Say, Are Your Text Messages Bad For Global Warming?

This is a Big Question for National Democratic Radio, er, National Public Radio

How Much Do Your Text Messages Contribute To Global Warming?

A few days back, All Tech got a question from an NPR listener that got us curious.

Tim Callahan from Seattle wrote:

“A friend asked how texting – in all its forms (admittedly a squishy thing to corral) – is contributing to global warming? After saying, ‘minimally…’, I thought about how to answer that question. Putting aside the sunk contribution caused by the manufacture and transport of the device you text with, how much does the battery emit / generate while a person does a typical or somehow average text? … Can you help quantify?”

I tracked down someone who’d get us to the answer: greenhouse gas footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee. Climate impact calculations are just the sort of thing he does for work at Small World Consulting at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. And estimating the impact of a text message is exactly the thing he did for his 2010 book How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint Of Everything.

I’ll make it easy for you: the answer is that the carbon footprint of texting is very minimal

When we wrote this a few years ago, we estimated that the carbon footprint of all the world’s text messages to be 32,000 tons of CO2e per year. By now, it will have grown quite a bit, but 32,000 tons is still a tiny figure for all the world’s text messaging.

That’s the equivalent of the carbon footprint of around 1,700 US citizens, if we use the older figure of the average US citizen having a carbon footprint of 19 metric tons. Adding pictures increases the figure. And the world’s carbon footprint is 50 billion metric tons. So, a drop in the bucket.

What this does go to show is how insane the members of the Cult of Climastrology are, that they would even worry about whether their text messaging is Bad for global warming/climate change. They need to get a grip. Of course, this is what the constant drumbeat of future doom from tiny amounts of CO2 does to weak-minded and easily impressible Leftists creates.

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