Online Poker Is Bad for the Environment?

by , May 27, 2009 | 12:34 pm

Here’s an argument against Barney Frank’s efforts to legitimize American online poker that I certainly didn’t see coming:

Lifting the Online Poker Ban Could Cause a CO2 Emissions Boom

Playing poker online is a time consuming venture—playing tournaments can take hours, and the programs make it extremely easy to play in multiple rooms while surfing the web between hands in different windows. In other words, it encourages parking yourself and sitting in front of the computer for hours.

As Pablo pointed out in his piece on the impact of internet use, computers generate between 40-80 grams of greenhouse gas emissions simply by being on (given the user gets his electricity from a coal-fired power plant, as most Americans do)—now imagine some 10 million more computers on for hours longer than before. It would add up to hundreds of thousands more tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Thanks, Brian, for the link — despite all the trees you plausibly killed in the process!

2 Comments to “Online Poker Is Bad for the Environment?”

  1. fiona

    So if I can get solar power I can play guilt free? All the money I save on power bills can be wasted in the poker room! Hurray!

  2. Bob

    Lets look at the bigger picture – a lot of people will use their computers for something else at the same time (research, films, porn) – so if I don;t use my computer lets look at the alternatives……. Research – get in car, go to bookshop/library – get a book that’s used much much more CO2 to produce – never mind the transport of me getting there and the books gettting there. Films – Car, movies, all their evlectrics, air conditioning power to project the images – online is best. the 3rd option – Porn, well pretty much the same thing – but with digital distribution the way it is then all production can be done and sent out from the same location – saving tonnes and tonnes od co2 from transportations alone. If I want to play poker and it’s not online – then I have to get in my car drive to a casino blar blar… Spaeaks for itself or we could make a ove back to the dark ages before computers where everything is at a location and produced on paper and transported. Computers are a no brainer when it comes to saving the planet in so many more ways then saveing on CO2 alone. An I class myself as a tree hugger – but this is a daft point to bring up.