Greenpeace vs. Facebook, Continued
September 16th, 2010 By: Rich Miller
Earlier this month we wrote about Greenpeace’s most critique of Facebook about the site location and energy sourcing for its Oregon data center. I noted at the time that Greenpeace “knows how to take a complex issue – and data center energy sourcing certainly qualifies – and simplify it. But not always in a useful way.” Greenpeace continues this trend with a new video released today in which it uses cartoons and a voiceover from a grade-school child to repeat its criticism that Facebook will receive its power from a local utility that uses coal to generate the majority of its power. “But Mark Zuckerberg can still change his mind,” the narrator says. That seems increasingly unlikely, as the first phase of the data center in Prineville, Oregon is nearing completion and Facebook has already announced plans for a second phase. The video is embedded below. If you’re weary of the back-and-forth between Greenpeace and Facebook,here’s an option: you can check out our analysis of Facebook’s data center leasing instead.
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DanPosted September 16th, 2010
Hey Greenpeace! I wonder how much coal is consumed every time someone plays this video on the internet?
take a hike, greenpeace
David MeyerPosted September 17th, 2010
I said it once, and I will say it again. All you need to do is look at how many Facebook pages Greenpeace has. They obviously don’t feel strongly enough about this issue to out their money where their mouth is.
If you are going to bite the hand that feeds you, at least have the courtesy not to take the food any more.
Hey, Greenpeace being wrong about one thing != Greenpeace being wrong period.
How Facebook sources it’s energy is an interesting question, and at least Greenpeace has brought it to the attention of many people. That’s good.
Also, it’s possible to power datacentres in different ways, of different levels of intelligence/environmental sustainability. Some Google datacentres are near water streams for natural cooling for instance. That’s smarter than other things.
Data Centers are EfficiencyPosted September 19th, 2010
Data centers, as a whole, are remarkably efficient and enable huge gains in sustainability. every time a bill is paid online vs a mailed check (goes from car, to a truck, to a small truck, etc) the carbon footprint savings are on the order of 80% or greater. Each and every business process that is “dematerialized” (aka digitized) yields a huge benefit to those serious about reducing carbon emissions. Think about digital vs trucking company distribution of music, video, software, payments, etc.
However, Facebook and some of the “pure entertainment” sites have a no or at best a meaningfully less compelling claim to these efficiencies. It is actually not “greener” to facebook friend someone than it is to say hello or to toss them a football…..