Is Acid Rain The Cloud's Dirty Secret?

With the recent Inflation Reduction Act, congress has passed one of the most sweeping climate bills to date. Real funding has been diverted to fight the gradual warming of the planet, but some analysts say the reality of the threat looms large, and all hands must be on deck.

Many industries find themselves the target of the public’s ire for their contributions to emissions. The usual suspects — oil and gas, coal, automotive — are responsible for massive amounts of greenhouse gasses entering the atmosphere each year. But at least one industry has, thus far, seemingly flown under the radar: cloud computing.

According to some, the servicers who power the cloud — companies like Inc. AMZN, Microsoft Corp. MSFT, and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL — hide behind public-facing images of responsible corporate citizens. And while it is true that many of these companies are taking steps to reduce their impact, their efforts are reportedly falling short.

Current estimates put cloud computing at or above the emissions levels of air travel — another favorite target of climate activists. Cloud computing is responsible for 2.5% to 3.7% of total greenhouse gas emissions, compared to just 2.4% for air travel.

When measuring greenhouse gas emissions from companies, climate scientists separate emissions into three categories, called “scopes.” Scope 1 refers to direct emissions, scope 2 to the impact the energy used has on the environment, and scope 3 to the upstream and downstream emissions in a company’s value chain.

Scope 3 is largely ignored. Google recently made pledges regarding its climate goals and released a report on its emissions. It completely ignored scope 3. It’s estimated that the company's emissions double if scope 3 is factored in.

And this is only one part of the story. Water is becoming more and more precious, and its use is of equal importance. The focus of these servicers has been almost entirely focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Water has been almost entirely ignored.

The hyper-scale model favored by cloud servicers reportedly uses incredible amounts of water to cool the servers. And these data centers are often in areas that are already wanting access to fresh water.

However, a solution may come from the new frontier of the blockchain. The Cudos CUDOS/USD project, a layer 1 chain, is building a layer 2 distributed computing platform called Cudo Compute. It harnesses the idle power of computers and servers the world over to offer an alternative to the traditional hyper-scale data center model of today’s big tech giants.

The project has recently revamped its interface and the new version makes accessing the power of Cudo Compute intuitive and accessible to anyone. It is also partnering with Nuco.Cloud, a platform that helps users automate their access to the distributed cloud. Cudo Compute will provide the backbone of the network. This partnership represents an exciting step in furthering Cudo’s commitment to making the cloud more sustainable.

This may help combat the impending threat of climate change, presenting another, more responsible option.

To learn more about the transformative power of the distributed cloud, check out .

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice.

Featured photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash

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