Xbox – taking action against climate change

100 million Xbox live users, 2 consoles per tree, how many trees can be saved in a year? Lee Lim

Check your Xbox for the newest update to help reduce carbon emissions

The radical right loves to create controversy. They love to create ideas that kids’ brains are being ruined by modernist ideas. In this case: climate change. Well, climate change and video games.

In early January, Microsoft announced that they were working on making the Xbox the “first carbon aware console.” At a time when technology is only hurting climate change with the rising popularity of cryptocurrency, Microsoft wants to fight back against that. Their goal is to lower carbon emissions, make your power bills lower, and not use as many fossil fuels with the Xbox.

Here’s how they plan to do it: a new shutdown mode. With this update, players can choose to use an energy-saving shutdown mode. Your Xbox will be able to see when carbon intensity is at its lowest and update during that time. Microsoft stated that this is when the power grid is using the most low-carbon sources. The goal with this system is to produce fewer CO2 emissions, and it’ll happen when the console is shut off so it won’t interrupt your gaming.

There’s also an addition to sleep mode. You can set your Xbox to “Active Hours” a.k.a. when you’re using the console. Outside those active hours, the console will use a lot less power.

These updates hope to make Microsoft more carbon aware and help the company become carbon negative. Microsoft claims that “Every small step we take has larger collective impact – and choosing shutdown (energy saving) can have real, meaningful impact. For example, for every 2 consoles that switch to Shutdown (energy saving) for one year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by 1 tree planted and grown for a decade.”

These updates will already come built into newer consoles, and older consoles will be able to update to gain these features in the near future.

Yet for some reason, Microsoft wanting to lessen their carbon emissions is a bad thing for some people. The website Blaze, which is known for being very conservative, published an article on January 23 stating that Microsoft is “[forcing] gamers to power down to fight climate change.” This is untrue. Microsoft has stated that the new settings are completely optional.

A statement was also made by Ted Cruz, a known Republican. He linked the Blaze article in a tweet, saying “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they’re gunning for your Xbox.” The gas stove comment is part of another issue that Republicans are running wild with after an article was published linking gas stoves to childhood asthma. They’re very upset over people potentially taking their gas stoves, but not their Xbox. They’re just upset that the Xbox won’t use as much carbon.

Cruz’s tweet set off a chain of events from other right-wing public figures. Troy Nehls, another Texan Republican, made a statement that made it seem like Xboxes were going to be taken away, which is also not true. No one wants to take anyone’s Xbox.

Even Fox News ran a segment on the Xbox’s new updates. They made it seem like Microsoft is trying to trick your kids into climate politics, which is also not true. They stated “It’s not that it’s actually going to offset emissions. But they’re trying to recruit your kids into climate politics at an earlier age; make them climate conscious now.” Microsoft said nothing of the sort about trying to recruit children into climate politics.

If you have an Xbox and you care about the environment, make sure to check for this update coming soon and minimize your carbon footprint.


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