As guilty pleasures go, Grist List is officially endorsing Facebook, and not just because it’s great for us when you share our funny-awesome-holyshit-cool stories with all your friends and they click on our site and hooray!
No, it’s not our self-interest but our love for the planet that is motivating this endorsement. Because of the two guilty pleasures we’re willing to bet that many of you are indulging in right now — Facebook and a delicious latte — Facebook is the carbon equivalent of a carrot stick and some hummus, and the latte is the equivalent of a gigantic, juicy steak. Just one latte dumps the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as an entire year of Facebook use.
We know this because Facebook released a bunch of data about its 2011 energy use (and because Katie Fehrenbacher at GigaOm figured out the coffee-carbon comparison). It’s nice that Facebook’s at least somewhat into transparency, although we imagine that most of you care less about how much CO2 equivalent the company emitted last year (285,000 metric tons) than about what in the world they’re doing with all that data they’re collecting on you.