"Climate crisis: The Unsustainable Use of Online Video" : Our new report
theshiftproject.org
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Implementing digital sobriety requires questioning the pertinence our uses of digital technologies, one of which is online video whose use we focus on here. Online video is mostly used for movies and series (34%), porn (27%, tubes (21%).
@GenkiFeral
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61Y

Great topic. I am unwilling to give up everything (especially when most others are willing to give up nothing), but have wondered how listening to music using a YT extension or on my phone - maybe with a Bluetooth speaker attached- would change power usage. Then, I wondered if the speaker would wear out faster than my PC speakers and that would be bad for the environment, too. Thanks to covid, many of us have become reclusive and the only entertainment we have is from technology. I rarely leave the house or even my room anymore. Even the library is a bit harder to access these days -even after shutdowns ended. You change this in order to save that and then something else gets screwed up that you failed to consider. People have said that people who live far from their jobs are “bad” because they waste so much gas commuting, but maybe they use less internet or technology and may even grow some of their own food or collect rainwater and dry clothes on a clothes line and open their windows on fair-weather days. My point might be ‘unintended consequences’.

@uthredii
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31Y

but maybe they use less internet or technology and may even grow some of their own food or collect rainwater and dry clothes on a clothes line and open their windows on fair-weather days. My point might be ‘unintended consequences’.

Using streaming services is negligible compred to driving or even using communal transport such as a bus or train. Also IIRC city dwellers use less energy.

poVoq
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31Y

Use youtube-dl to download the music… the main problem is that downloading it over and over again and having the server-infrastructure to do so (so called streaming) is really energy and server-hardware intensive.

Well, if you build a network ziggurat with your neighbors and have edge servers caching the content (e.g. with Invidious), you can probably reduce power usage.

@GenkiFeral
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11Y

I just did before reading your comment and it is easier than I expected. Last week, I found out the other app I use to download had shut down.

I wondered if the speaker would wear out faster than my PC speakers and that would be bad for the environment

You could use wired headphones.

@GenkiFeral
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11Y

those don’t wear out faster than other things- you know, those soft ear muffs usually deteriorate rapidly - faster than a speaker, I’d guess. It is good to care, but I think we skip details too often and miss the point. The man who mentioned not eating meat made the best point so far. No one is brave enough to say 'eat less and maintain a normal weight (consume less of everything)" , so I guess I will.

ant
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51Y

What an absolutely ridiculous premise. This is like how corporations paid for campaigns to blame ecological destruction on consumers for not properly recycling in order to completely shift the conversation away from their deliberate and massive exploitation of resources.

We can have ****ing online video we just need to replace cars with trains and fossil fuels with wind and solar… aghhghghhgg

poVoq
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1Y

I disagree. Data-centers use a significant amount of energy world-wide and as the figures in the article show, a really large part of the internet usage today comes from video streaming (>50%). It is worth considering what do do about that.

At least we don’t need 4K streaming or game streaming services that basically just run the same hardware in a data-center and make you download the same game over and over again. Same for music (although the size is very small for that). For movies I am not sure, as people usually only watch it once and thus a normal download would not make a real difference. But at least by default movies should come at a lower streaming quality.

In general I think it is worth thinking about data-center energy use. The hardware used in data-centers is usually extremely energy hungry and cooling requirements add to that as well. Of course it does not always make sense to run and store everything at the consumer level either, but for mostly non-technical reason (forcing people into expensive subscription services) a lot of things have been moved into the cloud that were before done in much more efficient local applications.

edit: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06610-y

It seems like drm schemes cause a lot of the bloat. Everything being locked behind subscription fees with no option to permanently download means you have to download every viewing. And then most of the time the file is cut up into pieces and bounced around different servers to slow down pirates.

@jedrax
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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31Y

Where did I say that there should be no video streaming on the internet? I said that it is worth thinking about how to reduce the relatively big environmental impact it has, especially as most people are not aware at all about the massive data-center requirements of it.

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