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Switching your search engine

I just read this article by Seth Godin and it reminded me that I wrote about Escosia in my book the digital classroom. And I did change my search engine after reading his blog post.

If you switch and then you forward this to five more people who switch, we’re likely to plant another 100,000,000 trees in the next year. That’s a lot. If you switch and spread the word, search results will get better and Google will start to do a better job knowing that they don’t have quite the same scale of monopoly.

A browser is software that allows you to look at any web page–and these companies often make money by selling your attention to the search engine that bids the most. Apple takes billions of dollars a year from Google in exchange for steering you to their search engine.

And the reason that Google bids so much is that they make an insane amount of money. Billions of dollars a year from serving up ads and harvesting your data from your searches. That money needs to come from somewhere.

If you switch, we all come out ahead. Share a question or experience here and I’ll share in a future post. PS I wasn’t asked to post this or compensated to do so. I switched 9 months ago and I’m glad I did. Seth Godin

And I did some research to find that the company is now working on renewable energy.

“Ecosia has started ploughing search ads profit into green energy”

Not-for-profit search engine Ecosia has started funnelling a portion of the profits it generates from serving ads against users’ searches into startups in the renewable energy space.

This is in addition to the €350 million WorldFund which Ecosia recently incubated and launched last year to back climate-focused startups.

To be clear, Ecosia is also continuing to fund tree-planting with search ads profits (an activity it’s best known for) — but the Berlin-based search engine told us it’s now making an “ongoing commitment” to green energy investment as a result of the energy crunch triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The initial focus for investment is on Germany, which is particularly reliant on buying gas from Russia — meaning its economy is heavily exposed to the crisis in Ukraine.

The war has already created fresh impetus for the world to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables — layering an economic crisis on top of the climate crisis which could lead to a surge in demand for renewables.

Although fossil fuel interests have been quick to spin up a counter argument to try to block any rush toward green energy — lobbying for Western nations to increase their exploitation of oil and gas and, y’know, torch life on Earth even faster. So there’s no shortage of reasons for investors to cut checks for renewables like there’s no tomorrow.

Ecosia says it’s put up an initial $30 million to fund startups and community energy initiatives — focusing its early investment on the supplier network of Berlin-based startup Zolar, a platform which links customers wanting to install solar systems with local planning and installation businesses to support the rollout of green energy to households across Germany.

Techcrunch. Natasha Lomas

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