Online porn habits are causing massive (carbon) emissions


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Watching less online porn may lessen the impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions, according to a new report.

Research by French climate think tank The Shift Project found the energy systems for streaming video online — including porn — are responsible for the release of more than 300 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year.

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Of that total, streaming video services such as Netflix make up a third of the emissions (34%). Online porn videos generate just under another third (27%).

The researchers crunched the numbers in reports from network companies to determine data traffic. Then, they estimated how much electricity that traffic consumes.

They could then calculate the resulting greenhouse gas emissions using global averages. Online video is responsible for nearly 1 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, they found.

The researchers warn as people watch more and more online videos in increasingly higher quality, emissions will also grow.

Researchers aren’t for or against porn

But The Shift Project team say they’re not trying to shame you for your porn sessions or Stranger Things marathons.

“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 team explains.

“The direct and indirect environmental impacts (“rebound effects”) linked to the uses of digital technologies are both unsustainable and increasingly rapid.”

Rather, they want to think about how many videos you’re streaming to help reduce the impact on the planet.

They also want the companies to rethink design to stop videos auto-playing or streaming videos in high definition unnecessarily.

“If we let the video users go how they are going right now, there will be a time when we just won’t be able to really sustain these users,” report author Maxime Efoui-Hess said.

“I think it’s dangerous for the digital infrastructure for the digital world.”

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