How to talk to your kids about climate change

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In particular, I am reflecting on whether some of the things I noticed at the start of the pandemic will be resolved, to ensure that we do not add even more to this major problem. As a world, the pandemic has accelerated a shift towards increased use of technology as a means of communication and work, this has undoubtedly had an impact on the increase in electronic waste and energy consumption. It is a major ethical, moral and social problem.

Many sources of information already report on this question. Recently, Dispatches published an article focusing on the habits of humans and how they are destroying the planet. What habits do I hear you asking? Below, I go into them further.

The role of technology in climate change

With our increased use of technology, we use data centers and data centers use a lot of energy. We should ask ourselves. How are these data centers powered? Does the energy they use come from a renewable source? Otherwise, as a planet, we replace one problem with another.

Earth Day has come and passed in April of this year and is celebrated every year. This year’s theme was #RestoreOurEarth – but what does that actually mean? We are tricked into believing that we are saving the planet by not traveling and switching to conferencing software. However, when declaring that online is better for the planet, there are a few things to consider, some of which are:

  • the number of people on the call;
  • the location of these people on the call;
  • the quality of the call (does it broadcast in HD video?).

Why are these things important? The answer is simple, if there are, say, fifty people on a call from all over the world, then all the data generated is routed around the world through data centers and a lot of energy is used.

Also, if all of these people are using video, it is more power hungry than using audio alone. There is a tipping point between online-only and in-person benefits

What about another area of ​​our lives, taking photos or videos? Both of these activities consume a lot of energy, especially when the image or video is then shared with others around the world. Consider if a photo is taken in England and shared with thousands of people around the world – that photo has been sent around the planet, through many data centers. A lot of energy is used, the further the image travels. Consider social media and the number of posts that individuals and businesses post on a daily basis, all of them travel in data centers and consume power, but for the most part this is not visible to the user.


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