Words by Verity Butler
s you sit and heartily binge your way through
If we’re going to fight climate change, we have to get our facts straight. A study by the International Energy Agency delivers some clarity on the real impact of streaming video
Squid Game , does it ever cross your mind that you could be having a second-hand effect on the environment? It’s very easy to complain that it’s impossible to enjoy anything these days. But that’s the reality of the global crisis, and unfortunately it is an uncomfortable one. But, on the flip side, we’ve got to start prioritising the bigger issues. Media hype and the dangers of fake news and disinformation can create confusion around the
real impacts, and what the most important battles are. The plastic straw revolution is a perfect example. Are they awful for our oceans and planet? Absolutely. Is using eco-friendly alternatives the right thing to do? Definitely. Does this save our planet? Obviously not. However, the way this movement became a trend in the online space reinforced the idea that hopping on-board and using paper straws was equal to having done your bit. It’s time to understand the true carbon footprint of streaming. Stats from the International Energy Agency (IEA) will fact-check the headlines.
The low-climate impact of streaming video today is thanks to rapid improvements in the energy efficiency of data, networks and devices. But there are other factors to consider: slowing efficiency gains, rebound effects and new demands from emerging technologies, including AI and blockchain, raise concerns about the imprint of the sector over the coming years.
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