A new search engine officially launches today, the same day as the World Climate Summit in Copenhagen commences. According to Ecosia you can help battle climate change by switching away from Google and here's how.
Not only will the new guy on the search block give 80% of the advertising revenue it earns to a World Wildlife Fund environmental protection project to help save the Amazon rain forest (and therefore reduce global warming and save polar bears in case you were wondering) but it also reckons each search will use much less electricity than Google
Ecosia will also be running on 'green' electricity and apparently will save up to 2 square metres of rain forest when compared to sites like Google which, according to Ecosia at least, produces that same amount of carbon dioxide when making one search as a light bulb does when switched on for an hour.
Search engines claiming to be green are nothing new, who could forget the Black Google for example? But whereas that simply changed the background colour from white to black and claimed to consume a whole heap less electricity as a result (a claim that was poo-pooed by many) Ecosia is doing something tangible by actually donating money to the climate fight.
The Berlin-based search start up is confident it will be the greenest search engine on the planet, with founder Christian Kroll arguing that thanks to advertising "search engines earn billions every year" and there can be an "eco-friendly way of using these huge profits" which is why he is donating 80% of all advertising revenue to the WWF Amazon project.
Great. Assuming that enough people switch away from Google to actually earn any advertising revenue in the first place that is.
Of course that's not the only problem facing Ecosia. Other green engines have been powered by Google and so the argument has always been that they actually leave a bigger carbon footprint as in effect people are using Google and another search farm to do the work, when just one would be better and less harmful. Ecosia does not use Google, but it does use Yahoo and Bing so maybe there is still something in this argument after all.