Google.org, "the philanthropic arm of Google", plans to sink some of the company's billions in ad fees into advancing renewable energy technology. The aim is to make cleanly-generated electricity cheaper than that derived from burning coal. In classic Googley style, the new plan is called RE<C. Google says it will plough in " …
'Renewable Energy less carbon' presumably, sadly Google cannot search on punctuation so nobody will find it...
I won't be the only one to point out the comedic value of "Dr Larry Brilliant". A proponent of solar power, no doubt.
Still, if the boy wonders make a positive contribution to the whole "we're in the shit, energy-wise" situation then more power (ooops) to them.
"Plans to spend several thousandths of ad revenue"
Does anyone know how much money Google holds where the Adsense account hasn't reached the minimum amount before they'll send out a cheque?
changing capitalism from within
So many Americans - and not just them - believe that "capitalism" is the only possible form of human society, ever, so we'll be seeing a lot more of this kind of initiative, either, improbably, from bloated caps themselves, or more likely through pressure from below - as one woman was quoted saying recently: "Our society is capitalist, so we have to get rid of these bad things (like pollution etc) in a capitalist way", presumably meaning "we'll force the fuckers to make clean energy and call it capitalism whatever the outcome..."
Otherwise known as "in the dark, all cats are grey..."
The God Complex
It seems to me that Google believe their own hype. With what is no more than Google's loose change they hope to solve one of the most intractible problems of our era, our ruinous energy consumption which either will destroy our environment or our society will come to a crashing halt when we've consumed it all. It wouldn't be so bad but they frame this effort simply to produce cheaper power than coal rather than it being the most pressing issue of our generation.
Global Slowing and Cooling
So, having materially affected the global climate by burning fossil fuels, we begin extracting gigawatts of power from the wind, and from geothermal sources. How much power will we take before slowing of the earth's rotation (from wind) and cooling of the lower crust (from geothermal) becomes a visible issue.
Wait, don't laugh. For as long as man has made fire, we've burned wood from the seemingly limitless forests that covered the world. Where are these forests today? Gone. Nobody figured even as late as, say, 1950 that there was any issue with burning coal beyond local air pollution. And now it's a global crisis.
This so-called clean energy is nonrenewable. The only thing good about it is that it doesn't generate carbon dioxide. Are we going to run all those wind turbines backwards to spin up the earth 200 years from now? And using what for power?
World According to Google
So, Google acclaims that they can solve the problem of cheap renewable energy because 'they have experience with data centres'?
So the whole problem is just a programming bug? Hardware problem? Wrong MAC address?
Global slowing? And Google searching.
Wind turbines don't slow down the earth - they slow down the wind. Wind is not created by the earth spinning: it's created by the sun heating the air, changing its density and causing it to move around. It is therefore renewable.
And as for Google not being able to search on punctuation, well if you look for "RE<C" (with the quotes) then it's the second hit, so that's not entirely true.
Just give up and die like a good boy...
I´ve read in all the prior comments and found myself amused by two of them stating that this is a bad idea. Because it cannot be done ? Because the results might have an ill effect ? Ok,I got it. I´ll just roll over and die like a good boy..
Never retry anything old that didn't work.
A solution to this problem has been attempted before, and failed, therefore it won't work this time. Google should not even try, and furthermore we should ridicule Google for mentioning it.
No improvement has ever happened due to investment in research, unless the advance was inevitable - and I mean known to be inevitable and guaranteed within reach at the time the investment was made, with further knowledge that nothing unexpected would happen during development that would cause the attempt to fail.
No improvements were attempted multiple times only to fail every time except the final time, when they succeeded.
Its gonna happen. Expect to see a huge copyright symbol floating in space soon.
RE<C = 'Renewable Energy less carbon' ?
Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal surely...I thought the main article gave this away somewhat.
Personally, I can't wait for the Google "Journey to the center of the earth" - obviously this has many benefits, other than the energy - just think how much quicker the route from Uk to Australia would be using google maps!
The problem is actually . .
that the Matrix is true, we're a part of it, and Google has found out the truth.
The terrifying part is going to be when Keanu shows up at Google HQ in a black gown.
Google should stick to things they are good at - making money. If they are serious about the green issue they should then give the money to someone who knows what they are doing.
And abondon the batty act.
I like what you wrote - summed up some of what I was thinking.
Here is the rest - which is more stupid?
a) The entire western world spending billions on digging up the last dregs of oil and further billions on securing land which they believe contains it
b) The entire western world spending billions on destroying savannah and rainforest to make biofuel to save the environment
c) Google investing in renewable energy
I would pick a) or b) incidently.