According to a study conducted at Harvard University, a typical Google search creates around 7 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) through the computer processes involved in the search.
Google, however, is not happy with that number and claims that the amount of CO2 produced is much lower. In a post on the company blog, it explains that the CO2 emitted is closer to 0.2 grams and that "the average car driven for one kilometer (0.6 miles for those in the U.S.) produces as many greenhouse gases as a thousand Google searches."
What now, Harvard? Months and months of research shot down by a simple blog post by Google. Maybe they should just buy your fancy university... how would you like that?
Google has also created the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which "is committed to cutting the energy consumed by computers in half by 2010 — reducing global CO2 emissions by 54 million tons per year."
Hopefully, we don't end up in a world that rations our Google searches. I'll stop driving my car if I can keep searching for "Britney Spears naked XXX pics". Who searches like that, honestly?