(CNN) — Twenty milligrams; that’s the average amount of carbon emissions generated from the time it took you to read the first two words of this article.
Now, depending on how quickly you read, around 80, perhaps even 100 milligrams of C02 have been released. And in the several minutes it will take you to get to the end of this story, the number of milligrams of greenhouse gas emitted could be several thousand, if not more.
This may not seem like a lot: “But in aggregate, if you consider all the people visiting a web site and then all the seconds that each of them spends on it, it turns out to be a large number,” says Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross, an Environmental Fellow at Harvard University who studies the environmental impact of computing.
Wissner-Gross estimates every second someone spends browsing a simple web site generates roughly 20 milligrams of C02. Whether downloading a song, sending an email or streaming a video, almost every single activity that takes place in the virtual environment has an impact on the real one.
As millions more go online each year some researchers say the need to create a green Internet ecosystem is not only imperative but also urgent.
I repeat a question I asked earlier: What part of your life isn’t subject to radical environmentalists’ agenda?