Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greenpeace claims Facebook isn't 'green' enough

Posted By on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Is anyone, or anything, really 'green' enough? I mean, can't we all do a little bit better?

Nitpicking might get you a random headline, but it also firms up the long-held belief that Greenpeace is one of the more militant and obnoxious environmental organizations in the U.S.

I understand the dire need for forward movement in the environmental movement, however bullying people and organizations to see things or do things your way doesn't seem like an effective way to promote change.

And, might I add, Facebook has become an excellent way to rally supporters for a variety of causes — including Greenpeace's. Surely Facebook can get a star for that, right?

After an emotional breakup with the timber industry, Prineville, Ore., was thrilled to get friended by Facebook.

The social networking site chose the high-desert timber town of 10,000 to take advantage of its cool nights and dry air in hopes of making its first-ever data center an energy efficiency landmark.

But the concept failed to impress Greenpeace.

In a report posted on the Internet last month, the environmental group praised Google and Yahoo for tapping hydro power - but challenged Facebook for building in coal country.

The feud shows how hard it can be for the computing industry to meaningfully reduce its environmental footprint. It can add to its green glow through energy efficiency, but Greenpeace argues that IT companies should care more about where the power comes from.

As the nation works to green up the grid to combat global warming, data centers are demanding more energy than ever. A 2007 Environmental Protection Agency report estimated that from 2000 to 2006 data centers doubled their consumption to 61 billion kilowatt hours. That's 1.5 percent of the grid and enough for 5.8 million households.

"If you want to really be responsible for your carbon footprint, you should be trying to provision your electricity supply with renewable energy as much as possible," said Greenpeace climate policy analyst Gary Cook.

Read the rest of this Miami Herald article, by Jeff Barnard, here.

Greenpeace competed in Facebook's Cause Competition in 2008. During that competition, they asked supporters for money for this campaign:

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