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Greenpeace Says the Internet Emits Too Much CO2 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the stupid-internet-stop-that dept.
Pharmboy writes "A new report put out by Greenpeace argues that the IT sector is not doing enough to decrease reliance on 'dirty energy', saying the Internet, if it were treated as its own country, would be the 5th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. 'Many companies, the organization said, tightly guard data about the environmental impact and energy consumption of their IT operations. They also focus more on using energy efficiently than on sourcing it cleanly.' The report (PDF) doesn't mention how much CO2 is saved by telecommuting and higher corporate efficiency, however. So, exactly how 'green' or 'polluting' is the internet, really?"
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Greenpeace Says the Internet Emits Too Much CO2

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  • FFS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anrego (830717) * on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:15PM (#35907836)

    So, exactly how 'green' or 'polluting' is the internet, really?

    The more important question is, how exactly does one "choose" a green energy source. I don't know about other parts of the world, but up here in Canada we generally only have one choice of power provider. We don't get to shop around for which power plant we want to produce our power. I guess if you are big enough to be able to "choose a location for the new datacenter" then you kinda can... but for the large majority of users not so much.

    Yes, there are alternatives, but they arn't ready for the masses yet. Doing anything for power besides paying the going rate in your local area is at best risky. Unless you can use it as a PR piece effectively to the point of being worth it or it saves your more money over a reasonable amount of time, no one is going to go for it.

    The report (PDF) doesn't mention how much CO2 is saved by telecommuting and higher corporate efficiency, however.

    Greenpeace.. biased.. who'd have seen that one ;)

    Seriously though, while I agree with some of the greenpeace message... I have very little respect for the organization and have a hard time taking anything they say seriously.

    • The IT sector is actually ahead of most industries in terms of being green. They can be 100% green operationally, today. Running completely on electricity means you can be as green as your source. It's not IT that's the problem.

      Likewise, to the omissions of the report, how much CO2 is saved by internet shopping? Having a single delivery truck running all day is better than 70 cars making individual trips.
      • The IT sector is actually ahead of most industries in terms of being green. They can be 100% green operationally, today. Running completely on electricity means you can be as green as your source. It's not IT that's the problem.

        Not quite true, there is the CO2 cost in making computers - we would get better if we did not replace machines so often.

        Then there is the cost of printing paper, ink & all sorts of consumables.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by poetmatt (793785)

          The CO2 cost of making computers is the fault of the internet? That's a pretty big leap in terms of conclusions. How exactly did you arrive at that?

          The CO2 generated manufacturing something is the fault of the manufacturer, not the fault of the end use of the item.

          • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Technician (215283) on Friday April 22, 2011 @03:54PM (#35909364)

            On the flip side of computing, the retired computers were fuel hogs by todays standards. Most reasonably modern desktop computers outperform the Cray 1 Supercomputer of the past. They have more memory, more disk storage, much faster processing, and don't need a refrigeration system to keep it cool.

            It was a 64 bit machine with 8 megs of ram with a clock speed under 100 Megs. That is 0.1 Ghz for you young whippersnappers.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cray-1 [wikipedia.org]

            To replace the internet with a telephone system and library with as much information at our fingertips would be a feat that makes the true efficiency of the communications and data storage of the modern Internet look truly efficient.

            Moving to more efficient access with netbooks, phones, pads, etc and more efficient hosting shows there is still improvement in energy cost savings as well as reduction in greenhouse gases.

            Even the new Facebook datacenter in Oregon is an improvement.

        • I said 'operationally' not infrastructure. There's CO2 cost in *everything*, but you can't remove the CO2 cost of making, say, concrete and steel. (ok, technically you can, but not without massive changes to the process)
          • I said 'operationally' not infrastructure. There's CO2 cost in *everything*

            Exactly, so perhaps a better comparison is what would be the CO2 cost of NOT having the current network infrastructure? This would result in far more paper mail which has to be physically transported, more business trips because of poorer communications etc. Perhaps Greenpeace ought to consider that too.

            • Perhaps Greenpeace ought to consider that too.

              Greenpeace has an agenda, and admitting the the Internet has resulted in a net savings of energy, or at least is not as environmentally damaging as they are claiming, would not fit that. Some people won't be happy until we're living in caves and waiting for lightning to strike a nearby tree so we can have fire.

        • Re:FFS (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:53PM (#35908280)

          Then there is the cost of printing paper, ink & all sorts of consumables

          That particular cost is not a problem on the IT side but rather a reflection of the deficiencies outside of IT that require that interface. As a software engineer my workspace is dominated by monitors not paper. In a given week my total output to a printer is less than five pages. I have a pad of paper and a pen which I use for meeting notes, and scratch. One pad typically lasts me between two and three months. The same cannot be said for sales, nor the front office, etc.

        • Not quite true, there is the CO2 cost in making computers - we would get better if we did not replace machines so often.

          Wow. We just turned off a machine that was put in as part of our Y2K project. All this time, I thought the boss was just cheap, and it turns out he was being green!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spd_rcr (537511)

      Of course without the "internet" Greenpeace wouldn't have a means to complain about the internet. Sure they are a few Greenpeace rep's out in the cities when the weather is nice, but they're usually lost amongst the rest of the aggressive pan-handlers.

      As usual, they're simply trying to make a statement in a controversial manner. The internet isn't it's own country, it's a communication medium. If they wanted to make a serious statement, they could focus on the waste involved in the manufacture of disposable

      • As usual, they're simply trying to make a statement in a controversial manner ... arguments like this just continue to paint Greenpeace as a collection of sensationalist, attention-whoring, hippies.

        And websites like Slashdot disseminate these articles on their behalf instead of more meaningful, less sensational ones. Unfortunately, these articles keep you and me coming back here to click on the ads (or Slashdot would still be a blog run by CmdrTaco).

      • Re:FFS (Score:4, Informative)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:56PM (#35908306)

        As usual, they're simply trying to make a statement in a controversial manner.

        In what way is this making a statement in a controversial manner? There is an issue that needs addressing so they released a report. That sounds quite normal to me. And is power consumption of data centres a controversial topic? No, it has been discussed quite a lot over the years. Long before climate change became so prominent in people's minds.

        The internet isn't it's own country, it's a communication medium.

        They didn't say it was a country, they just put the power usage into perspective to show why we should care.

        If they wanted to make a serious statement, they could focus on the waste involved in the manufacture of disposable (quickly obsolete) electronics or focus on the power plants we get our energy from.

        But they do already talk about those things. I found plenty of e-waste articles [greenpeace.org] with a simple Google search, and as for talking about where we get our energy from - that is part of the report we are discussing now!

        No-one's going to give up the internet to save the planet, arguments like this just continue to paint Greenpeace as a collection of sensationalist, attention-whoring, hippies.

        Except they never suggested that we all give up the internet. This is purely about making the data centres that run the net less relient on dirty power. By suggesting that they are saying anything else is just you being a sensationalist, attention-diverting, anti-hippie!

      • Re:FFS (Score:5, Funny)

        by bennomatic (691188) on Friday April 22, 2011 @02:13PM (#35908456) Homepage

        ... as a collection of sensationalist, attention-whoring, hippies.

        That unnecessary final comma is responsible for at least a pound of CO2 being released into the air.

      • by DriedClexler (814907) on Friday April 22, 2011 @03:57PM (#35909392)

        Of course without the "internet" Greenpeace wouldn't have a means to complain about the internet.

        More importantly, if you're going to tabulate the CO2 emissions that the internet is responsible for, it's only fair to subtract off all the emissions that the internet renders unnecessary through more efficient distribution of information.

        For example, how much CO2 would have to be emitted to allow 10 million people, all over North America and Europe, to read a copy of one issue of the New York times without the internet? That is, using dead trees and ink?

        Then, how much does it cost when you can instantly "print" and distribute all of that through the internet?

        Greenpeace seems to be counting wasted pennies and ignoring the huge gold-bar savings.

    • Obviously not available for everyone but: http://www.tva.gov/greenpowerswitch/green_resid.htm [tva.gov]
    • The more important question is, how exactly does one "choose" a green energy source...

      Large data centers that use enormous amounts of energy such as the ones Google and Facebook operate in Oregon (and Apple's huge center in the Midwest) certainly do have choices about power sources. As well, there are many opportunities for conservation and "green" energy programs at these places.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cytotoxic (245301)

        To an extent. But power is semi-fungible. Sure, you can locate your datacenter close to a hydro-power plant and specify that you want your juice from there... but since that is a finite resource you only guaranteed that some other schmuck is using more coal or gas power somewhere else.

        Focusing on efficiency is the only way to "buy green" in the energy market - as long as you are consuming energy and 100% of energy is being produced by renewables.

        • Our utility allows you to buy 100% renewable power, which our household does. We're not naive, (I used to work in power distribution) I know that it's not like they build a windmill just for me. But they charge a small premium for the distinction, and guarantee that they will buy enough renewable sources to provide for everyone that wants it. The idea is that you're actively developing the market for renewable sources. Just like the people who buy a prius or a leaf, or a Volt. There's a highly questio
          • by kdemetter (965669)

            The problem is that the power companies themselves don't like to much green energy.

            Here in Belgium , the power companies are charging more money, because they are losing money due to the fact that many people place solar collectors on the houses ( and as such use less power , causing the power company to get less money ) .

        • Unless that other schmuck also demands a renewable fuel source. Then the power company either loses business or builds another solar farm.

      • Large data centers that use enormous amounts of energy such as the ones Google and Facebook operate in Oregon (and Apple's huge center in the Midwest) certainly do have choices about power sources

        Exactly. I was going to point out that both Google [yahoo.com] and Facebook [cleanenergyauthority.com] have already managed to find sources of clean power. More importantly though, they get to choose the sites of their data centres. A major factor in this decision is the power supply available in that area. There is no reason why they can't choose a site with a diverse selection of power plants that include clean energy.

    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:34PM (#35908058)

      Successful activist groups work a lot like corporations. They either need to grow or die. Because if they just try to solve one problem in the world they will more likely succeed then they will out of business and then will need to refile as an other NPO for the next thing. So Greenpeace like PETA, and MAAD, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups they expand their scope of problems so they will stay in business longer (Espectially if their goal is popular enough they quickly get big enough where they have paid staff and a CEO who making 6 - 7 figures a year) but by expanding their scope they actually hinder on getting anything meaningful done. If you want to save the Wales Greenpeace could probably do it. But they are too bogged down with their other issues to put effort into solving any one problem.

    • by boaworm (180781)

      It all depends on how you count. In Sweden you have a number of power providers to choose from, some have only "green" power, while others have various sources. If you want, you can build your own windmill, start a distribution company, and sell your electricity via your distribution company. It is of course pushed into the national power grid before reaching the end customer, but unless you sell more "green" power than your windmill produces, you're basically doing what you claim you do.

      However, there are

    • by hellfire (86129) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `vdalived'> on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:56PM (#35908314) Homepage

      Okay look, if you want to bash on Greenpeace, bash on the facts and stop committing ad hominem attacks. How can we fix the global climate change if no one reads the original report and address that? The Slashdot summary and the linked article are both gravely insufficient.

      The slashdot summary also is misleading:

      "The report (PDF) doesn't mention how much CO2 is saved by telecommuting and higher corporate efficiency, however."

      And yet the article itself address this in several learning points, the most important one is bolded below:

      Data centres to house the explosion of virtual information
      currently consume 1.5-2% of all global electricity; this is growing
      at a rate of 12% a year.
      The IT industry points to cloud computing as the new, green
      model for our IT infrastructure needs, but few companies provide
      data that would allow us to objectively evaluate these claims.

      The technologies of the 21st century are still largely powered by
      the dirty coal power of the past, with over half of the companies
      rated herein relying on coal for between 50% and 80% of their
      energy needs.
      IT innovations have the potential to cut greenhouse gas
      emissions across all sectors of the economy, but IT’s own
      growing demand for dirty energy remains largely unaddressed by
      the world’s biggest IT brands.

      And what's worse, this isn't about telecommuting, it's about cloud computing! They are two different things that do not mean exactly the same thing! So the summary is basically diverting attention away from cloud computing, and the original report by Greenpeace directly admits there's no data here. Greenpeace did not willfully omit data, as the summary suggests. The fact that there is no data here is a problem for companies and the planet, not for Greenpeace's report!

      And finally, to address your statement of "how does one choose a green energy resource." Answer: lots of ways
      1) Vote for politicians that support and direct resources to green energy
      2) Pick companies that only use green energy, in this case, cloud companies that use servers that are powered by green energy.
      3) In the US, we have many states that have been trying to introduce energy competition where you can chose your energy generator. While most attempts are pretty woeful, we are trying to introduce "choice" to the masses.
      4) Large companies in the US often have many choices. Some companies generate part or all of their own power, and some chose specifically where their power comes from if their physical plant is large enough and has certain requirements. We can influence this choice by choosing companies that chose green energy.

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      > I don't know about other parts of the world, but up here
      > in Canada we generally only have one choice of power provider.

      Uhm, any reason for this? Shouldn't be any technical problem in the developed world, and I don't understand why politicians would prevent it.

      I live in sweden and can currently choose between about 80 different providers. Some get their electricity from hyrdo dams, some from wind turbines and some from Belorussian coal plants operated by child laborers (or whatever it is that le
    • Re:FFS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772) on Friday April 22, 2011 @02:10PM (#35908418)

      The more important question is, how exactly does one "choose" a green energy source. I don't know about other parts of the world, but up here in Canada we generally only have one choice of power provider. We don't get to shop around for which power plant we want to produce our power. I guess if you are big enough to be able to "choose a location for the new datacenter" then you kinda can... but for the large majority of users not so much.

      It's not like their power is being wasted or there is a massive surplus of clean energy being generated that goes to waste. If your company uses power from that "clean" source, then that means someone else has to get their electricity from another source.

      Unless of course... you're suggesting that companies pay extra for their electricity on condition of it being clean to ensure it's made artificially more profitable for a clean source to produce that electricity.

    • by Coryoth (254751)

      The more important question is, how exactly does one "choose" a green energy source. I don't know about other parts of the world, but up here in Canada we generally only have one choice of power provider. We don't get to shop around for which power plant we want to produce our power.

      Usually it isn't feasible to direct power from a specific power plant to a specific home. That doesn't mean you don't have options. In Canada you can sign up with Bullfrog Power [bullfrogpower.com]. You continue recieving electricity as per normal, but pay a small premium and have Bullfrog deal with the electricity providers to ensure an amount equal to your usage is injected into the system from green sources. It is available all over Canada and costs around $1 per day for an average residential home. Thus, while you don't ch

  • Yeah well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:24PM (#35907896)

    Greenpeace emits too much hot air.

  • Greenpeace just like any other group with a political agenda (like NRA, Sierra Club, PETA, MADD) has to provide the shock value to get its point across. How many more pieces of paper would be wasted if it weren't for the ability to send email or post on grandma's wall. Sending or writing a check is nearly extinct. Sure we have a heck of a lot plugged in, but servers are becoming exponentially more efficient as time progresses. With technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization, the peak load o

  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:24PM (#35907900) Journal

    "The internet" is a vague term and isn't even what the report is about. The report is about IT operations. Sure if you combined all the datacenters in the world their carbon footprint would be HUGE, but then...let's consider the alternative. Let's start by storing all those TPS reports on paper. Billions of reams of paper, probably. We're going to need boxes or file drawers and folders to put them in. And warehouses in which to store them, which we can build to replace the forests we cut down to make the paper. Then of course there's the cost of transporting all this stuff wherever it's needed...that's a lot of gasoline. E-mail would be a lot less wasteful, but hey....Greenpeace is chiding us about producing too much pollution with our e-mail. So we'll FedEx those papers. Jet planes aren't nearly as bad on the environment.

    Seriously. There are bigger things they could be tackling. If anything, Greenpeace should be pushing for MORE dependence on networking and IT and a trying to draw the world away from relying so much on paper. Fix THAT problem, then talk about IT.

    • But if we switch back to paper, we would be creating massive carbon stores. I know what we need to do, we need all governments in the world to increase bureaucracy. With the amount of paper we would all need to store, we would be offsetting our CO2 emissions!
      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        But if we switch back to paper, we would be creating massive carbon stores.

        Not really, as the trees that paper was made out of was not only a carbon store, but a carbon dioxide reduction machine. And most of that paper will end up in the landfill, and start churning out methane eventually.

  • Greenpeace? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wsxyz (543068)
    Why should anyone care what Greenpeace says?
  • Stone Age (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:25PM (#35907920) Homepage

    Can't do nuclear, can't put windmills up due to the birds or hurting the value of the Kennedy compound. Ethanol doesn't work. Honestly, I don't think the environmentalists will be happy until we're back to living in caves and dying at around age 25 from famine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Antisyzygy (1495469)
      They seem to always talk about solar or fusion but never do second level thought on that. When the next asteroid or comet hits or a super-volcano like Yellowstone erupts and blocks out the sun solar wont work quite so hot. There is significant probability a large asteroid or comet will hit us one day, and that one day a super-volcano will erupt. Fusion that produces energy cost-effectively has yet to be produced, and none of the Greenpeace morons are trying to help that endeavor out by becoming nuclear scie
      • by bunratty (545641)
        We don't have to stop greenhouse gas emissions, just reduce them significantly. We can still have all the infrastructure in place and being used for gathering and burning coal for electricity. Then if there's a drop in solar power, we can compensate for a short while by burning more coal until the sun comes back. In fact, the more we can use solar and the less we can use coal, the longer our emergency reserves will last.
      • There is significant probability a large asteroid or comet will hit us one day, and that one day a super-volcano will erupt.

        If that happens, you're going to starve within a few months anyway. Energy supplies will be the least of your worries.

      • by baKanale (830108)
        Actually, Greenpeace is actively opposed to fusion research [theregister.co.uk], saying that ""Governments should not waste our money on a dangerous toy" and claiming that it "has all the problems of nuclear power, including producing nuclear waste and the risks of a nuclear accident".
      • Wait a second - are you trying to dismiss the viability of solar power based on the notion that the sun might be blocked out from the sky?

        Don't you think we'll have bigger problems to worry about in that case than the loss of energy to support 7 billion people? Perhaps we'll worry about our inability to grow crops to feed 7 billion people?

        Once the design risks you can think of involve a cataclysm more extensive than the design, your design is good enough. This applies to solar power generation ("What if t

    • by boaworm (180781)

      There is always cold fusion [physorg.com]!

    • by sdguero (1112795)
      Advocating organic produce is one of my favorites. If the entire earth went organic, the planet could only support enough farming for around 4 billion people. Calling for the gradual starvation of 2+ billion people so a entitled minority can be feel better about themselves is the equivalency of another holocaust to me.

      Living in California, I have to deal with organic blowhards (they are usually enviro-nuts too) all the time. I don't even try sharing my viewpoint anymore. Those people have their heads so
    • by Solandri (704621) on Friday April 22, 2011 @02:30PM (#35908586)
      They look only at raw costs, not at opportunity costs [wikipedia.org]. If we got rid of the Internet, then Greenpeace's announcement that the Internet creates too much CO2 would be printed on paper and shipped around in gas-powered vehicles. Their press conference announcing it would have to be covered by reporters who burn fuel driving there and back. It's virtually guaranteed to have a higher CO2 footprint the old way.

      Same goes for nuclear power. People always look at just the downsides of nuclear power all on their own. They never get around to comparing it to alternative power sources. If you do that, nuclear ends up being the safest and cleanest power source per TWh available to us.

      Cars are actually one of the few topics where people get it right. Nobody looks at an EV and is aghast that it requires 35 kWh to go 100 miles (more than your house uses in an entire month). They compare it to their gasoline car and see that its energy is only 1/3rd the cost for the same distance.

      When you're comparing to zero instead of alternatives, everything looks bad. Even breathing.
    • by Myopic (18616)

      I agree. I honestly believe that (some) environmentalists (on the outer edges, such as represents Greenpeace) have an ideology of poverty and lack.

  • From TFA graph entitled, "2007 electricity consumption. Billion kwH":
    1. US at 3923.
    2. China at 3438.
    3. Russia at 1023.
    4. Japan at 925.
    5. Cloud Computing at 662.
    6. India at 568.
    7. Germany at 547.
    8. Canada at 536.
    9. France at 447
    10. Brazil at 404.
    11. UK at 345.

    So "The Cloud", is fairly far from the top two energy consumers, US and China. No simple breakdown as to how "green" easy consumer is, though a later table lists non/renewable usage for countries, but not The Cloud...

    • Somehow, I have a hard time believing that Cloud Computing accounted for more electricity use than Germany did in 2007.

      Or that it used 1/6 of the electricity used in the USA....

  • If they would shut up, we would be just fine.

  • Look, using energy efficiently is doing something good for the environment. Until that mythical time when all our power comes from sources that don't cause global warming, emit pollution, create radioactive waste, kill birds, destroy desert ecologies, require materials that have to be mined, disrupt fish lives, or look bad, reducing power usage is reducing environmental impact.

    Moreover, if I'm running a data center, it's up to me how much I work at saving energy. If I'm getting it from a utility, I ha

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:28PM (#35907984)

    Earth used to have a CO2 atmosphere until this new form of life (plants) showed up and started spewing O2 into it as waste bi-product from their "photosynthesis".

    Some people are just trying to restore Earth to its natural state. How much greener can you get than that?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      nice.

      I don't want it returning to a previous state. (well, a state older then ab out 1850)

      I mostly want it to be comfortable and habitable as possible for humans.

  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:28PM (#35907988)

    Slow roasted Greenpeace over a hickory smoked fire. Famous Dave's Devil's Spit barbecue sauce slathered all over, popping and sizzling in the hot coals as it slowly drips. Next to it, a rack of Greenpeace ribs slathered in the same sauce, cooks to perfection as it fills the air with a smokehouse aroma.

    over a hot fire
    I can't wait to take a bite
    Greenpeace is cooking

  • I'll be foregoing my normal donation to you this year, and spending it on MMORPGs and cloud storage instead.

    Sincerely,
    The Internet

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:33PM (#35908038) Journal

    Has Greenpeace calculated reduced fuel consumption due to decreased snail-mail volume? Reduced travel CO2 due to IM, video-conference, and other IP-based technology? The contribution of computing to developing greener technologies?

    Run those calcs and get back to us.

  • How much more CO2 would be generated if I ...mailed 50 letters a day across the country/world? ...My servers printed out their logs instead of sending them electronically to a syslog server? (any mainframers also remember these days?) ...I drove to the mall/bookstore/music store etc.. I needed to purchase something. ...had to buy a new set of encyclopedias every year ...had to create plastic overheads (aka "foils" to some) for every presentation ...mailed individual pictures to all of my family of my recent

  • About Greenpeace, a theater troupe whose desire for headlines outweighs any real contribution to the debate.

  • The internet, as a whole, is only the fifth most polluting entity?

    For a world-spanning corporation with massive servers, that's pretty darn good.

    As an aside, IT companies redue their dependency on the internet? HA

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:39PM (#35908130)

    "...saying the Internet, if it were treated as its own country, would be the 5th largest emitter of greenhouse gases."

    Uh, OK, that's one hell of a way to look at it. Gee, if I put every single car in it's own "country", I'll bet it would be one of the worlds largest consumers of rubber tires too. Go figure.

    Anyone can lump a bunch of shit together, but it takes a true idiot to lump a bunch of shit together that would never occur naturally in the first place and then start hitting the global warming panic button. Morons.

    Oh, and thanks a lot there, Al Gore. The internet may not be your invention, but I'll gladly pin this clusterfuck on your ass.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      This is not about Gore.

      This is about green peace who uses any scare tactic and lie they can to get in the media and gt money.

      That is all.

      Brining Gore into this just shows you can't divorce your statement from false ideological beliefs.

  • Article didn't seem to mention it, but do they consider the offset the internet provides? A lot of people shop online now, so instead of spending the gas to go buy a CD or something else, it's instead downloaded digitally or ordered online; I don't have the stats to back it up, but I would think that mass shipping is more efficient than a hundred individuals driving to the mall.

    • I don't think so. I think the intent of the article is to push people to think of the Internet in terms of energy costs. Most companies with large data centers already know those costs can be staggering. But I don't think the average user or even business executive really puts much thought into it. One could point to Google or even recently at Facebook for intriguing ideas about data center efficiency. And new computers are smarter about powering down resources for energy conservation. So I think we a
  • suck my great green donkey dick.

    Time and time again they lie, and they are no longer about the environement. They are about using corporation as whipping boys so they can drum up volunteers and money, even if they lie about it.

    They lost there way in the 80s, and really aren't worth anyones time.

    And I say that as a former member.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:50PM (#35908254) Homepage
    They can shut down their servers and help make the internet a bit greener.
  • We'll go back to delivering information by sending everybody thick heavy bundles of paper, then. I'm sure that'll be much greener.

  • What it really is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Caerdwyn (829058) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:52PM (#35908274) Journal

    Greenpeace is no longer an attack upon pollution. It is an attack upon the concept of wealth.

    Greenpeace has a problem with Internet energy use only when it doesn't serve Greenpeace, its political activities, and its ability to indulge in the great human urge to tell others what to do. Greenpeace, like the Sierra Club ('wilderness is for rich people only") and PETA ("let's get naked and pipe-bomb universities"), has become an embarrassment and a liability to the concepts of environmentalism and conservation. They help the cause of environmentalism about as much as a parade of drag queens dressed in rubber nun outfits masturbating each other whenever the traffic lights turn red help obtain gay rights.

    There was a time, long ago, when I supported Greenpeace. But now... they ARE the problem. You can't make changes by alienating the mainstream, no matter how much of "I'm a rebel!" gives you a hard-on when you look in the mirror.

  • so it's going to be difficult to get my Earth Day tire fire started. But I will keep trying. It's too important!
  • Greenpeace. MADD. PETA. At some point the folks running those organizations realized there was good money in ostensibly working towards a cause that no one could disagree with. Now they're all just run by self serving publicity whores, all chanting the same mantra of "Give us money, or else you hate (mother earth) (grieving mothers) (cute puppies), and you wouldn't want to be known as someone who hates (mother earth) (grieving mothers) (cute puppies) this close to re-election season, would you?"

  • Too much hot CO2, right?

  • They also focus more on using energy efficiently than on sourcing it cleanly.

    Well, yeah. Using energy efficiently saves them money. Sourcing it cleanly can cost them money.

    At least there is a lot of effort for flops/watt or even better apps/watt (also including HVAC capacity and daily costs) lately. That's such a huge win over 5, 10, 20 years ago.

  • Hey Green Peace "Kiss my hairy yellow ass!"
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Friday April 22, 2011 @02:04PM (#35908374)
    So Greenpeace doesn't like Apple [slashdot.org] (expect to hear a lot more about that one soon [guardian.co.uk],) they don't like video games [slashdot.org] and they _especially_ don't like Nitnendo [slashdot.org], and now they hate the Internet?

    Are they intentionally trying to make everyone hate them? I'm not saying that popular things should be immune to criticism, but there's a right way to do so, and Greenpeace seems to be trying to find the exact opposite way of doing it.

    If you want to make a difference you need to find actual problems so that even if the initial claim sounds outrageous anyone but the most rabid fanboy will look at the evidence and say "you know, they're actually kinda right." Instead with Greenpeace's strategy everyone initially says "that doesn't sound right", checks the "evidence" and concludes "no, it totally isn't right."

    You can get away with boosting your publicity by making outrageous and mostly unfounded accusations against a minority, because most of the majority won't feel any need to defend that minority against the attack. The gains you make for getting the attention of the majority will make up for pissing off the minority. However Greenpeace seems to be trying to piss off not one but multiple large groups of people. I'm sure everyone who doesn't play video games, doesn't own an iPhone and doesn't use the internet loves them right now. Exactly how large and influential is that particular combination?
  • by PinchDuck (199974) on Friday April 22, 2011 @02:13PM (#35908460)

    -Create a car that runs on sunshine and rainbows and only emits water and smiles. They couldn't create a car powered by smiles because those whiny bastard don't know fun from a hole in the ground.
    -Create a power source that doesn't pollute, isn't harmful, and will never run out
    -Take their website offline. If they aren't part of the solution, they are part of the problem
    -Renounce all plastics
    -Create a media player/phone where the assembly workers make $100 per hour, have promotion based on race, gender, and victim status; and the production of which requires zero energy, zero natural resources, and can be shipped to anyone who wants it without using energy or polluting.

    They are great at criticizing, but really lame when it comes to actually delivering anything of value that meets their own standards. I have no respect for them and they can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

  • From TFA:

    That’s more power than Russia uses, according to a new report about cloud-computing from Greenpeace.

    Computer servers in data centers account for about 2% of global energy demand, growing about 12% a year, according to the group. The servers, Greenpeace said, can suck up as much power as 50,000 average U.S. homes.

    So they are saying that servers use as much power as 50,000 US homes, which is more power than Russia uses.

    Which implies that 50,000 USA households use more energy than 53 million Russian households, plus industrial and transportation use.

    I know the USA has a high per-capita energy footprint, but that sounds a little ridiculous.

    And in the Greenpeace report, they say:

    It is challenging, however, to find data on the actual net impacts of
    applied IT technologies due to information gaps and a multiplicity of
    variables, as well as a lack of transparency around the lifecycle
    impacts of IT’s own growing emissions and rising electricity use.

    So they are saying that real numbers are hard to find, so instead they just made them up?

    And finally, they say that companies need to

  • Did they subtract all of the driving miles saved by telecommuters?
    Did they subtract the airline miles saved by teleconferencing?
    Did they subtract the miles I didn't drive by using Netflix instead of driving to the video store?
    Did they subtract the trees saved by buying fewer newspapers and books?
    Did they subtract the miles saved by on-line shopping versus driver to three store to compare prices?

    My guess is that after you subtract all of these significant factors, the Internet is closer to a wash for the env

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday April 22, 2011 @03:58PM (#35909404) Homepage Journal

    Let's see how the trendy climate alarmists react now that the greenies are going after them.

    Understand this, the radical environmentalists will not be satisfied until we're living in caves. But they're not the real problem, they are the useful idiots of the authoritarians who want to control every aspect of our lives.

    EVERY action of EVERY human being causes CO2 to be released. They are demonizing it because it's a way to control every aspect of our lives.

    I'm not falling of it, I hope that you're not either.

    LK

  • Looking at the UN's list of countries by CO2 emissions [un.org] (conveniently sorted on wikipedia [wikipedia.org]), we see that Japan is holding the #5 spot, with 1.25 billion metric tonnes annually and Russia is at #4, with 1.53 billion metric tonnes. Let's assume that "the internet" falls just behind Russia, and has roughly the same amount of pollution as it does.

    Now, according to Internet World Stats [internetworldstats.com], there are an estimated 1.9 billion people on the internet. That means that "the Internet" emits less than 0.8 metric tonnes of CO2 per capita annually. For what it's worth, that's not even twice what an average adult human being produces each year just by being alive.

    However... checking wikipedia's list of countries by industrial carbon dioxide emissions per capita [wikipedia.org], we see that 0.8 metric tonnes per capita would put it somewhere between Swaziland, which is #157 on the list, and Paraguay, which #162. (I know that it's wikipedia and you can't count on wikipedia always being accurate, but these numbers are fairly easy to verify by dividing the UN's totals from the previous reference by each country's population. A cursory examination doesn't show any obvious errors, and if the numbers are wrong, I can't see them being out by an amount that would significantly alter my conclusion, below. If somebody else does have verifiable facts and figures that would contradiction my conclusion, please feel free to respond).

    So per capita, "the internet" is in the lowest 30%, worldwide... which while it may not be as perfect as some would like it to be, is still pretty damn good. So who wants to break it to Greenpeace that their newly declared "public enemy" is actually one of the world's best in the world at keeping things green?

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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