All those cat videos on the internet are bad for the environment. Or, at least that is my humble opinion. Why? Because all those cat videos and other internet postings, including this blog post, are on the "cloud", and that "cloud" uses a tremendous amount of energy.
When people think of clouds, most of us probably think of those beautiful, fluffy, cottony fluff balls that hang in the sky. When people hear about the internet "cloud" many probably think the internet "cloud" is a light, fluffy, cottony "thing" that floats around somewhere, just waiting to vacuum up all your internet ramblings.
The truth is, "Cloud Computing" is one of the most ingenious marketing ploys ever - if it was meant to be a ploy. The "Cloud" actually is a behemoth which requires a tremendous amount
of land, building infrastructure and energy to operate. These Data Centers, also known as Data Farms. The amount of energy required to operate and store all the data is immense.
That is just one internet entity... with thousands and thousands more, and with more and more of our daily computing lives going to the "cloud" the thought of the amount of energy to store all that is staggering!
Is this really good for our planet? Yes, the internet is wonderful! I love being able to communicate with friends across the globe. Researching information, such as "Data Farms" is much easier with the internet. And I do love to fire up my laptop and surf the web for everything from recipes to old movies.
But - is this necessary for our survival?
Well, we managed to get through the previous millennia with out the internet... somehow!
What can we do about the energy required to store all our "stuff"? One suggestion I have is to scrub your Facebook timeline on a regular basis. Delete old posts. The reality is I never go back to look, and very few people check out old posts on my timeline. Yes, Faceboook does have a feature to remind you of posts from previous years - but - do you really need to repost that?
Delete old Tweets. Remove outdated videos from YouTube. Do yourself a favor and become informed about the "Cloud" and issues related to it. Don't fall for the old "earth friendly" line. When people suggest using the internet is more ecologially responsible than writing something on paper, remind them we can always plant another tree, or make paper out of other materials. There is only so much available land and energy to store our cat videos. Maybe, just maybe, don't upload that on video. See if you can survive. I'll bet you can!
P.S. - The irony is not lost on me that the first thing I will do with this blog post is share it on Facebook! But that will get deleted within a year. :-)