Charlie Buttrey

July 9, 2024

Some time ago, to considerable fanfare, Google grandly announced that it would be carbon-neutral by the year 2030.

So how’s that working out?

In its annual environmental report released last week, the company announced that, in 2023, its pollution amounted to 14.3 million tons of carbon equivalent, which was a 48 per cent increase from its 2019 baseline and a 13 per cent rise since last year. The vast majority of that it attributes to the explosive growth in developing A.I. According to one recent study, generative AI systems such as ChatGPT may use as much as 33 times more energy than machines running task-specific software. In March, the head of the UK’s National Grid said that the combination of AI and quantum computing would lead to a six-fold surge in demand for power in the next 10 years.

Profit or the planet? You’d think that would be an easy call.

© 2020 Charlie Buttrey Law by Nomad Communications