Streaming of online pornography produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as the whole of Belgium, according to a new report by the French think tank The Shift Project. Its researchers found that the energy required to stream online videos is responsible for the emission of 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year – almost 1% of total global emissions – and that a third of that comes from videos with pornographic content (The Week, 20 July, 2019).
Once upon a time, young and subject to fits of curiosity, I watched a couple of these videos. My overwhelming reaction was “BORING”! My second reaction was “DEGRADING”. The video purported to have a “plot”, the outcome of which was wholly predictable and dismally executed. If this is how a small subset of the population choose ( or do they choose? Maybe this is the extent of their interest in life) to make a living, pandering to the worst daydreams of messed- up men, then the people who watch regularly are in need of some gentle coaching on love, tenderness and respect. Where were their parents when they were growing up?
But I am being judgmental. While pornography is about as far away from Epicurean behaviour as we can get, we have to live and let live – porn doesn’t affect the vast majority of the rest of us. But that this stuff appears to be responsible for pouring a disproportionate amount of CO2 into the atmosphere – well, that does affect us, and it deserves to be reined in. The enablers should be ashamed – we should help make them feel more so. Message to porn producers: Get a life!