Is google trying the save the world by creating more energy pollution?
Google announced it would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fund companies developing clean-energy technology to generate electricity from renewable energy below the price of coal.
“We’re busy assembling our own internal research and development group and hiring a team of engineers and energy experts tasked with building 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. Google’s R&D effort will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas.” Google said.
One headline went over the top even by google standards declaring, “Spending Google’s money on conscientious causes” (!)
Larry Brilliant of google.org bewailed, “There are thousands of suicides in southern India because the farmer is unable to keep up with the effects on (his) land from salt water. This is a real phenomenon all over the world, and we have to treat it with the respect and the urgency that it demands; not as another fad or another kind of media event. This is real. … we have two founders who are so impassioned about this…”
Ironically, the world energy demand in the past 12 months increased by at least 10.1EJ (EJ = billion gigajoules) and most probably by as much as 24EJ (~ 760gigawatt) compared with previous period, a demand that is 321 to 760 folds higher than google’s targeted 1 gigawatt capacity. Google is producing additional energy; it is not keeping the coal in the ground! Google’s energy ‘needs’ both present and future can be met by existing generators, without the need to build more power stations.
This begs the question: Is google trying the save the world by producing more energy pollution?
Google is a glorified advertising agency [about 95 percent of its income comes from advertising,] and its interest in renewable energy is motivated by commercial reasons and profit alone. Perhaps the best testimony to google’s true intentions is the extravagant lifestyle of its founders who fly around in a private Boeing 767-200 jet that usually carries up to 180 passengers. To suggest that google’s founders are “so impassioned about this…” is misleading and disingenuous even by their duplicitous standards.
An Excerpt from: The Fate of Energy Dinosaurs
“The key to preventing mass species extinction and preserving human cultures is one of creating the opportunity for humans to evolve at very low rates of energy (and material) consumption.”