Google makes searches more sustainable and blocks fake climate content

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Google Maps, Search and Travel will propose ecological options. The search engine takes sides against global warming deniers

Google is the search engine, if not the most used site in the world, and has decided to exploit its enormous diffusion to protect the Earth. Recently the US company has put in place a number of changes to many of its products to make researches are more sustainable of users. And this is not the only sustainable move: Google has decided to suspend advertisements promoting disinformation about climate change and deny the consequences of global warming. A clear stance that could put pressure on other technology companies and encourage a paradigm shift on the web and beyond.

Changes to Google Maps

“Today we present some tools to help people make sustainable choices with Google products,” the CEO wrote on the official blog. Sundar Pichai. The changes affect the most well-known and used tools of the company based in Mountain View, California.

Google Maps will default to the greener route through which less CO2 emissions are produced. This update will go into effect in the US shortly and in Europe in 2022. If it takes much longer to reach their destination on the green route, users will be able to choose between the faster or the sustainable route. “We believe the feature will have the same impact as taking over 200,000 cars off the road,” Pichai said. The update will also show where parking for electric bikes and scooters is available in order to promote the use of non-polluting vehicles.

Google Travel e Flights, the two sites for the search for air flights and for the organization of travel, will be made more attentive to the climate issue. Google will show the greenhouse gas emissions associated with a flight in search results and label routes that have significantly lower emissions by adding a green badge. The same will happen with hotels that have received a certificate of sustainability. CO2 emissions will be calculated taking into account the type of aircraft used and will also take into account the seat chosen on board. First-class seats, in fact, result in higher emissions because they take up more space on the aircraft. American Airlines and Lufthansa airlines will provide fuel usage data to help Google validate its emissions information.

Google will ban ads denying climate change © Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Even in the section Shopping there will be new functions to encourage environmental choices. Google will provide suggestions on the results of purchases with low energy demand and will make it easier for customers buying a new car to opt for an environmentally friendly vehicle. The search engine will report hybrid and electric cars to make them easier to find. The interest in traffic is not limited to purchases: in Mountain View they are working on a research project for optimize the efficiency of traffic lights in an entire cityin order to limit the period of time in which the cars are stationary with the engine running.

In addition, Google will use artificial intelligence and aerial imagery to see where trees are in a city and where there is no green cover, which can cool the climate. The program is called Tree Canopy Insights. These are projects and changes that outline the new environmentalist current chosen by Pichaibut Google wants to go even further: the ads that minimize climate change have ended up in the company’s sights.

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Google bans climate change ads

Google claimed that will no longer display advertisements on Youtube videos and other content promoting wrong or incorrect claims about climate change. The decision, made by the company’s marketing team, will not allow websites or YouTube creators to earn advertising money from content that “contradicts the established scientific consensus on the existence and causes of global warming.” Pichai described this decision as a “physical manifestation of our commitment to sustainability, which dates back to our foundation 23 years ago”.

The policy applies to content that refers to the climate crisis as a hoax or a scam, to those who deny the long-term trend that the climate is warming or to those who deny that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity are contributing to the warming of the Earth’s climate. Detailed references that aim to exclude the most successful deniers on Youtube and put pressure on other companies in the so-called Big Tech sector, such as Facebook, who have not yet promoted such decisions.

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