FORTUNE -- "Your iPhone uses more energy than a refrigerator," was Carmel Lobello's headline in The Week.
"The majority of the energy is used for cloud services, not charging the iPhone," wrote Ryan Gorman on The Mail Online, adding that "the majority of the energy used to power the cloud comes from coal."
Sounds pretty ominous, especially when you observe, as Bryan Walsh did in Time, that "the digital economy uses a tenth of the world's electricity -- and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment."
Where is all this bad news coming from? From a study called "The Cloud Begins with Coal" by Mark Mills, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute who writes the Energy Intelligence column for Forbes.
Before you toss your iPhone in the recycling bin, a few points:
Whatever the cost of powering the Internet economy, iPhones are not the culprit. They are, in fact, unusually energy efficient. According to a 2012 study by Electric Power Research Institute, the cost of keeping an iPhone 5 charged is 41 cents a year. (See chart at right.)
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