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back to article Greenpeace fears clouds will turn earth brown

Greenpeace is piggybacking on the media frenzy around the release of Apple's "magical and revolutionary" iPad to drum up PR for its attempt to cajole the information and communications technology (ICT) sector into going green. Or, at minimum, greener. "To be clear: We are not picking on Apple. We are not dissing the iPad," says …

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Consolidation means more efficiency surely?

The "cloud", by many observers, offers a possibility of consolidation of data services.

That is certainly the chief benefit of those companies taking their computing requirements to the cloud.

Instead of each company requiring in-house IT services, they are off-shored to a data centre. Surely where processing equipment is centralised, it is easier to gain efficiencies of scale, this the supposed benefit of virtualisation. Just think of all the idle CPU cycles in your in-house systems being put to use elsewhere to handle someone else's compute requirements, not to mention all the power and space requirements of UPSs, air conditioning equipment, displays, network hubs, backup devices etc.

I think they have got this cloud thing all backward.

The problem is, the cloud computing paradigm offers a lot of opportunities for the delivery of services that your just couldn't do in-house. Think of what a modern search engine does these days? Does anyone really think that it would be cost effective for each company to do that in-house? Consolidation made that feasible and cost-effective.

The problem is these large data centres are easy targets. They consume lots of power and equipment and therefore look definitely "ungreen".

The reality is that this is the future and it holds the possibility of increasing the green credentials of IT rather than reducing it.

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Grenade

Greenpea in the News again?

Must be low on funds again and trying to drum up donations.

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Babylon rules

Rather than iPads, it would seem that Greenpeace would have us use clay tablets instead.

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One problem...

You'd have to dig the clay out of the ground first.

That wouldn't go over too well with GP.

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Megaphone

The Solution

I for one welcome them to make bicycle powered generators out of sticks and twine then pedal their little hearts out to save us all!

... but that won't work either, the use of trees and all. The only real solution is for them to donate their bodies for breakdown into the required components and right quick because we don't have a moment to spare before the sky falls.

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Dirty power?

Isn't it cute how they shuffled nuclear power under "dirty power"? Typical greenie hooey: Only those sources of energy which we anoint with the title of "renewable" are permissible; all else, regardless of utility, practicality, or sustainability is a pox upon the Earth, and it is unclean.

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green rating?

If green means efficacy then there probably isn't a more green industry then IT.

Orders of magnitude increases in efficacy are being offset by people wanting more.

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Losers

And of course, IT is responsible for less than 6% of all CO2 emissions -- so really zeroing in on a key problem with this, er... report. Almost seems like a desperate PR attempt to draft the iPad launch. Shurely some mistake?

If you want to fix global warming, work on convincing the public to eat fewer burgers. Agriculture is the single largest greenhouse gas emitter, by a very long way. Just has far less PR value.

F'in losers.

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Agriculture

I know the term is used in a broad sense, but I would suggest that viviculture (animal farming) is actually contributing to greenhouse gasses. In it's strictest sense, agriculture is farming of plants, which I would guess is actually is a net CO2 consumer, and only produces methane if something goes wrong.

Mind you, without an animal sector of farming, the following would happen:

1. We would have to try to work out what to do with millions of tons of straw every year

2. Without animal fertilizer, you would have to learn to rotate crops or fortify land with artificial fertilizer (which is related to oil as it requires energy and some oil by-products), or suffer a large drop in productivity.

2. Upland/marginal/river margin land would become unproductive (a sheep can graze on land you cannot get a tractor on).

3. You would have to learn to live without other foods, not just burgers. Think milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, bacon etc..

4. If you include Chickens (major methane producer) in the mix, you also loose eggs, and the cheapest and most widely eaten protein source

5. There would be a serious protein shortage, which would require serious management of the populations diet in the West.

6. The countryside becomes huge expanses of either fallow scrubland (uneconomical to grow crops on), or vast belts of arable monoculture.

7. Nature abhors a vacuum. Natural animal life (admittedly a lower greenhouse gas producer) will move in where the farmed animals used to be.

8. And finally, if the human population were to move on to a pulse and/or brassica based diet (think brussel sprouts or cabbage for the latter), then WE would probably become the largest producer of methane (at least in my experience!)

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Happy

Burgers rock.

I'm sure he didn't literally cutting out burgers only, and nothing else... but...

"1. We would have to try to work out what to do with millions of tons of straw every year"

Shredded Wheat (it's good for your heart)? House Insulation (think Grand Designs on channel 4) ;)

"2. Upland/marginal/river margin land would become unproductive (a sheep can graze on land you cannot get a tractor on)."

Deer parks, nature reserves, or new prisons built in an area no inmate would want to escape to?

"3. You would have to learn to live without other foods, not just burgers. Think milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, bacon etc.."

You are assuming these burgers are 100% beef, which they normally are not, so you can add cheese (I like cheeseburgers), bacon (I like bacon cheese burgers), eggs (to bind the burger together), and milk (sometimes used in light fluffy breads like burger buns, and also milk solids in some burger sauces)... plus, isn't cream, yogurts and cheeses just thick old milk anyway?? :)

"4. If you include Chickens (major methane producer) in the mix, you also loose eggs, and the cheapest and most widely eaten protein source"

MMmmmm... chicken burgers... I love loose chickens, although I think they prefer to be called free range, or "whore" chickens under my roof... but I believe in this case you meant lose?

"5. There would be a serious protein shortage, which would require serious management of the populations diet in the West."

No protein shortages, I think the original suggestion was to just eat less burgers, not cut them out entirely.

"6. The countryside becomes huge expanses of either fallow scrubland (uneconomical to grow crops on), or vast belts of arable monoculture."

Not sure what a vast belt of arable monoculture is, but it sounds itchy and incurable.

"7. Nature abhors a vacuum. Natural animal life (admittedly a lower greenhouse gas producer) will move in where the farmed animals used to be."

Not sure nature dislikes anything, as it's not really a sentient being, but I'm fairly certain a few woodland creatures would have a preferable economic impact than a battery hen factory of thousands.

"8. And finally, if the human population were to move on to a pulse and/or brassica based diet (think brussel sprouts or cabbage for the latter), then WE would probably become the largest producer of methane (at least in my experience!)"

Agreed... I gave my 1 year old a veggie meal yesterday, he's been farting for queen and country all day.

Disclaimer: I have no actual point, I neither agree nor disagree with anything you said - I just picked some random comment and decided a blow by blow comment of my own would fill the time I need to wait for my wife to stop watching america's next top model so I can go bed... sorry if I've wasted anybodies time by wasting my own...

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Am i the only one...

.. that remembers when greenpeace actually had a valid eco message? Ok they were always a little bit out on the crazy edge, but i can distinctly remember a time when the information they spouted was relevant, well thought out and accurate AND were they offered ideas for acceptable and valid solutions to the problem.

Those days appear to be well past...

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F**K OFF Eco mentalists

Ha, the title I wanted was in memory! Handy! If they're bothered they should stop putting out this crap. It takes energy to make it, for us to read it and for us to tell them to STFUAD. Idiots.

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_consume_ incredible amounts of energy

Oh dear, looks like someone wasn't paying attention during their physics classes. If datacentres really did consume energy (and turn it into what? coal?) then that would actually help reduce climate change.

While we all know what they mean, this kind of woolly and inaccurate expression doesn't help their credibility.

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Stop breathing and passing gas

You know, humans DIRECTLY contribute to "greenhouse" gases. If the greenpeace people would stop living it might reduce LOTS of greenhouse gases. And if that stops the hot air they ALSO produce it would be even better.

A modest proposal.

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Greenpeace missing the point

GP like their press releases, like their shock stories, but are missing the point here. Pacific Power get their electrons from Hydro, just as pretty much all of OR, WA and Vancouver BC does. Better to host your datacentres up there -next to the dams- than anywhere else where you need a power grid (ugly pylons, energy loss) to get it to where you want.

All the big datacentres are moving towards free air cooling and green -solar, wind, hydro- electricity.

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I don't think so...

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that we can use wind, but that kills birds (and UFOs in Blighty). Hyrdo interferes with the spawning of fish.

The only answer is seppaku.

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Hydro can't keep up w/demand, in WA

"Pacific Power get their electrons from Hydro, just as pretty much all of OR, WA and Vancouver BC does"

WA has a coal-fired power plant also (in Centralia).

And a nuclear power plant too - there's an electricity-producing nuclear reactor, now called "Columbia Generating Station," which is still operational and online. It is supposedly "a reliable energy producer" and has a generating capacity of "approximately 1150 megawatts" (is that a lot? I dunno) according to:

<http://www.energy-northwest.com/generation/cgs/index.php>

The thing is, the population in WA is growing too fast (transplants from out-of-state etc.) and hydro can't keep up with the demand for electricity.

Sad fact: if all the greenies were to buy environmentalist-approved ;) electric cars, the demand for electricity will go even higher... just something to think about. One wonders how many acres of new wind-turbines and other renewables that are already being built in the Pacific Northwest, would be required *just* to recharge people's electric cars.

The real solution there, is for healthy able-bodied people (specifically, Americans) to stop being lazy and spoiled ;) and get the hell out of their damned cars for a change. Maybe that way more regions would have incentive to develop better public transit (the public would demand it, if they didn't have cars) - speaking from a U.S. viewpoint, where in many regions public transit is an afterthought (or for the low-income and the desperate and the drunk-drivers who had their license yanked). Too often the existing transit systems' quality/quantity/frequency is such that 'normal' people (car owners) would rather take a bullet in the head ;) than have to ride a bus.

<sarcasm>Or, better yet, people ought to stay the hell home where they belong and watch TV while wrapped in a blanket (thermostat turned down low) or grub around in the backyard tending their home-grown tomatoes and weed (no that's not intended as a verb), instead of galavanting around all over town going to restaurants and sporting events and protests and the opera (no, not the browser) and such. </sarcasm> Oh, but that would be bad for the economy... well I guess that's out, then.

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power in Vancouver BC

Burrard Thermal Generating Plant (natural gas)

http://www.greenenergybc.ca/burrard.html

http://dawnpaley.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/burrard-thermal-a-victim-of-private-power/

Burnaby Incinerator (trash)

http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/pollution-from-waste-to-energy-incinerators/

http://www.straight.com/article-257529/garbage-management-becomes-burning-issue

temporary Olympic power (diesel)

http://www.aggreko.ca/news---events/vancouver-2010-winter-olympic.aspx

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/2010wintergames/Olympic+generators+quiet+green+song+resident/2457264/story.html

Just FYI.

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Greenpeace are a bunch of...

Tossers.

They seem to have completely lost the plot.

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Stop

Greenpeace...

What next? They are going to release a paper extolling the greenhouse gas dangers of moth flatulence?

These Luddites will never be happy....

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