1Mb downloaded is one piece of coal burned. The veracity of this I’m not sure about. And of course, it’s a rather far reaching claim to make, and when you take into account renewable and nuclear energy, how many computers, routers and servers are behind your download, who knows how many energy stations across the world contribute to the 1Mb coal fund. And how big is this piece? Unlike at home, coal is ground down into dust before it’s burnt in power stations, and also, I’ve been searching but can’t find out how much energy is given off per weight of coal burnt.
But, lets ignore all that, take it as truth, and imagine that its your local power station up the road that is burning this lump. How much have I contributed? How many polar bears are stranded on ice melts due to by new found obsession with Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe?
Lets try and see if I can prove this without an army of Trinity research students.
Well, yesterday after some surfing, blogging, couple of episodes of shows on YouTube, Video Tutorials, image downloads for projects, instant messaging…. I could go on. But about 1200 Mb’s.
And what does that mean? It means about 6 of his bags of coal. Which would keep me warm for the Winter, easily. But lets look into this further.
Just how much does this little guy cost?
It been a while since I last lifted coal (we’re farmers, turf all the way), but I’d put that bag at 25 to 30kg. Quite possibly more, but we’ll say 25. I’m just on this website, where I can get a 50kg bag (your usual sized bag when we used to get coal. His looks about half that size so that goes at least someway to corroborating my figures) of coal for £15.60 sterling, which is about €17.28. So we’ll say an even €8 for that bag he’s holding. At 200Mb per bag,, and if both are figures are someway correct, that’s 200 lumps of coal in that bag, €0.04 a lump, and hence, Mb of coal. So, hypothetically, where I to somehow create my own Internet that’s what it would cost me. Of course, power stations and the Internet don’t work like that, but for the purpose of this, lets say they do.
How much are being charged for this broadband we’re using now? Well, according to here, when we go over our download limit, (which is part of whichever package you decided on with whichever company, the figures are something like this:
UTV Broadband – €0.0126 per Mb over usage limit
Imagine Broadband – charge €0.035 per Mb over usage limit
BT – charge €0.03 per Mb over usage limit
Perlico – charge €0.03 per Mb over usage limit
3 Ireland – charge €0.05 per Mb over usage limit
O2 Mobile Broadband– charge €0.0201 per Mb over usage limit
Vodafone Mobile Broadband – charge €0.02 per Mb over usage limit
Eircom – charge €0.01 per Mb over usage limit
Eircom Satellite – charge €0.15 – €0.20 per Mb over usage limit
Ignoring the satellites, those figures are pretty close to my 4 cent a Mb.
So, what does that mean? Scientifically, statistically? Nothing. My figures have been gotten through loose research and guesswork. His figures, I can’t find any sources for, only forum posts giving out arguments for and against using roughly the same Google search methods are me.
A useless exercise? No, defiantly not. It proves that his figures might not be wildly off the mark, and it helps me prove a more important point.
It also does prove just how easy it is to come up with this figures. He or I could easily of gotten our figures from anywhere. I just referenced a random coal distribution website from England for God’s sake. He’s showing us lumps of coal in plastic bags with no figures. I haven’t taken into account shipping, the Dollar, coal efficiency. He doesn’t mention where this coal is being burnt.
You can’t just make throwaway remarks like that these days. Like I said, whether he’s telling the truth, what he believes is the truth or just lying, is moot. Lets see some figures for this argument, and then we can decide for ourselves. Jay Walker needs to be using much more precise language before talking to a public that is more then willing to panic over issues that bear even the slightest relation to global warming. A word like ‘piece‘ just doesn’t cut it.