In their new study entitled, “Climate Crisis: The Unsustainable Use Of Online Video,” The Shift Project — a group dedicated to reducing carbon emissions — said that energy systems for streaming video online — including adult video — releases more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.
The Daily Dot explains their study and its findings:
To calculate the impact our Black Mirror binge sessions has on the environment, The Shift Project analyzed reports from network companies that looked at data traffic and how much electricity was consumed to drive it. This allowed researchers to calculate the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. They found that on-demand video services (like Netflix and Prime Video) are responsible for a third of the emissions–and [adult] videos generate another third. Based on these numbers, watching [adult] videos emit the same amount of CO2 as entire countries like Bangladesh and Nigeria!
In short, 60 percent of that 300 million tons is generated from online video, and about 27 percent of that is from online adult videos. This means that 48.6 million tons is generated from adult videos.
While it might sound like the Shift Project is pooh-poohing online adult videos, it says it’s not.
“From the standpoint of climate change and other planetary boundaries, it is not a question of being ‘for’ or ‘against’ [adult videos], telemedicine, Netflix or emails,” it writes. Rather, the group says that “digital sobriety” — that is, restricting our online viewing habits to the more essential uses — could help reduce climate change and its resulting environmental devastation.
Also, while it might sound like they’re ragging on people who watch online video too, their past reports on digital sobriety show that they’re encouraging companies to reduce their use of digital technology as well. In fact, they say that getting rid of autoplay features on websites and informing consumers about how much they personally contribute to carbon dioxide emissions could help reduce carbon overall.