Digital Camouflage is my interpretation of the falseness behind our digital world.The Internet uses enough energy annually that if it were a country, it would rank 5th in the world in electricity consumption. I set out this year to expose the lies that some of the largest companies in the world are using to make us believe that their "cloud" is sustainable when the reality is that our digital lives are powered by a large amount of "dirty energy." The mining and burning of coal is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. It's time we start to seriously question just how much impact our digital lives have on our planet.
My posters series is made up of 6 posters which summarize the most important ideas of my thesis. The posters begin with a collection of people’s understanding of what cloud computing is, and what impact they think it 39 has on the environment, contrasted with the next poster which tells you just how much energy it uses, and how much impact it has. The third poster shows you how much dirty energy is used by different countries. The final 3 posters are very similar in style and they are about the 3 main coal mining projects that are happening in the U.S, China & Australia.
"I asked people what they thought cloud computing was and what impact they thought it had on the environment. Following are some of their answers."
"I think the cloud has a huge impact on the environment because without the cloud there would be no rain and without rain what would the environment be like? Right?" - 3rd Year Design Student
"It's just a place where our files go, somewhere up in the sky I assume since it's called "the cloud." I'm not really sure how it's powered, probably just electricity or something." - 4th Year Marketing Student
"Cloud computing is simply a place where our digital files are stored. It's not at all a physical place in our world, it's digital, so it doesn't take up space. And you ask about the impact on our environment? Absolutely none. There's no way that something digital that isn't physically there can have an impact on our world. What impact would something invisible even have?" - Graduated Marketing Student
"I know that it is a place which is not actually a physical that stores everything digital that you own. All I think of really is celebrity nudes that were leaked because pictures were in the cloud." - 1st Year Electrical Engineering Student
"The Internet is cloud computing. It is pretty much whatever we do when we open our computers. I'm sure that it uses a massive amount of energy, but I'm sure that whatever energy we use to power the Internet, I have a feeling it is green. Wouldn't that be a law?" - 3rd Year Business Administration Student
"I don't even know how iCloud works.... saved stuff from my iPhone, MacBook gets backed up....go up to "the cloud"... I have no idea why it would impact the environment... It's technology, after all, nothing more, nothing less... There is no way it has an impact on the environment, and if it does it is little." - Graduated Marketing Student
"Percentage of countries consumed electricity derived from coal:"
South Africa: 93%
The U.S coal industry detonates the explosive power of 1 Hiroshima bomb every week in the Appalachian Mountains.
Mountaintop removal is a coal mining technique that started in the United States, during the 1970’s. This form of mining is extremely destructive and leaves massive areas of scarred landscape throughout the 500 million-year-old, Appalachian mountains. Mining companies blast the tops of mountains to retrieve coal, using approximately 2500 tonnes of explosives a week for surface mining. Mountaintop removal contributes heavily to climate change, and has destroyed hundreds of natural habitats and buried thousands of streams. To date, mountaintop removal has destroyed over 1 million acres of forest.
*Each tree represents 10,000 destroyed acres of forest
A coalfield in China that is 14 times larger than the city of London, England, has 2 illegal coal mines operating on it.
According to estimates established by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “China is the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world and accounts for almost half of the world’s coal consumption.” An example of 1 of China’s coal mining projects is in Qinghai, where a massive coalfield 14 times the size of London, England, is being exploited for approximately 1.2 million tonnes of coal annually. The Muli mine contains approximately 3.5 billion tonnes of coal beneath it. These mines are owned by the Kingho Group, which currently has two mines operating illegally on natural reserves, with another two being proposed on protected zones.
*Each truck or explosive represents 50 million tonnes of coal
Are we about to sign a death warrant for Australia's Great Barrier Reef?
Australia’s mining industry plans to expand 9 coal ports and terminals along the coast of the Great Barrier Reef. If the proposed expansions are approved, it is estimated that around 11,000 ships a year will cut through the Great Barrier Reef, threatening its existing biodiversity. Due to climate change, 50% of the Great Barrier Reef has been destroyed. The remaining ecosystem runs the threat of extinction, as a result of the proposed expansions. This will ultimately produce a wasteland, with a potential 5 million tonnes of sludge being leaked into one of natures most beautiful creations.
*Each ship represents 100 ships