Innumeracy at the Globe and Mail
In the June 23 print edition of the Globe and Mail (billed as “Canada’s National Newspaper”), there’s an article on data centres (“Hewers of wood, storers of data”), in which, on page B4, one can read the following:
Greenpeace recently released a report that said if the Internet were a country, it would be the fifth-largest consumer of energy, largely because of the massive data centres that run unseen in the background. The group estimated that the centres will use 1.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity by 2020 — more than the amount currently used by Canada, France, Germany and Brazil combined. (The average US home uses 8,000 kilowatt hours a year.)
An exercise for the reader: How many logical fallacies, arithmetic errors, or contradictions of common knowledge can you find in this passage?
I haven’t tried to determine whether these fallacies originate in the (unidentified) Greenpeace report, or are original to the Globe and Mail.