Google has turned its simple white homepage black Saturday in support of Earth Hour – U.S. surfers only. Below the search box is the message, “We’ve turned the lights out. Now it’s your turn.”
It’s an interesting turn of affairs. Over the summer there was a lot of talk about how much energy Google’s predominantly white background uses compared to, say, a black background. The talk prompted the launch of Blackle which used Google’s custom search engine on black.
But now, on its Earth Hour explanation page, Google writes, “As to why we don’t do this permanently – it saves no energy; modern displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display.” But the research they point to is the same one cited above that says on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75 percent of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy use.
Sydney kicked off Earth Hour with lights going out on the city’s landmarks on Saturday night.