AI chatbots and image generators run on thousands of computers housed in data centers like this Google facility in Oregon.
Generative AI, those astonishingly powerful language- and image-generating tools taking the world by storm, come at a price: a big carbon footprint. But not all AIs are equally dirty.
Image of the affluent residential neighbourhood of Dubai Marina in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The countries that accumulate the most wealth are also the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. Tackling overconsumption would make it possible to reach the desired goal of zero emissions sooner.
The Internet is anything but immaterial, as all those messages, images, and videos live in data centres, which consume immense amounts of energy.
The energy consumption of Internet use has multiplied by a thousand-fold in 20 years. So how can we better visualise our energy ‘spending’ and reduce carbon emissions?
Australia is an exception among developed nations in having increased energy use per person since 2005. A new consultation paper offers hope of policies that can lift the nation’s energy performance.
Is it better to cool your house all day, or adjust the A/C setting on your way out the door?
Westend61 via Getty Images
Energy modeling software provides insight into whether letting your A/C relax while you’re gone all day will save you energy – and money.
The UK’s need for building cooling is set to grow significantly.
As the UK warms, the government needs to pay more attention to sustainably and efficiently cooling buildings.
Paris is an example of a densely built low-rise city.
New research has found that low-rise urban environments are more space and carbon efficient than high-rise buildings which have a drastically higher carbon impact.
The way we use fossil fuels is wasteful and inefficient. A world based on renewable energy would need half as much as we produce now.
Some alternative cryptocurrencies, called ‘altcoins’, demand far less electrical power than bitcoin.
There is no doubt we need to stop emitting fossil carbon. But if we fixate on replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and don’t also reduce consumption and energy waste, we risk failure.
You might be surprised to find yourself in the company of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in the world’s richest 1%. This has big implications for planetary survival.
Flattening inequality between and within countries could allow everyone a good standard of living within a liveable climate.
Consumers want to embrace sustainability, but still need some guidance.
There’s a buzz around sustainability, but consumers still struggle to develop new habits. Here’s how to change that.
“No Linky” posters in Montreuil, near Paris. The first one reads “Linky: You can say no.” The second reads “Linky spies on your private life.” Some residents fear data surveillance rather than looking at possible advantages of smart meters.
A recent study suggests that smart meters can help households reduce their electricity use by as much as 5%. Are France’s anti-Linky households listening?
For a megacity, Tokyo is rich in trees.
In an increasingly urban world, trees can make a major difference. One study found that, for every dollar invested in planting, megacities saw a $2.50 return on their investment.
New technologies that can help us to meet climate change targets are struggling to see the light of day. Incentives need to be fixed, and carbon pricing is at the heart of the matter.
Self-driving cars are way more energy efficient than your average vehicle – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll reduce carbon emissions.
These people are angry – but most are indifferent.
Andy Rain / EPA
Personalised energy services would stop everyone getting ripped off.
Old people in many countries are less likely to own a car.
Could developed countries’ ageing populations help clean up the climate? New research suggests that a 1% increase in the proportion of over-65s delivers a 1.5% cut in carbon dioxide emissions.
Energy use - shrink it.
In proposing a 30% rather than a 40% energy demand reduction target, the European Commission is increasing the risks that European Union member states face from fossil fuel dependence and slowing the economic…