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    Watching Porn Produces as Much Carbon Dioxide Emissions as Whole Countries – Research

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    Digital technology has an invisible environmental impact, but researchers suggest it might actually be very, very sizeable, so you better get your hands off your laptop if you don’t want to be a climate criminal.

    Watching adult films accounts for over 4 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions associated with digital technologies, says a new study.

    “Climate crisis: The unsustainable use of online video”, a report published by French think-tank The Shift Project, highlights that pornography makes up 27 per cent of all videos viewed online.

    Furthermore, online videos – one of the most common forms of online entertainment – are said to generate 60 per cent of world data traffic, based on 2018 estimates.

    In other words, it means that they account for 300 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year (resulting from energy consumption), with porn ‘emitting’ just under 100 million tonnes – nearly as much as Belgium and Kuwait.

    The authors point out that “viewing pornographic videos in the world in 2018 generated carbon emissions of the same magnitude as that of the residential sector in France”.

    Meanwhile, video-on-demand services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime reportedly generated the same volume of greenhouse gas emissions as the entire economy of Chile.

    Digital technologies are estimated to be consuming 9 per cent more energy every year, but the situation is only going to get worse with the wider spread of ever-higher-resolution videos.

    The authors propose to practice ‘digital sobriety’ – namely to reduce the use and the size of videos. This would require certain regulations to be put in place, which should be preceded by a public debate.

    They write: “From the standpoint of climate change and other planetary boundaries, it is not a question of being “for” or “against” pornography, telemedicine, Netflix or emails: the challenge is to avoid a use deemed precious from being impaired by the excessive consumption of another use deemed less essential. This makes it a societal choice, to be arbitrated collectively to avoid the imposition of constraints on our uses against our will and at our expense.”

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