Streaming online pornography produces as much CO2 as Belgium

From The NewScientist

Technology 11 July 2019

The transmission and viewing of online videos generates 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, or nearly 1 per cent of global emissions. On-demand video services such as Netflix account for a third of this, with online pornographic videos generating another third.

This means the watching of pornographic videos generates as much CO2 per year as is emitted by countries such as Belgium, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

That’s the conclusion of a French think tank called The Shift Project. Earlier this year, it estimated that digital technologies produce 4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and that this figure could soar to 8 per cent by 2025.

Now it has estimated the CO2 emissions due to online videos alone. The report’s authors used 2018 reports by companies Cisco and Sandvine to work out global video internet traffic. They then estimated how much electricity was used to carry this video data and view it on different devices, from phones to TVs.

Finally, they estimated the overall emissions using global average figures for carbon emissions from electricity generation.

Read the full article here.

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July 12, 2019 6:13 am

online pornography produces as much CO2 as Belgium

Makes sense, as it can result in heavy breathing.

Reply to  beng135
July 12, 2019 7:47 am

If people have to give up porn to save the world, then we are all screwed!

Reply to  JohnM
July 12, 2019 8:30 am

Well, if people don’t have porn to watch, they’ll have to get jollies the old fashioned way. In which case, yes, we’ll all be screwing…errr, screwed…errr

Reply to  JohnM
July 12, 2019 8:32 am

Ha! I see what you did there.

Bryan A
Reply to  Thomas
July 12, 2019 12:15 pm

Oh you Voyeur

R Shearer
Reply to  Bryan A
July 12, 2019 2:11 pm

Excluding my reply, best thread since ‘69.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Thomas
July 14, 2019 9:53 pm

“The Shift Project”

Is there one too many letters in that title?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
July 16, 2019 4:04 am

The hift project?

Reply to  JohnM
July 12, 2019 12:18 pm

Another point of view: Porn watchers are contributing to the greening of the planet. Maybe they should be subsidized.

Reply to  KaliforniaKook
July 15, 2019 2:13 am

How does the CO2 of streaming compare to 15min humping ? Not counting the carbon emissions involved in getting a girl into bed in the first place. It seems to be a very incomplete study of the question.

Save the planet, finish quicker.

Maybe they could propose buying carbon offsets for the CO2 produced by viewing time.

Reply to  JohnM
July 12, 2019 10:56 pm

Surely “unscrewed”

Tom Halla
July 12, 2019 6:33 am

So, of course, some green channeling Anthony Comstock will want to ban porno as bad for the environment, as well as growing hair on one’s palm. Nothing new here.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 12, 2019 8:26 am

Don’t forget, it can cause blindness, too.

Reply to  SMC
July 12, 2019 9:24 am

No, you can do it just until you need glasses and then stop ……

Reply to  SMC
July 12, 2019 9:35 am

Nah, they’ve updated to blindness 3.5. gotta stay current.

Reply to  MattS
July 12, 2019 10:17 am

Blindness 3.5?? Do you have a scholarly reference for that? :))

July 12, 2019 6:53 am

Oh Come On (Geddit?)

They overlooked rechargeables like vaccuum cleaners, electric bikes etc etc

There’s every bit as much filth in a Dyson

Bryan A
Reply to  fretslider
July 12, 2019 12:16 pm

Now rechargable Vacuums really suck

Reply to  Bryan A
July 12, 2019 1:31 pm

The nice thing about Hoover’s, they have no teeth. And if you get the right one, it’ll have a flat top where you can set your beer down. 😃

Gerry, England
Reply to  Bryan A
July 13, 2019 5:22 am

I have a battery hand vacuum that I think actually came as a bonus(?) with a proper big plug in job with tons of power, I didn’t directly buy it. Effing useless. Lasts less than 10 minutes which could make it ideal for male users as that is probably as much as we can be bothered with. Better to use my proper hand job which is so powerful if fitted with a funnel can pick up a bowling ball. Hmm, lots of double entendres there given the topic.

July 12, 2019 7:08 am

They do use a lot of rechargeable devices.

Blame Al Gore, he claimed that he, “invented the internet”.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  WXcycles
July 12, 2019 9:48 am

And his two films were ‘climate porn’, so there you go.
But as long as there are masseusses to grab, Big Al won’t be needing any online stuff to satisfy his urges.

July 12, 2019 7:27 am

How modern of you to use an image of a woman viewing online porn.

jon jewett
Reply to  bluecat57
July 12, 2019 8:41 am

Looks like AOC.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  bluecat57
July 12, 2019 9:02 am

Not fair to assume what she’s looking at. She might be checking her husband’s browsing tracks to see what he’s been watching.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
July 12, 2019 3:06 pm

Is she smiling!

Reply to  bluecat57
July 12, 2019 10:27 am

Women and porn:

Reply to  bluecat57
July 13, 2019 7:07 am

The picture is awesomely not connected to the article. Well, there’s a laptop. And an adult user.

Maybe better this way.

Reply to  Hugs
July 17, 2019 5:29 pm

But not funny.

Dr. Bob
July 12, 2019 7:52 am

In a Live Cycle Assessment, one needs to compare the Business As Usual case to the alternative. Let’s assume the BAU case is dating. One needs to wash, dress, put on perfume (or cologne as the case may be), use commercial beauty products (mostly made from petroleum sources), drive to the opposite sex and pick them up, go to a show, have dinner, dessert, make out, get hot and bothered, take the person to a hotel (or other quite secluded spot, or home), and enjoy the rest of the evening. Then calculate the GHG emissions for this activity.

Next you need to compare the BAU case to the alternative, which is staying at home, watching a video, and imagining doing the BAU case. Then calculate the GHG emissions for that case and compare the two.
Which one has the lower carbon intensity?

Now from a more human standpoint, one needs to determine which activity is more enjoyable and will be conducted regardless of the carbon intensity involved.

Each person need to make their own choices here and they can use the GHG emissions information to influence their choice or they can ignore it and just go one with life. Your choice.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Dr. Bob
July 12, 2019 9:27 am

Your BAU scenario tends to eventually lead to the creation of children, which I am told is bad for the environment…

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
July 12, 2019 10:23 am

That’s what birth control is for.

Bryan A
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
July 12, 2019 12:19 pm

But Childern act as a Carbon Sink at least until they’re fully grown

Reply to  Bryan A
July 12, 2019 1:33 pm

Then comes soylent green.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
July 13, 2019 3:34 am

cakked laughing earlier a newsreport on miley cyrus said she n hubby wont procreate”until theres fish in the waters”
shows her IQ levels and his really ..sharkbait
good thing they’re not lowering the genepool IQ really.

July 12, 2019 8:14 am

My favorite Al Gore observation is that, although population and GDP have gone up a lot since WW2, the weight of goods produced has not.

Between 1977 and 2001, the amount of material required to meet all needs of Americans fell from 1.18 trillion pounds to 1.08 trillion pounds, even though the country’s population increased by 55 million people. Al Gore similarly noted in 1999 that since 1949, while the economy tripled, the weight of goods produced did not change. link

The same does not seem to be true of energy consumption. link We can use technology to reduce the amount of physical material we consume but that seems to mean we will consume more energy as a result.

Linking energy consumption to streaming pornography is just click bait. Similarly, we could observe that Bitcoin uses more energy than Switzerland. link

Reply to  commieBob
July 12, 2019 9:29 am

Somehow this is all related to Entropy…

Reply to  yirgach
July 12, 2019 10:20 am

Ah yes the laws of thermodynamics:
1. You can’t win
2. You can’t get ahead
3. You got’ta play

Reply to  commieBob
July 12, 2019 10:37 am

The service economy doesn’t weigh much… I’ll bet the weight of China’s manufactured goods has increased a little in that time period.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  commieBob
July 12, 2019 11:17 am

Someone needs to tell him about this thing called technology:
– Incandescent lights bulbs –> LEDs
– Cathode ray TV’s –> flat screen LCD/LED TVs.
– 70’s cars/trucks 2ton behemoths –> 2010’s cars –> aluminum and plastic 787 carbon fiber jets

As far as energy consumption goes, Vaclav Smil and others have long noted that historically with every substantial increase in conservation (energy efficiency) actually led to higher overall consumption because energy use becomes more affordable to more people.

tsk tsk
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 12, 2019 8:10 pm

Jevon’s Paradox.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  tsk tsk
July 12, 2019 10:42 pm

Thanks for the reminder of the name. I’d forgotten the name of that phenom tsk tsk.

Jeff F.
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 14, 2019 11:18 am

– U.S. Steel -> Foreign Steel

July 12, 2019 8:22 am

What a bunch of *ankers. 🙂

Reply to  Beaufort
July 12, 2019 10:26 am

Umm yes, isn’t that what they are talking about?

Reply to  Beaufort
July 13, 2019 3:37 am

wow this will have warmist Incels gnashing their teeth even more;-))))) roflmao

Tom Schaefer
July 12, 2019 8:29 am

The globalists no damn well that on-line porn is devastating the birth rate in the West, and the reduction in population caused by it has more than compensated for the CO2 increase mentioned in this study. I suspect that if you read between the lines here, the is a big “fnord”.

D Anderson
July 12, 2019 8:34 am

What fraction of the CO2 generated by Nigeria is related to the scam EMAIL industry?

Pamela Gray
July 12, 2019 8:49 am

Think tanks obviously don’t have a lot of sh** to do.

D Anderson
Reply to  Pamela Gray
July 12, 2019 9:05 am

I’d like to see their browser histories.

On second thought, no I wouldn’t.

July 12, 2019 9:59 am

How does this compare to on-line gaming?

“So just how big is gaming’s environmental footprint? Globally, PC gamers use about 75 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, equivalent to the output of 25 electric power plants. (And that doesn’t include console games.) In the United States, gaming systems consume $6 billion worth of electricity annually. In California, where the analysis was centered, video gaming uses more power than electric water heaters, cooking appliances, clothes dryers, dishwashers, or freezers. As the report concludes, “video gaming is among the very most intensive uses of electricity in homes.” And more power means more greenhouse gas emissions: American gamers emit about 12 million tons of carbon dioxide annually—the equivalent of about 2.3 million passenger cars. Games are rated for things like sex and violence, Mills points out, but games and gear are “silent on their carbon footprint.”

July 12, 2019 10:08 am

BBC is reporting Manhattan (size iceberg) is on the move.
meanwhile some good images from the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 that made second touchdown on an asteroid called Ryugu

Reply to  Vuk
July 12, 2019 12:23 pm

Something else on the move according to the International Business Times and NASA :

“NASA Asteroid Tracker: Gigantic 853ft ‘Potentially Hazardous’ NEO Headed For Earth This July”

—-“So far, 2010 PK9 has been keeping a relatively safe distance from the planets that it visits. As indicated in CNEOS’ projections regarding the asteroid’s future visits, Earth is safe from a possible impact event.
Of course, the risk of 2010 PK9 hitting Earth still lingers since the projections probably do not take into account the forces in space that can alter the asteroid’s trajectory. For instance, a different and unknown asteroid could collide with 2010 PK9, nudging it into a path straight to Earth.
2010 PK9 could also get pulled by the gravitational forces of Mercury, Venus and Earth. This could alter the asteroid’s current course and bring it into a collision path with Earth in the future.”—

Reply to  Vuk
July 12, 2019 12:47 pm

Manhattan is small fry compared to antarctic icebergs. This one is bigger than Delaware. However it will probably not last very long since it is in the western Weddell sea, the only area in the Antarctic where icebergs tend to move northwards into warmer waters:

comment image

Reply to  tty
July 13, 2019 1:53 am

We need a new MHD (Manhattan-Hiroshima-Day) system of measures; this iceberg might be about 0.1KM(anhattans) and to melt it down will require 2KH(iroshimas) of energy in the next 0.73KD(ays).

Reply to  tty
July 13, 2019 2:51 am


July 12, 2019 10:15 am

And still the planet is CO2 deficient..

John Endicott
Reply to  huls
July 15, 2019 8:40 am

So the solution is obvious: everyone needs to watch more online porn 😉

July 12, 2019 10:36 am

So if MSNBC, The Guardian, Slate and Vox were banned GW would go away?

Bruce Cobb
July 12, 2019 10:50 am

How many Manhattans is that? Also, how many Hiroshimas does said CO2 represent? We need accuracy.

July 12, 2019 10:55 am

I will do my part by swearing off, forever, streaming internet porn.

I challenge Jack Dale, Mosher, Griff, and all the other alarmists to do the same.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  DonM
July 12, 2019 11:18 am

is that human sexual porn or climate porn?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 12, 2019 3:05 pm

The former, it would probably be to much to ask others to quit their climate porn addiction cold turkey.

… baby steps.

July 12, 2019 11:00 am

Clearly I will have to watch more porn, too keep the climate improving.

Joel O'Bryan
July 12, 2019 11:09 am

Real porn v. Climate porn…

and the wiener is????

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 12, 2019 1:15 pm

Huma Abedin?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  SMC
July 12, 2019 2:22 pm

close…. Carlos Danger

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 12, 2019 5:38 pm

Nah, Carlos went to jail. Huma got off.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  SMC
July 12, 2019 10:40 pm

With Hillary.

Reply to  SMC
July 13, 2019 11:09 am

Yep… There’s no accounting for taste.

dodgy geezer
July 12, 2019 11:12 am

What about cat videos? There are an increasing number of little old women…

Max Porath
July 12, 2019 11:54 am

This reminded me of a funny little video called ‘The Internet is for Porn’. I’d attach a link but, since the title includes the word porn (discretely) in it the content filtering where I am employed won’t even allow a search engine to bring it back as a search item.

Search it. Watch it. Laugh your A$$ off. There is, BTW, nothing remotely pornographic about the video.



Reply to  Max Porath
July 12, 2019 12:37 pm
Reply to  Max Porath
July 12, 2019 1:13 pm

Here is a longer version…

John Robertson
July 12, 2019 11:56 am

But Gang Green will never ban Porn,as that would cancel their only daily human interaction(Or near facsimile there of).
If you have observed how frantic the “Connected” become at the slightest loss of internet, their current means of “communicating”..
You might come to be sure porn is safe,they will defend it to the end.
Of their phone service anyway.

Brian Dunaway
July 12, 2019 2:28 pm

It appears they are only including CO2 as a byproduct of generated electric power … they forgot the additional CO2 production as a byproduct of increased metabolism. So one could probably add The Netherlands to that analogy.

July 12, 2019 2:29 pm

Yeah but that was after Wollonia Belgium started taxing charcoal grills.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Mike
July 12, 2019 4:08 pm

“The local authorities plan to monitor compliance with the new tax legislation from helicopters, whose thermal sensors will detect burning grills.”

No hypocrisy there, then..

Reply to  Mike
July 13, 2019 7:09 am

Says TASS. Any credible source?

Original Mike M
Reply to  Hugs
July 13, 2019 7:23 am

Of course not, it was a spoof.

July 12, 2019 3:28 pm

It’s Friday.
So, I’ll just say I couldn’t find the Seinfeld clip where Elaine says something like …”computers are worth it, if only for the porn”.

July 12, 2019 8:43 pm

Belgium didn’t waffle during the Battle of The Bulge – and neither should you – erect your edifice- and beat back those who wish to boink you – in the process you’ll fertilize the atmosphere – and with the help of Sun’s photosphere – make the planet greener still

July 13, 2019 7:22 am

Belgium simply existed during the Battle of the Bulge.
Sadly, Belgium citizens in the way of the German attack suffered tremendously. They may have survived slightly better during the allied recovery of Belgium territory; but Belgium’s buildings and infrastructure suffered tremendously as Germans tried to make the Allies battle for every foot.

Belgium Resistance fighters kept operating in secret as they had since Germany first invaded them. Overt actions resulted in German retaliation against civilians.

July 13, 2019 4:08 am

Yeah, but pornhub doesn’t falsify it’s emission numbers to be larger nor does it use fudge factors to make it have 10x the actual effect in models.

Gerry, England
July 13, 2019 5:25 am

I feel no shame or guilt.

July 13, 2019 6:43 am

Ah, the estimates of estimates that estimates of estimates trash.

“That’s the conclusion of a French think tank called The Shift Project. Earlier this year, it estimated that digital technologies produce 4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions”

I take this to mean 100% of digital technology electricity usage produces 4% of all GHG emissions.

One suspects that emissions produced from developing, designing, manufacturing, assembling, transporting and installing technology do not count.

“transmission and viewing of online videos generates 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, or nearly 1 per cent of global emissions.”

I read this as transmission and viewing of online videos generates 25% of the GHGs produced by digital technologies.
One site claims Belgium emitted 117.443 Kilotons of CO₂ equivalent in 2015.

Another site claims that Belgium emitted 130 Megatons of GHG in 2014.

That is, one estimate is 117 Megatons and another estimate is 130 Megatons.
Estimates are guesses! Sadly, most GHG estimates are based upon estimates at every level of data; yet estimate promoters treat the numbers as gospel.

“On-demand video services such as Netflix account for a third of this, with online pornographic videos generating another third.”

Placed into context:
A third of the 1% that represents one fourth of the 4% GHG emissions attributed to digital emissions, is attributed to each:
1) On-demand video services.
2) online pornographic videos.

A third of GHG emissions; i.e. 33% of 300 Megatons GHG emissions = 99 Megatons.
An average of the estimates for Belgium, (climate alarmists love averages), is 123.5 Megatons. Leaving that 99 megatons attributed to porn videos as 20% less than Belgium’s alleged GHG emissions.

Let’s take a common sense approach.
That 1% of global GHGs attributed to transmitting and viewing online videos, which is 25% of GHG emissions attributed to digital technologies. One third of that 25% is attributed to porn.

1) suggests that one in every four digital devices is receiving/transmitting an online video.
2) One third of those digital devices is receiving/transmitting a porn video.

Walk along any street, visit any home, stop in any business, government office, etc. anywhere.
Four out of every twelve digital devices will be showing pornographic videos…

Once one digs into virtually any climate related series of estimates, reality does not reflect the alarmist wishful thinking.

July 14, 2019 2:03 am

Get rid of Belgium then! 😂

July 18, 2019 3:32 am

Even mastubation is no longer considered safe sex

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