Author Archives: Gerry McGovern

Web, we have a problem

Humans are not used to abundance. For millions of years, we wanted. A steady supply of food was rarely guaranteed. It is only in the last 100 years that food has become more abundant. We can’t cope. It’s estimated that one-third of food that is bought is wasted. Even much of the food we eat is wasted because we don’t use it productively, and if it’s not used, food turns into fat, and that’s why we have a global obesity epidemic.

Modern technology is the central driver of abundance, and is the core accelerator of waste. Technology has created a type of waste that never before existed on this earth. A toxic and destructive waste that poisons us and our environment, whether it is processed foods, fake news or e-waste. We must address waste.

I grew up on a small farm. Practically nothing went to waste. The cow dung mixed with the straw that we used to keep the cows clean and warm and each day it was cleaned out and added to a growing pile that was in the spring spread on the fields to help grow the grass that the cows would eat. A circular economy.

So much of what we make in digital never has a second life. The websites we build, the content and code we write, the smartphones and computers, all those gadgets, they die and sit there somewhere. The content, code and websites will never rot and be spread on fields to make something new and fresh. No, they just sit there, taking up space, eating a little bit of energy every day. Almost invisible.

Modern technology has truly wonderful potential but it is overloading us with abundance. The way we are designing it is so incredibly destructive, both to our own long-term health and happiness and to the viability and sustainability of life on earth. We must change the truly toxic model of planned obsolescence, of a deep design culture that obsesses about speed, coolness, jazziness, production, innovation for the sake of innovation, change for the sake of change, the cult of volume, and the quick buck.

Our organizations have such a myopic short-term focus. We can only think and act based on the low-hanging fruit. The idea of getting a ladder to reach the other fruit requires just too much long-term planning.

Waste that feeds life in a circular economy is good and vital. But so much of the waste we create today feeds death and destruction. The one-third of food waste often ends wrapped tightly in thousand-year plastic. Much of the rest of the food feeds the obesity epidemic, while the marketers tell us we should never feel hungry, that we must snack ourselves to death with processed junk food.

The digital industry I have made my career in is so enormously, wantonly wasteful, and the waste is nearly always toxic, dead waste; waste that has no use, has no function or ability to feed new life. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can change. We must change.

Step one is to recognize we have a problem. We are addicted to the easy and cheap abundance that technology offers. Just like technology has made us over-eat, we over-write, over-code, over-publish. Our websites are obese, our code is obese, our content is obese. We’ve gone wild on images, videos; we salivate when they promise 5G. “Wow, 5G!!! Do you know how much faster that is!? I don’t know why I need that speed, but I WANT that speed.”

Web, we have a problem.

Reclaiming our lives from the machine

Albert Speer was one of the few Nazis who reflected on what he did and felt some form of guilt. He was Hitler’s architect, and in the later stages of World War II he took over armaments manufacturing and oversaw tremendous increases in production by bringing in new management techniques. He embraced technology.

I am an avid reader of history and I was particularly struck by the final statement Speer made at his Nuremberg trial in 1947. At first I ignored it, partly because I myself had made a career promoting technology, but it stayed in the back of my head for some reason, and I recently decided to re-read it.

“Hitler’s dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history,” Speer said. “His was the first dictatorship… which made complete use of all technical means… Through technical devices such as radio and loudspeaker 80 million people were deprived of independent thought… Perhaps to the outsider this machinery of the state may appear like the lines of a telephone exchange – apparently without system. But like the latter, it could be served and dominated by one single will…

“The means of communication alone make it possible to mechanize the subordinate leadership,” Speer continued. “As a result of this there arises a new type: the uncritical recipient of orders. We had only reached the beginning of the development… Today the danger of being terrorized by technocracy threatens every country in the world… Therefore, the more technical the world becomes, the more necessary is the promotion of individual freedom and the individual’s awareness of himself as a counterbalance…

“Worthwhile human beings wilI not let themselves be driven to despair,” Speer concluded. “They will create new and lasting values, and under the tremendous pressure brought to bear upon everyone today these new works will be of particular greatness.”

We are lucky in some ways that today the United States has turned into a Ponzi / Pyramid Scheme rather than a true dictatorship. We are lucky that Trump is at heart a con man and snake oil salesman rather than a religious zealot, that his nationalism only matters in the context of his personal enrichment.

We are not lucky that we have much cleverer and clearer-eyed leaders of Big Tech who know full well the role their technology is playing in building the surveillance state. Every day, the engineers of Big Tech bring their genius to bear in finding our weakest and most emotional points and relentlessly manipulating us for “engagement” so as to maximize quarterly returns.

We who work in technology are not utterly helpless. We who live in this ever-encroaching surveillance state are not utterly helpless. Maybe what we do to resist will ultimately make no difference. But rest assured, the surveillance and tracking engineers and designers are counting on us to continue to live as we live: obsessed with free and easy, excited by the cheap and frivolous, addicted to convenience.

We may well be the last generation with the agency and capacity to change. If we could change, we could save ourselves and in the process save the planet, because this march of surveillance, consumerist technology is consuming everything in front of it. A human with a flintstone can burn a forest. A human with a computer can burn the planet.

Burn your own energy

The history of technology is about extending and replacing human energy. We are at a point now where increasing amounts of our energy are going to waste because we are using technology out of convenience and laziness rather than for productive motives. The consequences for ourselves and for our planet are dire.

There is no more positive sign that we are learning important lessons from this terrible pandemic than the bicycle boom. Before the pandemic we were facing a global obesity pandemic because people were eating far too much technologically processed food and not using the energy generated by that food. Unused human energy is stored as fat.

Technology has made us lazy. Why exactly do people buy smart speakers? Because they’re lazy. We can’t be bothered to get up and switch the light off. We can’t be bothered to think, to calculate in ours heads. Slowly, modern technology is weakening and infantilizing us. If you don’t use it, you lose it. If you don’t use your memory, you lose it. If you don’t use your muscles, you lose them. The only thing you gain is unhealthy weight.

Think of the amount of energy and waste required to get a smart speaker to turn the light off. The wasted energy in our bodies that could have been used to get up and walking over to the switch makes us unhealthy and sick.

Food production is estimated to cause 25% of global CO2 emissions per years. One-third of food is thrown away as waste. How much of the rest that we actually eat ends up being wasted because we didn’t use it productively?

It is not a surprise that the explosion in CO2 emissions began in the Seventies at the very same moment that we had the explosion in the computer industry, and at the same time as the great decline in human productivity began. For thousands of years, technology made us more productive. Modern technology is making us less productive, less healthy, less wealthy, and less wise.

Oh yes, we hear about how smartphones are allowing us to track ourselves as we run. And? We can’t even walk, run or cycle anymore without bringing technology with us. We can’t do the necessary burning of our own energy that we’ve already consumed at a major cost to the earth without consuming more of the earth’s precious resources by having a gadget along with us for the ride. And this, we are told, is progress.

As the Internet goes QAnon, as the world burns, as the virus rages, Silicon Valley boasts about all the magical, wonderful progress it is delivering. Would the world be better or worse off if we shut off all social media? One of the reasons COVID-19 has raged so strongly is that technology has been used to hollow out the public space so as to allow for the private squares run by Facebook, Apple, Google, et al. Listen closely. Do you hear that great sucking sound caused by technology? It’s the sound of Zuckerberg and Bezos sucking up even more wealth.

Burn your own energy. It will be good for you and good for the planet. And it will also be a form of resistance.

Delete 90%: Principles of Digital Earth Experience Design

The fourth principle of Digital Earth Experience design is to “Delete 90%”. The illusion of cheap storage has encouraged by far the worst hoarding habits in human history. We are drowning in digital crap, and it’s going to get much, much worse. Most organizations haven’t even begun to think how to properly manage the data. In fact, they’re not even at a stage where they think it’s a problem.

In an age of the Big Bang of data, where more data has been produced in the last two years than in all of previous history, data management skills have gone backwards. Twenty years ago I saw more emphasis in organizations I was dealing with on architecting and managing data better. We have become drunk on Moore’s Law and cheap storage.

• 90% of data never accessed three months after it’s stored (Tech Target)
• 80% of digital data never accessed (Active Archive Alliance)
• 90% of data not analyzed (Lucidworks)
• 90% of data never analyzed (IDC)
• 90% of IoT data never used (IBM)

Let me bring you on a journey to see what this data crap might look like. Over the years, we have done hundreds of Top Tasks projects, and when I looked at the data folder I saw that it contained 13.7 GB.

I started a cleanup. Every time we did a Top Tasks survey we would end up with a processed file. The software is always being improved so if a client asks us to resend data we will always process a fresh file. So, there’s no need to store the old processed files. I also deleted lots of folders that were direct copies. The base survey files themselves often had copies. I deleted those.

Many years ago we needed an Excel and a CSV folder of the base results. Can’t remember why. I deleted all the unnecessary CSV folders. There were HTML files hanging around for some reason. We’ve never needed those so I deleted them. There were TEMP files. I deleted them. Sometimes, we had multiple languages in a survey. At the end of the survey we’d merge them into a master survey file. I deleted the individual language folders.

Everything I got rid of was junk, crap. It had absolutely no useful value. At the end of it all I still had everything I needed to reprocess a set of survey results for a client should they request it. I started with a folder that was 13.7 GB and I ended with a folder that was 1.07 GB. I deleted 92% crap.

Here’s an even more important question. Why am I keeping any of this stuff? I can count on one hand that is missing two fingers the number of requests I’ve had over the years from clients that required reprocessing. At most, I should only hold on to the last two years’ worth of survey data.

Digital brings out the hoarder in us. Digital feeds our insecurities. We think: “Why not store everything then I don’t have to think?” The “what if” dragon roars in our ears. Better safe than sorry. It’s so cheap. But it’s not. The most dangerous cost is the cost closest to zero. The Web is junkland. Over 90% of pages never even get found in Google.

Digital culture is the worst possible culture to address global warming with. We must break our addiction to Moore’s Law and cheap storage.

Principles of Digital Earth Experience Design

The first principle is to not create. Not doing anything with digital is the kindest thing you can do for the environment. The decisions that you make not to create that extra piece of code, that extra piece of content, these are the most important decisions you can make. If you must create then reuse and recycle code, content and designs. The more you can build from stuff that has already been created, the better for the environment.

The second principle is to make stuff that is reusable. Build stuff in a modular way so that others can easily use parts of it. How can you make stuff so that others who need it can easily find it? In practical terms this means that you have to carefully think about the metadata that will describe and help organize what you create. Without good metadata, digital stuff is not findable. When people find your stuff will they be able to easily understand what it does and how to reuse it? You need to carefully describe how the stuff was made, what rules, languages, procedures, processes it follows.

The third principle is to minimize waste during reuse and creation. The more waste you’re creating the more you are helping accelerate global warming. The less weight your design has, the less waste it’s creating. The less processing your design requires, the less waste it’s creating.

According to Mike Berners Lee, sending an SMS message creates 285 times less waste than sending the same message by email. I did some calculations and found that sending the same message by audio would create roughly 28,000 times more pollution. Sending the same message by standard video would create 214,000 times more pollution. These are massive, almost unbelievable orders of magnitude of difference.

At every part of your day, you can make decisions that will be gentler on the environment. Every time you save 15 minutes on a video conference, you do something good for the environment. Every time you choose audio over video, you do something good. Every time you choose text over audio, you do something good.

We were always a wasteful species but in the last 50 years our wastefulness has utterly, absolutely exploded. We are literally wasting the earth to death. The nature of digital encourages a waste mindset. Digital makes it so easy to waste that we don’t even think we’re wasting. By focusing on digital waste we begin to change our mindset. We must change our mindset because it is our culture of waste—of convenience, of disposability, of things being “old” when they are three years old, of “free” digital products and services—that is a huge accelerator of global warming.

What you save when you send an SMS instead of doing a video conference call may seem inconsequential in the larger scale of global pollution, but it is the cost closest to zero that is the most dangerous cost of all. And the most important thing is to realize that there is nothing remotely free about digital, that it is the digital mindset that is a great accelerator of global warming. Free costs the Earth.

Focus on the waste: Developing an earth experience culture in digital

The greatest challenge we have today both in the physical and digital world is waste. It’s not an energy production problem we have. It’s a waste production problem. The defining characteristic of “rich” world culture is profligate waste. We create, for example, so much plastic waste that geologists are seeing a sedimentary layer of plastic emerge. In the sea it is expected that before long the weight of plastic will equal the weight of fish.

When I think back over a 25-year-plus career of working on the Web, the one overwhelming impression I have is the enormous quantities of digital waste I have come across. Rarely, if ever—and I include myself in this reckoning—did I hear any concern about reducing energy consumption, reducing the numbers of systems, devices and software, or reducing the vast quantities of useless data and content that organizations were creating at increasingly furious speeds.

As the world burns and floods, it is quite extraordinary that in digital design and development, we’re partying like it’s 1999 or whatever. Even convincing people in the digital industry that what they do consumes energy and creates waste is a challenge.

Digital has facilitated and accelerated a corrosive, destructive and mega-waste culture. Before digital, humans created waste with shovels. Digital gave them diggers. Before digital, designers’ wildest dreams stayed as wild dreams. Digital allows all the wild dreams to flood out. “There’s a book inside everyone” was an old saying. Digital let the book out. And there is a deep culture in digital that says that’s great. Store everything in the data lake and we’ll sort it out later. This is a culture of waste. A culture that believes that there is no cost to all this creation. No cost to all this storage. At least, no cost worth worrying about. But the cost closest to zero is the most dangerous cost of all.

You can’t have Fast Fashion without digital. In a world of pencil and paper you simply can’t create 24 “seasons” a year. The MacBook allows the designer to go wild, while Instagram feeds the addicts. We buy three times as many clothes today as we used to and wear them half as long thanks to digital. Globally, every second, the equivalent of an entire garbage truck full of textiles is dumped or burned. Every second. Digital is the great facilitator, the great enabler, the great accelerator of waste.

One way to begin to change this destructive, future-annihilating culture is by becoming obsessive about reducing waste, and digital waste in particular. 80% of the total waste that digital creates happens during the manufacture of the device. So we must seek to own the minimum number of digital devices and hold on to them for the longest time possible.

Right now, Big Data is having its Big Bang, creating unimaginable and unmanageable quantities of mainly junk data. We must think much more and create much less. We must share and reuse much more. Pause. Resist. Slow down. And when we do create always allocate time for review and deletion. If you take those ten photos, take time to review them because, guaranteed, you’ll delete nine of them and be much better off because you have the one photo left that will mean something.

Protecting the digital public space

“Domination” is Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite word. He illustrates better than most the domineering Tech Bros win-at-all-costs, use-all-means-to-get-to-your-ends approach. From the first time I heard him gush about “community” the hairs on my neck stood up. There was something deeply fake and disturbing going on. This guy is a dictator. From day one, he set up Facebook so that he could be its dictator. What’s he talking about community for? Facebook is not a community. Facebook is more like a drugs den where addicts are sold to the highest advertising bidder.

When a guy rides into your community and offers to build a new shining public square and tells you that it’s “free”, that you’ll never have the “pay” for it, he’s treating you like a sucker. It’s a massive con. He’s a pusher. He’s giving you free stuff to get you hooked. If you fall for the con be guaranteed that the primary emotion you will get from him is his contempt.

The roots of social media and search and much modern technology contain a giant con, are founded on lies and deception. Social media and other “free” services planted a million seeds in the sewers and swamps of society out of which crawled a multitude of Trumpian creatures. People were so dulled by false promises, fake news and all things cheap and free that they believed the swamp creatures when they stomped around screaming: “Drain the swamp! I love my community!”

Technology is valuable. Digital is valuable. The space that is created by the Web and Internet is valuable. Very valuable. The technology companies know this. The stock market knows this. The public—the people who actually create most of its value through using it—do not know this.

Time for that to change unless we want to sleepwalk into a world where megacorps are more powerful than most countries, and where they exert that power and suppress and supplant government and democracy in the pursuit of domination. This is no joke. This is no wild statement. If you’re awake, maybe you’re thinking: “Is it not too late to stop them.”

It’s not too late to try.

“Data privacy is not something that can be effectively regulated at the individual level because it is something akin to air pollution, a public good that requires a collective response,” Zeynep Tufekci, a pioneering thinker about social issues, recently stated.

I’ve been thinking about this statement a lot. We cannot effectively address data privacy at an individual level. We must establish data protection at an environmental level. We must protect individuals from being exploited because of their weakness for and addiction to short-term convenience.

What if we reclaim the digital public space? What if we start taking back the digital public square from Facebook, Google, Apple et al? What if we started regulating the digital environment like we do the natural environment? From clean air to clean data, from free speech to freedom from hate speech?

A core reason COVID-19 ripped through our fragile societies was because, for the last 50 years, all the money chased the tech dream, and the public space was drained of investment and attention. Let us as societies reclaim and rebuild our public space—both physical and digital.

Start by reclaiming your data.

The Social Dilemma

Follow Zeynep Tufekci on Twitter: @zeynep

Calculating the pollution cost of website analytics (Part 4)

If 50 million websites are actively using Google Analytics, then according to my calculations this could be resulting in 100 million kg of CO2 pollution a year. You’d need to plant 10 million trees to deal with that sort of pollution.

Most of these 50 million websites will find out very little by using Google Analytics because the vast majority of analytics data is not useful to a typical organization. If you are using Google Analytics you are slowing down your site. For what? You have also signed up to be a surveillance capitalist. You think you are getting Google Analytics for free, when in fact Google is using you to track people because selling the data they get from tracking people is how they make 90% of their revenue. If you have Google Analytics on your site—or any other tracking software—then you are an unpaid tracker for surveillance capitalism. Those nice little colorful social media share buttons are spying on the people who visit your site and sending their info to Twitter or Facebook. Why? Why do you do that?

Tracking has many costs. It makes the Web heavier and slower. It creates a Web of psychological control. It strips us of our privacy. Why? Most of this tracking and analysis of what people do on a website doesn’t even improve revenue. It just adds weight and complexity.

• A Dutch national broadcaster removed tracking software from its website and saw revenue rise.
• After GDPR, The New York Times cut off ad exchanges in Europe—and kept growing ad revenue.
• In January 2020, Gartner predicted that by 2025, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will drop their personalization efforts.

Why? Not everyone likes being tracked, likes allowing companies to know about their inner lives. The more digital we become the more we will realize that data privacy is a human right.

Data analysis is really, really hard to do well. If you have a huge spike in visitors coming to your website, is that a good or a bad thing? Are the Web teams of government health websites dreaming about pandemics in the hope of getting more visitors? Website analytics metrics feed the Cult of Volume. Often, marketers and communicators are addicted to volume, chasing the next hit as they try and turn their visitors into addicts through “engagement” tactics. Such tactics rarely add value for anyone.

Why? Digital is speed and the more digital a society becomes the faster things become. We should not, however, confuse new, innovative and fast with good, appropriate and useful. We are analog machines in an increasingly digital world. We can’t speed up to meet digital so we should slow digital down, put some necessary constraints in place. Otherwise, digital becomes this massive accelerator of wasteful activity as it generates enormous quantities of toxic data waste.

Predicts 2020: Marketers, They’re Just Not That Into You

After GDPR, The New York Times cut off ad exchanges in Europe—and kept growing ad revenue, Jessica Davies, DIGIDAY, 2019

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It’s meant to work like that, right?

Calculating the pollution cost of website analytics (Part 3)

The most substantial pollution from Google Analytics comes from the processing and analysis of the data.

Let’s assume that the analytics data from each of the 50 million websites using Google Analytics requires 30 seconds per day of processing from Google servers. These servers tend to be very energy intensive, using from 500 to 1200 watts of power. Processing data for 50 million websites every day could thus cause 36,195,833 kg of annual pollution, requiring the planting of 3,619,583 trees.

Let’s assume website professionals spend an average of five minutes a day reviewing and analyzing the data produced by Google Analytics, and that they do that 250 days a year. Let’s assume they do this analysis on a mix of laptops and desktops. A desktop with monitor can have a wattage of 200, whereas modern laptops have a wattage of about 36. That causes 33,040,000 kg of CO2 pollution, requiring the planting of 3,304,000 trees.

So, we’re talking about millions of kilos of pollution being caused either directly or indirectly because of Google Analytics. Why? What is the benefit of Google Analytics or any other analytics software? In my experience, 80% of websites would be much better off without any analytics software.

Let me tell you a very typical story. An intranet manager I know goes through a ritual of presenting analytics once a week to an internal communications team. This team are forever chasing hits, traffic, volume, because that’s how they’re measured, that’s how they’re rewarded. They churn out “news” stories that practically nobody clicks on. They constantly talk about engagement and bounce rates.

The intranet manager knows that out in the actual world of the workplace nobody cares about the happy clappy “news” that is being pushed at them. They can’t find anything useful on the intranet and that’s why many of them have stopped using it. The analytics, instead of helping the team understand that the intranet needs to be useful, are perversely encouraging communicators to publish ever-more-useless content. This is not by any means an untypical scenario.

This is not the fault of the analytics, you might say, but the fault of poor interpretation of the data. But the Cult of Volume is strong in so many organizations. Analytics feeds the obsession with chasing big numbers, and often leads to a production-driven cult. Let me tell you, I’ve been part of this cult. I was an analytics addict for years, obsessing over how I could “grow the numbers”.

Then one day in yet one more analytics meeting, it struck me: This is a monumental waste of time. Nothing useful is coming out of all this poring over the data. And I thought of all the years I’d done this, how rare it was to get actionable, useful insights.

Digital encourages production, “creativity”, activity. Digital has produced more data in the last two years than in all of previous civilization. Like a virus, digital data is growing exponentially. So much of digital activity is useless, pointless. 90% of data is crap; never accessed three months after it’s created. Most analytics data is a poisonous drop in this ocean of crap that is smothering and polluting our planet.

It is time for a very serious review of our digital work activities. Is this really necessary? Do we really need to do this? Does it have any real, useful purpose?

Calculating the pollution cost of website analytics (Part 2)

Every time you access a webpage that is using Google Analytics, about 22 KB of data is sent to Google. If we estimate that there are 500 million pages being accessed every day then that’s about 4 million GB of data per year. We’d need to plant 1,656 trees to deal with the pollution.

However, data transmission is just the tip of the pollution iceberg for Google Analytics. Processing is another pollution cost. We estimate that Google Analytics demands 0.288 seconds of processing on a person’s device for each page that is accessed. 2018 figures from the UK government estimate that 0.28 kg of CO2 is created per kWh. Thus, the processing for Google Analytics on user devices causes 7,665 kg of CO2 pollution per year, requiring the planting of a further 767 trees to offset it.

Storage is the next area to look at and its pollution impact may surprise you. We estimate that each of the 50 million websites will create 1 MB of analytics data each day. That would be about 18 million GB of data a year. According to 2019 analysis of cloud storage pricing by HubStor, the average price per GB for premium cloud storage is 15 cents per GB per month.

It is difficult to isolate the pure energy costs here. Let’s say that 90% of the price covers profits, investment, operating and maintenance costs. (These costs, of course, require energy in order to build and equip and staff the data center, but that’s another story.) That gives us an estimate of 12 cents for storing 1 GB of data for one year. Thus the cost of energy to store 18 million GB of data is $2,190,000. US average commercial electricity rates are about 13 cents per Kilowatt hour, according to Choose Energy. That would mean that about 17 million kWh per year are required for such storage, creating 4.7 million kg of CO2. We’d need to plant 470,000 trees to deal with that sort of pollution.

There are about three trillion trees in the world, according research by Thomas Crowther, a professor at Yale. Since the beginning of human civilization, the global number of trees has fallen by about 46%. We lose 15 billion trees a year, according to Time magazine, and plant five billion, according to Tentree, giving us a net loss of 10 billion.

So much about digital is about hidden costs, indirect pollution. The Google Analytics websites are accessed by people using smartphones, laptops, etc. I’ve chosen what I believe is a conservative average cost for all these devices of $450. I’m assuming that each device is kept for three years. Thus, the yearly cost is $150 and the hourly cost is about 5 cents (assuming that these devices are used eight hours a day). I’m allocating just 10% or 0.5 cents of this cost to energy.

Google Analytics takes up 0.288 seconds of time per page, but some of this time is happening in the background as stuff is getting processed. Let’s say that just half of this time is affecting the actual time it takes to download the page. That gives us 0.144 seconds. Let’s say people are looking at an average of 10 pages per day. That gives us 1.44 seconds, which is about 9 minutes for a year. With 50 million devices, that creates 80,769 kg of CO2 per year, requiring another 8,077 trees to be planted.

As Google Analytics Turns 10, We Ask: How Many Websites Use It? Matt McGee, Marketing Land, 2015

Which is the most important device you use to connect to the internet, at home or elsewhere?

Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2018, GOV.UK

The definitive guide to cloud storage pricing, HubStor, 2019

US average domestic electricity rate is 13.19 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

US commercial electricity rates by state – the U.S. average is 12.69 cents per kilowatt hour

The United Nations Global E-waste Monitor 2017: Quantities, Flows, and Resources, United Nations, 2017

American trash: How an e-waste sting uncovered a shocking betrayal, Colin Lecher, The Verge, 2019