Read the full story at Treehugger.
There were winners and losers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the losers, for example, were movie theaters, which were forced to go dark for more than a year. One of the biggest winners, meanwhile, were streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which saw a massive influx of business as people everywhere sheltered in place with little to do but binge their favorite TV shows. In fact, subscriptions to streaming services reached the billions for the first time ever during the pandemic, according to the Motion Picture Association, which reported in March 2021 that there were 1.1 billion streaming subscriptions globally, up 26% from March 2020.
Because streaming media relies on the internet, however—and the internet relies on massive data centers with huge environmental footprints—one can’t help but wonder: Is humanity’s appetite for online video harmful to the Earth?
A new study suggests that it isn’t.