the doubtful sustainability of a digitized world

Researchers at the Universities of Oslo and Glasgow had found out Digital is no better - at least not as far as the CO₂ balance is concerned.

The researchers used the American market to compare the ecological footprint of streaming services with that of physical media such as records, cassettes and CDs since the 1970s. The global warming potential of digital music consumption today is therefore 30 to 100 percent higher than in 2000, because storing and retrieving songs in the cloud, i.e. from data centers, also costs energy. How much this is and what can be saved is made clear by another recent study by the University of Bristol: YouTube video playback consumes about as much electricity each year as the Scottish city of Glasgow with its 600,000 inhabitants. If the company gave all users the opportunity to listen to music only as audio and without a video image, the CO₂ consumption of a city with 30,000 households could be saved. The SZ writes about the increasingly intensive research on the subject of "digital sustainability".

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Herbert Ritsch