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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1120 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 8, 2020

This one's been bugging me off and on, too. For starters, the Netflix you watch is probably a couple streets away. Netflix OCAs have just been getting smaller and more efficient, same as anything else in networking. If the box pulls down a peak of 300W and it's literally ALL THE NETFLIX IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD we're a long way from "driving a car ten miles."

Then the question becomes "how much energy actually goes into the packets" and it doesn't take too long to discover that "kWh/GB" is a statistically-significant search term, providing an answer of 5 kWh/GB in 2012 and 0.06 kWh/GB in 2018. Part of that is probably a better estimate; most of that is probably flash storage.

So now the question becomes how much GB is a Netflix. Although peak data usage is substantially higher than typical data usage, you can average and discover that Netflix, at 1080p, burns between 2 and 2 1/2 GB per hour.

The final question, then, is what are you watching on? Let's assume you have a reasonably new 50" LCD. The Samsung Amazon wants to sell me burns 55W. That would be 0.055 kWh.

Data side: 0.06 kWh * 2.5 = 150W

TV side: 55W

Hour of Netflix: 205W

So. This handy calculator tells me that it'll take $44 to get a Chevy Spark from my house to my wife's work (10 minutes, mostly flat, 2.9 miles) 5 days a week, twice a day, 52 weeks a year. Breaking that down, that's 440 kWh a year, or 8.46 kWh a week, or 846W per trip.

The Chevy Spark can make it 0.7 miles in the amount of energy it takes me to watch an hour of Netflix. It'll run out of juice in about two and a half minutes. That's not quite far enough to get to the nearest Redbox, and then I'd have to get back.

And I drive a 911 so this "Chevy Spark" nonsense is moot.


user-inactivated  ·  1120 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The Chevy Spark can make it 0.7 miles in the amount of energy it takes me to watch an hour of Netflix.

So energy isn't so bad (still seems like a lot though), so that makes me wonder about the pollution then. Is there something about Data Centers that add to pollution? I imagine if they're hooked to green sources, like wind or solar, they'd be even cleaner than cars.

kleinbl00  ·  1119 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I regularly see snark on Twitter pointing out that the incel in his mom's basement pwning n00bs in COD is better for the environment than the SJW flying to Haiti to plant trees or whatever.

Here's the sad thing: your energy use is insane. All of ours is. Let's say you want to eat a piece of toast. Turning it from "bread" to "toast" is 1500W 1/30h = 0.05kWh. If I put you on an exercise bike and had you pedal for an hour you'd probably burn about 0.08kWh. We won't talk about the fridge keeping the butter cold, the car that got it from the grocery store, the energy to keep the lights on at the grocery store, the truck that brought it to the grocery store, none of it. If you're having a banana for lunch, it's probably traveled 3000 miles to get to you. The Netflix side of the equation is almost moot and still, if I hooked you up to your TV like Gilligan you couldn't quite muster up enough energy to power the TV, the router and* the light over your head.

Here's the happy thing:

Right there, at the very end, for the first time in history, wind and solar edged out coal.

I want you to keep in mind: when I grew up, we were worried about (A) a new ice age (B) nuclear winter (C) malthusian famine due to overpopulation (D) peak oil being hit about 1982 so this whole "wind and solar edged out coal" thing is fuckin' magical to me. Australia is still on fire, to be sure, and we appear to be entering a decade of authoritarian oppression but there are green shoots.

user-inactivated  ·  1119 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Here's the sad thing: your energy use is insane. All of ours is.

Indeed. The more mindful I try to be about how I live my life, from the foods I eat, to the things I buy, to my day to day activities, the more I realize I do and use and take so much. I openly talk about the stuff I try to do right and why I think these things are important, like cut down on red meat, but I'm constantly self chastising myself for the things I don't do right, like energy use.

People say sometimes, when I talk to them about these things, "Don't be so hard on yourself. You're just one person. Look at company x or government y and what they do!" Which is true. But even though I know I'm just a drop of water in the ocean, I'm still part of the tsunami, and even though I'm trapped by the inertia of the waves, I'm aware of what's going on and those calmer waters that I want to be a part of feel so impossibly far away. It's a hurtful knowledge to have.