Greenpeace's latest drive-by data center shooting by Doug Mohney
GreenPreach, er Greenpeace USA, has started its latest "Do as I say, not as I do" data center jihad by attacking Apple, Amazon and Microsoft for using "asthma-inducing, climate destroying coal pollution" to keep The Internet humming. Meanwhile, the preachy non-profit can't (or won't bother) meet the standards it has set out for the big boys.
What standards are those? If you go to Greenpeace's web site, it will forward you to a Convio auto-gen email site providing text that includes four bullet points: Make it company policy to seek renewable energy when siting data centers; Urge data center electricity suppliers to move away from dirty energy generation, investing instead in renewable energy generation, capacity, and efficiency; Advocate full transparency of organization energy use and carbon footprint for all products, as well as its cloud presence; Encourage company product suppliers and manufacturers to adopt similar policies, and give preferences to green suppliers.
Go to Greenpeace USA's website. It blathers all about how green its DC office is, but there's no organizational policy statement that matches those four bullet points. I supposed we could take points one and two as givens, but the org has a big #Fail on the third point.
Look for yourself. Greenpeace's 2010-2011 annual report has NOTHING discussing its own carbon operational footprint. Plenty of financial information and where the money goes, along with helpful information on how to give them funding, but nada on how much carbon it uses. Transparency? Nope.
Back in 2010, Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge documented Greenpeace's hypocrisy with its servers in Northern Virginia (NoVA for locals). The NoVA servers get power supplied by Dominion Virginia Power, a company that had an energy mix back then of 46 percent asthma-inducing, climate destroying coal pollution, and 41 percent nuclear power.
To Dominion Virginia's credit, it is working on shifting its energy mix in a 15 year plan -- in part with nudging from Virginia lawmakers and public pressure, mind you. It's converting some coal power stations to use biomass, other units are shutting down and one unit will be converted to (much cheaper, more earth/health friendly) natural gas. It's also going big into solar, reviewing wind, and cranking up new conservation measures.
But this isn't about Dominion Virginia, it's about Greenpeace.
Greenpeace gives itself a pass when it comes to meeting the highest standards it sets for others, excusing itself because it is a non-profit out to save the planet. By the organization's practices, It's OK to litter once a in a while if you are protesting against a toxic waste dump. So what's wrong with this picture?