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Harvard physicist says Sunday Times got it wrong

Posted on Tuesday, January 13 2009 @ 20:28:43 CET by

Last weekend British newspaper Sunday Times of London published an article in which it cites figures from Harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross which suggest two Google searches produce as much CO2 as boiling a kettle of water. However, Wissner-Gross set the record straight yesterday and claims he never mentioned Google in the study:
A story in the Sunday Times of London sent Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) More about Google public relations machine into an advanced search for answers. The Times reporters wrote about a new Harvard study that examines the energy impact of Web searches. The story's lead paragraph: "Performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, according to new research."

One problem: the study's author, Harvard University physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, says he never mentions Google in the study. "For some reason, in their story on the study, the Times had an ax to grind with Google," Wissner-Gross told TechNewsWorld. "Our work has nothing to do with Google. Our focus was exclusively on the Web overall, and we found that it takes on average about 20 milligrams of CO2 per second to visit a Web site."

And the example involving tea kettles? "They did that. I have no idea where they got those statistics," Wissner-Gross said.



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