BBC: Send Fewer Emails to Reduce Global Warming

Side view of hand holding pad with drawn email icons on white background. E-mail marketing concept

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to the BBC, you should only send emails if you think the other person really cares, though some commenters point out cutting back on streaming services and online gaming might have a bigger impact.

Climate change: Can sending fewer emails really save the planet?

By David Molloy
Technology reporter

Are you the type of person who always says thank you? Well, if it’s by email, you should stop, according to UK officials looking at ways to save the environment.

The Financial Times reports that we may all soon be encouraged to send one fewer email a day, cutting out “useless” one-line messages – such as “thanks”. 

Doing so “would save a lot of carbon”, one official involved in next year’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow said.

But would it really make a huge difference?

Mike Berners-Lee, a respected professor on the topic whose research was used in the Ovo Energy work, told the Financial Times it was based on “back-of-the-envelope” maths from 2010 – and while useful to start conversations, there were bigger questions.

“The reality is that a lot of the system will still have impact, whether or not the email is sent,” Prof Preist explains.

Rather than worrying about relatively low-impact emails, some researchers suggest we should turn our attention to services such as game and video-streaming and cloud storage which have a much larger effect.

Read more:

Frankly I’m shocked that anyone who professes concern about climate change would go anywhere near something packed with as much carbon sin as a computer or mobile device.

When you touch a computer or mobile you are literally placing your hands on something which is only a few small chemical steps away from the crude oil from which much of it was made. Heat a modern mobile device or computer in a fire and it will rapidly blacken and reveal its true nature, by melting into a discoloured tar. The alumina components were produced using insane amounts of electricity and heat. The copper was refined using toxic chemical smelting processes. And that super tough glass screen was produced by melting acid washed sand mixed with exotic chemicals in a high temperature furnace.

Climate warriors who want to be taken seriously should self isolate, grow their own vegetables, and avoid all forms of electronic communication, streaming services and electronic gaming, if they want to convince the rest of us of their sincerity.

92 thoughts on “BBC: Send Fewer Emails to Reduce Global Warming

  1. Maybe I just need to be more careful about WHAT I say in emails. Which is more harmful to the environment– the 1’s or the 0’s??

  2. They could cut out the 200 to 300 marketing emails I get every day, most of which I have never requested and which ignore my attempts to unsubscribe.

    • I am blocking IP allocation range to all marketing email where the IP is South America, and virtually all Asia. The list is long but it is cheaply for sale an request 🙂

      What would be saved if we went back to only write and accept plain text emails? The pretty emails take up a lot of space and band-width.

    • Dear Old, never click “unsubscrbe”. That tells the email marketer you are an active account and makes your address move to the top of the resell list.

      In essence by unsubscribing you are increasing the new mailers to you account. Best to just tag the mail as SPAM and move on. Eventually they might clean up their mailing list and if you keep you head down you might get scrubbed.

      • My email system allows me to designate what happens when I get an email I don’t want. I just have it sent to the Junk file and when I clear that , it’s gone! It may take awhile for it to show results, but I have better lick with that than with the ‘Unsubscribe’ button. Sometimes, though, THAT works, too.

  3. “some researchers suggest we should turn our attention to services such as game and video-streaming and cloud storage which have a much larger effect”

    Hey, do it now, when I can’t leave my house due to Covid, can’t even take a walk, can’t visit my family, my friends, can’t go eat, can’t go to a museum, can’t go to church, can’t go play basketball, can’t ride a bike. When I’m imprisoned home for 9 consecutive months because I have diabetes and hypertension. Take away everything. I dare you. Make my life unbearable and unliveable. Make me have nothing more to lose.

    Then the scientists and journalists won’t like what happens next. They always try to make our lives more unbearable, but they may bite more than they can chew.

  4. Yes which leaves you to wonder about our resident climate warrior trolls Loydo, Griff and Ghal posting so much don’t they want to save the planet? I mean some of us admit we are bad selfish people and we don’t care how much fossil fuel we burn so you can understand us posting but those eco warriors and the UK are supposed to be saving the planet 🙂

    • Well 37.1% of the electricity I used to power the device posting useful and important information to Watts came from renewable energy in the UK last year. This year, it is a far higher percentage.

      I’m doing my bit by backing the UK govt in pushing for more renewable energy… meanwhile my life is as energy efficient as I can make it.

      I don’t see it would kill you to make a bit more of an effort: at the least you’d save money over time.

        • I think he is in a minority of one who believe that.

          My electricity is ‘100% renewable’ so I am doing my bit except of course the only thing 100% about my electricity supply is that statement being bullshit. But then simple people like griff will believe it.

          • Even if the claim was true, if griff weren’t using the energy, it would have been available for someone else to use. Which means that everything griff used, somewhere down the line had to be replaced using fossil fuels.

          • Strangely enough, my power supplier also claims that the electricity it is supplying is 100% renewable. Since the electricity supply in Britain comes from the national grid, this is obviously nonsense. But some people will believe anything.

        • I’m surprised that he believes the information he posts is true.
          Especially given how many times his claims have been refuted.

          For example, the 37.1% number that he just claimed was the peak production from wind and solar last year. It wasn’t the number for the whole year. Nor does it include the spinning reserve that was consuming fossil fuel 100% of the time.

          • According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, wind and solar accounted for 3.47 percent of the total primary energy use in 2019. The 37% figure that Griff is excited about applies only to electricity and includes the output from Drax power station (Britain’s biggest) which burns American forests and claims that this is renewable.

      • ‘I don’t see it would kill you to make a bit more of an effort’

        No reason to make any effort at all – certainly not to pander to progressive cowards, paranoiacs, and psychopathic control freaks.

  5. If I have my computer on and send 10 emails to Finland (for example) compared to not sending emails when I’m reading an article on my computer (for example). Do I use more electricity when sending emails than when I am not sending emails? How much more electricity do I use when sending those 10 emails – if any?

    – JPP

    • You use more electricity sending the 10 emails. Its like peeing in the ocean though, and asking if it raises the level of the ocean? Of course it does. Good luck measuring it though.

    • Most computers have sleep modes when they aren’t doing anything. When you are reading articles, there are long periods of time (by the computer’s standards) where the computer isn’t doing anything.

      Also a lot of computers power down the wifi transmitter when it isn’t sending anything.

      Beyond that, between your place and Finland, there are a lot of servers that get a little bit busier as those e-mails flow through them.

      As david says, the additional energy usage for one person is like peeing in the ocean.

    • Jon, If you’re curious you should be able to get a proportionate sense of any difference by powering the two activities for the same amount of time on your laptop battery alone and check the drainage afterward. Of course you’ll want to have equivalent screen brightness each time.

  6. The biggest polluters by far are the crass, mass moralising, media.
    A power to pollute everything everywhere out of all proportion to their importance, (by such idiots as not-even-scientist-Harrabin),

    How did he travel to all those exotic places to film except by burning mountains of oil?

    All of them are virtue signalling hypocrites.
    Defund the BBC.

  7. Bitcoin mining – I believe – is even more energy intensive than gaming.
    It is unlikely that a sanctimonious BBC would draw attention to that.
    For one thing, they would have to some real research and find the number of miners, the number of bitcoins, the amount per successful attempt at mining and the (estimated, average) amount per unsuccessful attempt.

    Then again, that would server only to alienate miners, and maybe also those people who believe in freedom to spend ones money on electricity in the pursuit of mining.

    Better by far to try to make _everyone_ feel guilty with some nebulous, unquantified, superficially plausible (to the technically illiterate) claim.

    However, if you do not accept the premise that generation of increasing amounts of CO2 will lead to the heat-death of the planet, just ignore this Beeb-dross, or send an email of complaint to your MP, with CCs
    (ie Carbon Copies – what a deliciously apt term) to the BBC and every other climate activist whose email address you know..

    • “Bitcoin mining – I believe – is even more energy intensive than gaming”

      A commercial currently running on US tv promotes buying bitcoins. It discusses the different currencies down through time, and discusses modern money printing by the Fed, but in the end it doesn’t give me a good reason to buy bitcoins. I think these guys just wasted their money on that commercial. It’s a cool commercial, but the average Joe isn’t going to get it. I personally, like paper money. It makes you harder to track. 🙂

    • A year ago, Progressives in my town were all aflutter over a Bitcoin server farm just outside of town that was here for our cheap electrical rates. They were contemplating all kinds of laws to put a lit on it.

      As it turned out, the hysteria was totally unnecessary. Not long after, the operation went bankrupt because of diminishing returns; the amount of effort required to “mine” the next Bitcoin is now growing exponentially and is starting to exceed the costs in hardware and energy to obtain.

  8. It’s not the BBC that has these opinions. They are only reporting the views and research of others. We can’t accuse them of bias. That would be quite wrong. NOT.

    • Correct, I agree that BBC is an objective and balanced reporter.
      Their freelance reporters like Thunberg and Attenborough are likewise sweet, loving and caring without hidden motives or agendas. /sarc

        • There was or has been something with a BBC series. On the other hand I read somewhere that she got exhausted by all this fame.

          Maybe she got tired of all the CO2 she exhaust, which reduce her visibility.
          Her somewhat elder German mentor is very active though.

    • Yes, that’s right: the BBC doesn’t originate the information, it just reports it.

      what you are complaining about is that reality has a renewable/green bias these days

      • Griff, the BBC reports only the information it wants to report. Any information that is inconvenient to the belief system of the BBC is simply ignored.

      • Just like New York Times reported recently that Great Reset was just a conspiracy theory?

        Meanwhile the World Economic Forum had prelections on Great Reset on the same day, including such panelists as Ursula van der Leyen, the President of European Commission. Headed by Klaus Schwab, author of the book “Covid-19: the Great Reset” where he advocates for a Great Reset.

        Oh, and Time Magazine had Great Reset on its cover this year. Those silly conspiracy theorists.

        That renewable/green bias in the reality is just total leftist bias in the media, as illustrated in this example. When you just hire based on political affiliation, this is what you get.

      • Griffy-poo says:
        “Yes, that’s right: the BBC doesn’t originate the information, it just reports it.”

        As Bill Tolland said above, the BBC actually (as do media outlets here in the U.S.) selectively cherry-pick what to tell you and what they don’t tell you. That is one of the keys to brainwashing and propagandizing. While we in the U.S. may have a constitutional article prohibiting media censorship by govt, nothing stops the MSM from self-censoring in service to political, eco-activist (including climate and energy issues) and social agendas. That is why it is vital that the “correct” people find their way to the top of the MSM hierarchy.

        Nowhere is this more obvious than with the climate change issue. There is so much that is missing or skewed in the media’s climate reporting, it borders on pathetic. The belief that wind and solar energy can significantly displace fossil fuels and nuclear power is another.

        So Griff, it isn’t a matter of whether Britain, Canada, the U.S. and others have a free press or not. It is instead a matter of who is doing the censoring and why. Censorship by omission is so common now that it has become pretty much standard procedure. This preys on the low-info individual and makes him or her a loyal member of the cult. That’s you Griffy-poo.

        Sadly, critical thought and independent thinking would appear to be dying out, and I submit that high technology is at the root of it. We are now told what to think instead of HOW to think. And you Griff are a prime example of those who have succumbed to the cult of an inability to critically think and think independently for yourself. If and when you wake up and realize this someday, you can consider yourself fortunate. In the meantime Griff, love Big Brother.

      • However when you only report the information that fits your agenda, that is bias.

        Reality has never been kind to the green/progressive agenda. Which is why they want to outlaw it.

      • Grift – the last thing you’re concerned about is reality – all you’re here for is self-serving Goebbels repetition – you know it, and so does everyone else.

    • Have you read the original article? It’s free. And no, they are not just reporting other views, they are essentially debunking them. The BBC in fact says sending emails makes virtually no difference (and the title of this WUWT article is blatantly false).

  9. Ultimately it’s all about control. It’s like the Lilliputians in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. They tied Gulliver down with thousands of tiny strings. Cumulatively they were able to hold him (for a while).

    • I like that analogy, sums it up and makes me think of the many great people like Happer, Ball, etc. being punished for telling Lilliputians how the reality most likely is.

  10. Maybe keep this ‘under your hat’
    Maybe not

    The IT energy figure I was always tickled by was (prolly miiiiles out of date now) was the energy used in making the chips inside your computer, phone, tablet, disc drive(s) whatever

    It went:
    The energy used** (Chinese coal obviously) in making just one Large Scale Integration chip (lets say one of the memory chips) was/is equal to the total amount of energy your complete computer would use in its (typically 3 year) lifetime

    There might be 8 or 16 memory chips on a single module, maybe multiple modules plus the CPU and graphics chips, network controller, disc controller and all the rest

    And they are *never* recycled, unlike glass or aluminium might be
    Thanks to the haha evergreen Microsoft making everything redundant every 3 years or so with software ‘updates’
    (Does anyone smell a racket there?)

    ** Seemingly most the energy used chip fabrication plants goes into air filtration – keeping the Clean Rooms ‘clean’ Melting/heating etc etc silicon is less than trivial in comparison.

    Thus, the astute reader will figure, as chips get smaller, more dense bigger and faster, they need ever cleaner fabrication facilities = more air-filtering grunt

  11. Stupid article. All of the infrastructure still needs to be spinning to be able to send less email, unless it is powered down for most of the day. Oh wait…this is a globe earth!

  12. How about everybody who believes the BS coming from the BBC, Guardian and all the other lefties, stop talking the talk and walk the walk?

    Throw out everything unless it’s completely manufactured using “renewables”, and leave the rest of us to our wicked ways?

  13. Too many emails issue is resolved by mailchimp. This is explained 8 minutes into:
    Big Tech’s coordinated suppression amounts to a ‘censorship cartel’

  14. Apart from not telling us the BBC’s carbon footprint, this reporter advocates the idea of reducing communication to the point of isolation.

    At least it will will have the effect of greenies keeping their inanities to themselves.

  15. He’s right, you know. I’m going to stop sending emails and send letters instead. I know it will be much more inefficient, I might have to wait a week instead of a couple of hours for a reply but hey, I’ve got to do my bit for the planet.

  16. The power used to transfer emails is insignificant in the grand scheme of the internet and high speed data.
    Eliminating Spam at source would be a great benefit to all, plus the minor benefit of the small reduction in energy used.

  17. Closing down the British Bigotry Corporation would save the planet from a pile of demented trash. Some of us are coerced by law to pay for it. What shame I feel1

    • Not sure the Iceland comes into first place, but yes, they seem to be determined to attrack this business.
      Norway and Sweden are more attractive I presume:

      Sweden produces large amount of hydropower. The Green Mountain Data Center in Norway also uses hydropower. It is taking advantage of nearby fjords by building a plant which will pump in water to cool its servers. Molaug said in constructing their facility, they’re aiming to make the facility resistant to outside power disrupters, an essential feature for a company that hosts online servers.

      Full text:

  18. Within the Climate Religion, everything we nasty humans do results in sins of emission, but those in the western world with its lavish lifestyle, are by far the guiltiest. There are any number of ways however, of relieving said guilt. It is laughable to suggest fewer emails when there are much, much bigger targets (like air travel), but I guess they like simple, easy (and insignificant) things. Article idea: “Ten Simple, Easy, and Awesome Ways of Cutting Carbon.” It’s been done already? Rats. Number 8 was going to be fewer lattes.

  19. From the article: “Are you the type of person who always says thank you? Well, if it’s by email, you should stop, according to UK officials looking at ways to save the environment.”

    This just gets more insane every day.

    The Human-caused Climate Change Scam is a Perfect Storm of lies and delusions. Pushing this hoax has something in it for just about anyone who wants to take advantage of this science fiction.

    All based on the lie that CO2 is the temperature control knob of the Earth’s atmosphere, even though that is demonstrably not true.

    But it is difficult to get the truth through the Bubble of Delusion in which Human-caused Climate Change dwells. Too many influential people have an interest in not knowing this truth. And the masses fall in line because the Elites and all those smart scientists must know what they are talking about. Right?

    A perfect scam. Everyone can find a way to profit. All you have to do is go along with the program, and don’t make waves by casting doubt on the scam.

    Future book review: The Western Democracies were too Delusional to survive. They were unable to separate fact from fiction, for one reason or another and made the wrong choices as a result. We may never see their like again. Authoritarianism is now the order of the day.

  20. If the BBC wants to reduce emissions it should shut down its transmitters. Of’course there would be no point in employing their staff so they could lay them all off. Also people would not bother to pay there television license
    so the BBC could fire Crapita the company that runs the license collection system.

  21. This is major news!

    Naomi Seibt shared the following on her Telegram channel.

    Brighteon – Denmark says no to vaccination

    Denmark says no to vaccination

    I commented earlier this week about the proposed Permanent Marshal Law or epidemic law which would have turned Denmark into a totalitarian state.
    For nine days there have been massive demonstrations outside the government building where people had drummed on pots and pans.
    Finally on the government caved in and cancelled the new totalitarian law.

    Everyone’s question is: Where was the press reporting an event as important as the US presidential election?

    The event in Denmark should give us strength to fight the totalitarian globalism.

  22. Approximately 95% of emails that I receive are spam from “businesses”. I look forward to getting any email from an actual acquaintance.

  23. Meanwhile in Germany:

    With today’s signing of the Infection Protection Act, the Federal Government has scored an own goal and from tomorrow, 19.11.2020, the pandemic is over by law! Why?

    In the amazing German video, which I cannot provide a link for, the speaker at a demonstration explain the police and demonstrators, in a fashinating way, how the government’s own law relieves everyone from wearing mask.

    With today’s signing of the Infection Protection Act, the Federal Government has scored an own goal and from tomorrow, 19.11.2020, the pandemic is over by law! Why?

    In the video the speaker explain, as I understood it, that the PCR test in Germany use 80 cycles and in another health federal law is written that PCR tests over 34 cycles are invalid.

    However, if Naomi or or someone else in Germany sees this, it would be enormously helpful to us foreigners with a concentrated transcript in English. I would be surprised if the same didn’t apply in most other countries too.

  24. Can the BBC simply turn itself off? Literally, throw the breaker in the electrical room?

    And never come back on?

    I think that would stave off a lot more spooky scary CO2 emissions than 7 billion+ people sending 1 or 2 fewer emails a day. It would also save British taxpayers a mountain of cash.

  25. How about returning the BBC to one channel of TV and four radio stations which used to be enough when I was young? We could then reduce the licence fee to an affordable £50 max.

  26. So by sending out fwer email messages we will force Mother Nature to provide the optimum climate for everyone world wide and for all time. Problem solved. Let us disband the IPCC and stop all of this spending related to climate change.

  27. People should not send emails to a bunch of people to discuss an issue. They should use a private forum or a bugtracker (request-features-tracker).

  28. but without emails that poor Nigerian Prince won’t get his money!

    This is a joke right? Send less emails? Um……do they even realize how business is conducted nowadays? I love how it highlights only personal emails. Again attacking the “little people” through shame and deflection. How did they get that damn story out to the world anyway?

    What a bunch of rubbish!

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