Low Traffic? Your Blog Will Be Attacked By Environmentalists

Written On Day: 257

Fossil fuels are bad.  By burning them CO2 is released into the air.  People get sick, the earth heats up, and nature is thrown into a tailspin.  Do not use fossil fuels – use renewable energy sources like wind power.

Wind power is bad.  Birds fly into the rotating blades and get chopped up into small nuggets.  The swooshing sound of the blades creates noise pollution.  Due to the low air pressure around the wind turbines bats die – it is believed that the sudden pressure change around the turbine causes their lungs to collapse.

The environmentalism movement is full of such contradictions.  It seams that everything humans do has a negative effect on the environment.  If humans are doing it then it is bad – not natural.  And regardless of what solution you try to find there will always be a group of people who do a study showing how harmful  it is to the environment.

The problem is that environmentalists do not have a united front.  Thousands of  individual groups each fighting for their own chunk of the environment to save.  One group wants to reduce the use of fossil fuels and another wants to save the bats.  There is only one solution to satisfy every environmental group’s wishes – move the entire human race to the moon.

Although environmentalists are a threat to the existence of humans on this planet, there is a more pressing matter which directly concerns bloggers.  So far the environmentalists have not turned their gaze towards blogs, but soon they will aim their punitive eye towards us.

Blogs Are Bad For the Environment

Factories are an easy target for environmentalists.  Dark gray clouds of smoke hover around them revealing their evil.  The sun is blocked, trees covered in soot, squirrels coughing.  It is easy for environmentalists to rally up the public and force the factory to shut down or move.  All they need to do is point to the smoke stack.

Bloggers do not create smoke.  There are no smoke stacks to point at.  No dead birds, no three eyed fish and no confused wales.  But environmentalists are very determined – they will not give up so easy.  With will there is always a way.  Let’s give them the credit they deserve – they are awesome at discovering ways to show how humans are destroying the earth.

Here is how they are going to do it: Blogs are created on computers.  Blogs are read by people on computers.  Computers use electricity,  electricity that was generated by CO2 emitting fossil fuel generators and bird killing wind turbines.

Environmentalists will look at the blogosphere and ask: how much electricity is being consumed creating and reading blogs?  Every blogger spends countless hours on the computer writing posts and promoting.  The readers of the blogs collectively spend more hours on their computers reading the blogs.  Environmentalists will add up all the electricity consumed by the blogosphere.  Then they will do some calculations and figure out how much environmental destruction is caused by generating the  electricity.  When this happens, we as bloggers are screwed.  The cross hairs of their big environment saving bazooka will be pointed right at our heads.

Of course, they will not try to shut the entire blogosphere down all at once.  They will start by picking off the easy targets  – the millions of low traffic blogs.  Blogs with a small following.  Blogs that nobody cares about.  Blogs that if they suddenly disappear nobody would notice.  They will argue that electricity is being wasted on these little blogs: are they necessary, do  these little blogs add enough value to justify the damage they cause the environment?

The problem is that the environmentalists would be right.  A lot of electricity is consumed on blogs that end up going nowhere – blogs that have their run for a couple months and die.  Earth heating up and birds dying for nothing.

How Much Electricity Does the Low Traffic Blogosphere Consume?

Although the environmentalists have not attacked the blogosphere yet, lets see what they have in their arsenal before they arrive.  Specifically lets focus on their first targets – the low traffic blogs.  Blogs that have a small amount of visitors and therefore do not contribute to the greater good – are not worth the electricity being consumed by them.  Individually these blogs consume a small amount of electricity, but taken as a group they consume a lot.

According to technorati.com in March 2006 there were 15.5 million active blogs (blogs that have been updated in the past 90 days).  Also according to technorati.com 49% of blogs have less then 1000 unique visitors a month.  This means that in March 2006 there were 7.5 million active low traffic blogs.  Blogs that the environmentalist will target first because they do nothing more then waste electricity and pollute the environment.

Here are the parameters we are going to use to get estimate of the amount of electricity consumed and CO2 emission created by blogs with less then 1000 visitors a month:

  • Number of active blogs with less then 1000 visitors a month: 7.5 million
  • Average visitors a month: 500
  • Hours a month spent updating the blogs: 20
  • Average time visitor spends reading the blogs: 2 minutes

Unfortunately I could not find reliable statistics for the average amount of time bloggers spend on their blogs.  Nor could I find the average time visitors spend reading blogs.  Fortunately, this blog is a blog that fits nicely in the ‘low traffic blog’ category so I used the stats from this site to estimate for the entire low traffic blogosphere.  It is not perfect but good enough for this general calculation.

Following are the results for the amount of electricity consumed, the cost, and the amount of CO2 produced by blogs with less then 1000 visitors a month:

Low traffic blogs are bad for the enviroment

As you can see, a lot of electricity is being used by blogs with less then an 1000 visitors a month.  Lots of waste, lots of money spent on electricity, lots of CO2 emissions.  Environmentalists do not like wasted electricity and they certainly do not like lots of CO2 emissions.

One of the tactics environmentalists like to use to persuade the masses to their cause is to take the numbers and create statements that people can visualize.  Like these:

  • Every month low traffic blogs consumes enough electricity to light 385,416,667 standard 60W light bulbs for 1 hour.
  • Every year low traffic blogs produces the same amount of CO2 emissions as 36,513 passenger vehicles.
  • Every year low traffic blogs produces the same amount of CO2 emissions as 7,928,571 propane cylinders used for home barbeques.
  • Low traffic blogs consumes the same amount of electricity a year as 27,750 average homes.
  • It will take 5,045,455 tree seedlings growing for 10 years to absorb the CO2 produced by low traffic blogs.
  • 149,173,171 pounds (67,663,812 kilograms) of waste will need to be recycled instead of being sent to the landfill to offset low traffic blog’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions.

Should You Be Worried That Your Blog Will Be Attacked By Environmentalists?

Its seems that the environmentalists have a good case.  Blogs with less then 1000 visitors a month do cause a lot of damage to the environment.  They use up precious electricity that could be used for people (or preferably animals and plants) that really need it.  And by wastefully consuming the electricity these blogs contribute to the CO2 emissions problem.

The environmentalists will argue: what good are these low traffic blogs?  Who needs them?  How do they benefit the planet?  Wouldn’t it be better if we shut them down and conserve the electricity?  They will caricature bloggers as big steel footed monsters stomping through a pristine nature scene and they will be on CNN stating that, “Low traffic blogs will cause massive hurricanes that will wipe out the entire eastern seaboard”.

There is no stopping them.  If they could have their way all blogs would be abolished.  Like a swarm of army ants – individually they are harmless but together they demolish everything in their path.  They will take down the entire blogosphere.  The only consolation for bloggers is that that it will take time.  They need to start at the bottom – attacking the low traffic blogs first.  You will never be completely safe from them but you can get off the forest floor, climb up a tree as the first wave passes by.  They will get you sooner or later, but you can keep your blog alive a little longer by working on getting more monthly traffic and not being the first in their path.

How Much Pollution Does Your Blog Generate?

Here is a online calculator you can use to find out how much CO2 pollution your site generates.

Sources:

Number of active blogs in March 2006:
http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/archives/2007/04/blogging_growth.html

Percent of blogs with less then 1000 visitors a month:
http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-how-of-blogging/

Update October 2010

Besides the blog post that I wrote about it, there has not been a single peep about it.

In an effort to get a buzz going I visited environmentalist blogs and left comments mentioning the Website Carbon Footprint Estimator. A few people came by to have a look but it’s a dead bee – no buzz.

The tool is still up and I will keep it up. Maybe it just needs time. I need a single person who thinks it is really cool. I need that person to have an influential blog. I need that person to mention it on their blog. I need one of their readers to submit it to Stumbeopon. Are you that person?

Waiting…

  1. Lebowski
    September 25th, 2009 at 12:11 | #1

    Great post. When I was a kid, environmentalism was all about saving the forest and keeping the air clean. Now it’s all about a theory they have that CO2 is changing the weather. If it’s hot they blame it on CO2, if it’s cold, well that’s because of CO2 also. It’s ridiculous and it’s unfalsifiable. They won’t be happy until we’re all living by candle light and eating soylent green.

  2. November 13th, 2009 at 08:01 | #2

    Very interesting! I think your blog will grow big enough soon so the Environmentalists should avoid you when starting their attack. I am not so lucky, however. My blog is doing pretty miserably. Oh well, it doesn’t really bother me. It is a little concerning though when I look at it from the environmental perspective.

    I love the way you’re always brutally honest in your posts!! Keep it up.

  3. November 18th, 2009 at 11:20 | #3

    Ouch. I never thought of this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and to the attention of the environmentalists. I always suspected Google was really evil. They must spew tons of CO2.

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