We've all been there, 11 episodes deep into one of your favourite series at 1 AM. The screen goes black, Netflix asks if you're still there, you smash yes and wait for the 12th episode of the night to start playing. While many Canadians may think that the only thing this is affecting is your social life, new studies show that binge-watching Netflix is actually contributing to climate change. 

The Shift Project has just released a report and it looks like when it comes to climate change, it not just gas giants that are hurting our planet. In fact, when it comes to digital technology, it takes up a lot more electricity than you may think. 

The Shift Project states that it's more than just a laptop that is going to work when you choose to power through a season of The Office on a Monday night. 55 percent of the world's annual energy consumptions actually comes from the data centers and network infrastructures that are put in place to help power data traffic. 

In fact, last year, watching online videos generated more than 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide across the globe, that's as much as the entire country of Spain puts out in a year. 

Of course, with Canada being a computer-driven society, we are part of the problem when it comes to the carbon emissions that digital technology creates. 

Since most Canadians have easy access to electronics and power to plug in their electronics, it encourages us to use video streaming even more, according to Global. 

In fact, the most recent report on emissions shows that the amount of greenhouse gasses that Canada is pushing out is continuing to grow, and between 2016 to 2017 Canada produced eight million tonnes more than the year prior. 

When it comes to video streaming, there are two main contributors. The first one is basic streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu which make 34 percent of all videos watched.

These streaming services are responsible for 0.3 percent of global emissions. To put this in perspective, that is the same amount of Chile's current emissions. 

However, porn actually comes in a close second as it's responsible for 0.2 percent of global emissions. 

Of course, while digital technology definitely is a contributor when it comes to climate change, there are a bunch of other contributors that are creating much more emissions.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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