I removed Google Analytics from this site today. It was long overdue - it gives YOU so little insight compared to the way that it benefits GOOGLE. I haven't picked a replacement yet, but then I don't sell anything, I don't host ads, and frankly never looked at it anyway (admit it, neither do you ;) ).
I don't know that my little act of defiance matters. If you're here using Chrome, odds are Google knows anyway. If you're using an adblocker worth its salt, you wouldn't have been counted.
It's easy to throw up your hands and say there's nothing you can do about the current state of the Web, crammed with junk news sites, listicles, propaganda - sometimes just so a publication can sell ads. There's been a lot of noise in the press lately about how bad Bitcoin is for the environment, but how much carbon does all of this ad-tech generate?
Six years ago, the Guardian's sustainability team went down this rabbithole for their own operations and discovered that in the year 2011 delivering the news online generated 10000 tons (or "tonnes" if you like) of CO2.
They also discovered that nearly 85% of that CO2 was generated by their end-users' devices. Major trends like the shift to mobile may have a downward impact on this amount, as fewer people read the news primarily on their desktop computer, but we're still throwing absurd amounts of power at something that was once well-handled by paper (which of course has its own carbon footprint, but one might argue a more knowable one).
Even while writing this article,
top claims my machine is 87% idle. I know it's too powerful for this job. I wrote half the portfolio content on this site on my phone.
To disable it, install uBlock origin if you haven't already. Click on it, open the dashboard and go to the filters page. Paste in this line and hit save:
Now reload the page. Better, right?
See, you can do something about the state of the Internet.