carbon footprint’ in relation to computer data centres, due to their massive use of electricity (and water). It’s supposed to be a ‘crisis for which we are all to blame’. Another question then: how is this not also a problem for advocates of expanding electric power into transport and other areas of energy usage with lithium batteries, which are produced with huge volumes of water in the mining process and soak up vast amounts of electricity when collectively recharged?
– – –
Today Monday 6 February 2023, there is a new episode of Panorama. Is the Cloud Damaging the Planet?

The Cloud is fantastic, and we all have come to rely on it, says Memorable TV.

It’s where all of our memories and correspondence live, the engine behind all of our web searches, and the conduit for all of our television binges.

Cloud computing, however, requires massive data centres that consume tremendous quantities of both water and electricity behind the scenes.

Going online has a cumulative effect of increasing its carbon footprint. Richard Bilton delves into the expanding ecological crisis for which we are all to blame.

Source here.
– – –
Related — RTE (Irish broadcaster): The rise and rise of data centres in Ireland (Aug. 2022)
‘Analysis: Data centres in Ireland are now consuming more metered electricity than all of our rural homes put together’

  1. brianrlcatt says:

    HOw can that be if water is in sealed circuits used for cooling? Minimal treatment required to return it to the water supply. Total BS?

  2. saighdear says:

    Och munn, Heard some waffle about this over the crackle of sassitches n bacon this morning. Well what would you expect, been well enough documented about the power consumption of these server farms, out underwater in N Sea if I recall ( don’t need to). Weren’t they to be using wind or tidal power which couldn’t be grid connected? Anywise, the beeb has done it’s bit as usual to ENCOURAGE the use of IT and the cloud through it’s Media promotion in various forms. Weekends subjected to KLONK and successors to ToMorrow’s world. When the airwaves are already filling with Repeat repeated repeats of M&W or Cor St, etc or american tat, and sales, maybe little wonder that intelligent youth doesn’t want to know how to operate a Recorder – everything must be now, & LIVE ( even the recordings – streamed). Hence the demand for Mega Motorways of Fibre. and still I watch the hourglass or equivalent for sake of a better word, spinning around.
    So just another scare story to detract. RIght then , let’s just shut down the Web, call it another ULEZ ( ultra low E-information Zone ) and limit what we can research or spread.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Large-scale use of electricity either is a problem or it isn’t. Which?

  4. ivan says:

    oldbrew, It only becomes a problem if they are relying on unreliable renewables to supply grid scale power which they never do.

    As for the BBC propaganda that is all it is – propaganda to try and convince the sheep to go along with the stupidity of The UN Church of Climatology outpourings which are meaningless.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Ireland wants all the data centre business without the high electricity consumption. Does not compute.

    And if the Cloud is ‘damaging the planet’ (how exactly?) then so are EVs, according to the same logic. Maybe Panorama can explain 🤨

  6. JB says:

    “Richard Bilton delves into the expanding ecological crisis for which we are all to blame.”

    Mr Bilton needs to speak for himself. I didn’t set the system up, nor do I use it intentionally for storage. AFAIAC, they could use granite crystals for storage. Makes no difference to me.

    What does make a difference is being made responsible for products and systems conceived and produced by big business. Don’t knock at my door.

  7. oldbrew says:

    From watching the Panorama piece it was clear that storing everything, however trivial or transient, forever on the Cloud isn’t going to be viable. But there’s no plan to take any other approach.

    In the meantime monster data centres are springing up all over the place. Bilton ramped up the BBC carbon footprint, visiting Las Vegas, Arizona, Ireland and Norway.

    Plenty of industries are big users of electricity, but data centres offer a handy way for the alarmist BBC to point their climate guilt finger at the viewers.

  8. Phoenix44 says:

    There isn’t an “expanding ecological crisis”. There’s simply no evidence for that. So there’s no blame.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s