Internet-Related Pollution: Beware the Gas Factory!

Internet-Related Pollution: Beware the Gas Factory!

Posted on January 8, 2022


Internet Service Providers and Mobile Operators (Orange, Boigas, Free, SFR) from January 1, 2022 Should communicate Greenhouse gas emissions related to consumers’ internet and mobile usage. But beware, over-reporting can also be dangerous!

Yes, the Internet is polluting!

For subscribers (i.e. all French customers), this information should serve a purpose “Awareness of the impact of their operation and digital consumption on the environment and climate”. Of course, digital uses are an integral part of our daily lives and we all know that it has no consequences on the environment.

As underlined by Ademe A guide To mitigate the digital impact on the environment, the digital sector accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and online videos alone represent 60% of global data flow, as well as 1% of global CO2 emissions. With a steep increase in usage, these carbon footprints will double by 2025.

Is this what we want?

Are these measuring instruments really effective? Have we assessed the environmental cost of these tools, which can help increase the environmental cost of our browsing and mailboxes? While we’m already overloaded with unwanted emails, calls, messages and various other communications on social networks and the internet, you can now get information about greenhouse gas emissions related to your internet and mobile usage … Shame!

New … We are not fighting digital communication with digital communications. When we are already experiencing the contamination of our brains by excessive information, the legislature chooses to attack us once again with new information that we do not have the time (or desire to analyze). As if GDPR had not already worked: What does it mean to bombard consumers with negative messages about uses they do not want to give up anyway?

Our brain is not elastic

Information overload, or excessive information or infobility, is a concept that refers to the excess of information that an individual cannot process or support without harming himself or his activity. We cannot know everything.

Like Caroline Souvojൾl-Realland underlines :

“Perfection is an outdated concept in a digital world. We must give up the assurance that we will see and process everything for good. We can not stop the flow of information rather than the rotation of the earth.”

However, information on greenhouse gas emissions related to Internet consumption is not relevant. They need to be contextualized.

For example, the impact of sending an email depends not only on the weight of the attachments and the storage time on a server but also on the number of recipients. Multiplying the number of recipients of an email by 10 multiplies its effect by 4. The effectiveness of a web request depends on the search time and the number of pages viewed. We go directly to the site address and divide the greenhouse gas emissions by 4. This information is useful to consumers.

It’s not easy to keep it simple

Instead of building confidence in The new economy, Members of the Legislature cultivate general distrust of computerized services. As a lawyer, I defend the principle that normal inflation adversely affects the quality of the law. The desire to control everything down to the smallest detail is a source of insecurity. No more principles, just a regime of exceptions.

However, simplicity alone offers the time and freedom to do what you want! In the 14th century, William of Ocam stated The principle of parsimony Since all other things being equal, we choose the most profitable one from a set of explanatory theories. Amidst an ocean of more or less accurate information (often less) often obscure laws, the primary goal of any new law should be simplicity.

Before enacting the new standards, the legislature must apply some of these principles to itself:

  • Eliminate excessive rules by removing unnecessary or unnecessary but useless ones;
  • Fight against the constant increase in the number of periods;
  • Systematically select the simplest solution for equal efficiency.

Finally, when will there be a systematic cost-effectiveness assessment of all legislation that claims to improve digital technology?

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