Fresh off the “success’ of shouting down Nestle over their sourcing of the some of the palm oil used in products, Greenpeace is now going after some other less edible targets. Maybe they got confused by the Apple logo but Greenpeace has drawn a dotted line between the soon to be released iPad (Coincidence? We think not.) and global warming. Apple is not alone in this claim as Google, Facebook and others’ feet are being held to the fire because of the environmental impact of cloud computing.
A March 30 report from Greenpeace associates the Apple iPad with global warming, as the activist organization seeks to raise new questions about the environmental effects of cloud computing.
According to Greenpeace, if “data centers and telecommunication networks, the two key components of the cloud,” continue to grow at current rates, by 2020 they’ll consume “over half the current electricity consumption of the United States—or more than France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.”
It appears as if Greenpeace sure isn’t shy about using those cloud services to get the word out about their organization but hey we’re not here to nitpick. So why the focus on Apple?
With growing cloud-computing needs, in preparation for the iPad, Apple purchased a data center in South Carolina that Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil told eWEEK is “much larger than its existing facilities.”
Fortunately for Apple they aren’t only big name under the Greenpeace hydro-electric powered microscope.
Facebook also recently announced it will be building a data center in Prineville, Ore., which “will run primarily on coal.” In doing so, it missed an opportunity, Greenpeace said, to encourage the use of renewable energy. Offering an example, Yahoo, however, built a data center outside of Buffalo, NY., which is partly powered by energy from a hydroelectric power plant.
I’m not sure what to make of all of this. I appreciate the concern for the environment. Everyone needs to be aware of what we do or don’t do to help take care of the only home we have. Greenpeace seems to be going for a double-dip so to speak. By going after the largest brands and doing it at times when those brands are getting exposure it not only does a lot for the ‘cause’ of Greenpeace but one might think the other side of this has to do with another green: money. If the organization can get out in front of big stories and put their spin on it then maybe, just maybe donations will increase. Call me a cynic but it makes sense.
Rest assured all of you environmentalist Apple users though. You’re not being singled out
Greenpeace stated on its site that it’s not really “picking on Apple” or “dissing the iPad,” but trying to ask the important questions.
“Apple is the master of promotion, and while we marvel at the sleek unpolluted design of the iPad, we need to think about where this is all leading,” Greenpeace wrote, “and how like all good surfers we can make sure our environment stays clean and green.”
I have to ask who is the real master of promotion here? It seems like Greenpeace has been taking some lessons in promoting itself as more than boats racing along side whaling vessels. Heck, saving the whales is so 20th century anyway.