Skip to main content

Introducing Earth Talk Tuesdays

I am proud to announce a new partner for Viva la Feminista! Each week, if the story fits, I'll be sharing the latest EarthTalk column from E Magazine. Environmental issues are definitely feminist issues and even more so feminist mom issues. I felt this way for many years and even felt more connected to the environmental movement before the feminist movement. However, after my trip to Guatemala in January, I am even more certain that what happens to the Earth is an issue for feminists to pay attention to. With that in mind, I present the first in the columns and it hits far too close to home. GREEN CLOUD COMPUTING! OMG, I practically live on the cloud, especially when working with classmates. But read on...Oh! All columns will be in English and Espanol! I hope you enjoy this addition to Viva la Feminista. ~The management

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Why is Greenpeace upset with some leading tech companies for so-called “dirty cloud computing?” Can you explain? -- Jeremy Wilkins, Waco, TX

Leading tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft are now offering unprecedented amounts of data storage and access to “apps” on huge Internet-connected servers, saving consumers and businesses the hassle of installing and running programs and storing information on their own local computers.

This emerging trend, dubbed “cloud computing,” means that these providers have had to scale up their power consumption considerably, as they are increasingly responsible for providing more and more of the computing horsepower required by the world’s two billion Internet users. No doubt, sharing such resources on centralized servers is more efficient than every individual and business running their own versions separately. In fact, the research firm Verdantix estimates that companies off-loading data and services to cloud servers could save $12 billion off their energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 million metric tons within the next decade. But for the greenhouse gas savings to be realized, the companies offering cloud computing services need to make the right energy choices.

Greenpeace has been tracking sustainability among tech companies for over a decade, and recently released a report, “How Green is Your Cloud?” assessing the green footprint of the move to cloud computing. According to the analysis, some of the major players (Google, Facebook and Yahoo) have gone to great lengths to ensure that significant amounts of the power they need come from clean, green sources like wind and solar. But Greenpeace chastises others (Apple, Amazon and Microsoft) for relying on so-called “dirtier” sources of power, such as coal and nuclear, to run their huge data centers.

“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” says Gary Cook, a Senior Policy Analyst with Greenpeace. “Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are building data centers powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won't care. They’re wrong.”

Greenpeace’s report evaluates 14 major tech firms and the electricity supply chains in use across more than 80 different data centers that power cloud-based services. Some of the largest data centers are in buildings so big they are visible from space and use as much power as 250,000 European homes. If the cloud were its own country, says Greenpeace, it would rank 5th in the world in electricity consumption.

“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritizing renewable energy access when siting their data centers, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers,” reports Greenpeace. But unfortunately the majority of the industry is not marching in step. As such, Greenpeace is calling on all tech companies with cloud services to develop siting policies based on access to clean energy sources, invest in or directly purchase renewable energy, be transparent about their energy usage, share innovative solutions so the sector as a whole can improve, and demand that governments and utilities increase the percentage of clean, green power available on the grid.

CONTACTS: Verdantix, www.verdantix.com; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.



DiálogoEcológico
De los Redactores de E/La Revista Ecológica


Querido DiálogoEcológico:¿Por qué está Greenpeace incómoda con algunas compañías técnológicas por la llamada "computación de nube sucia"? ¿Pueden explicar? -- Jeremy Wilkins, Waco, TX

Compañías tecnológicas prominentes como Google, Apple y Microsoft están ahora ofreciendo cantidades inauditas de almacenamiento de datos y acceso a "aplicaciones" en servidores inmensos conectados a la Internet, ahorrando a consumidores y negocios el jaleo de instalar y operar programas y almacenar información en sus propias computadoras locales.

Esta tendencia naciente, apodada "computación en la nube," significa que estos proveedores han tenido que escalar su consumo de energía considerablemente, ya que son cada vez más responsables de proporcionar el poderío de computación necesario requerido por los dos mil millones de usuarios de la Internet mundial. Sin duda, compartir tales recursos en servidores centralizados es más eficiente que ver a cada individuo y negocio operar sus propias versiones separadamente. En efecto, la firma de investigaciones Verdantix calcula que si las compañías descargasen datos y servicios en servidores de nube ellas podrían ahorrar $12 mil millones de sus cuentas de electricidad y reducir 85 millones de toneladas métricas de emisiones de gas invernadero dentro de la próxima década. Pero para conseguir estos ahorros de gas invernadero, las compañías que ofrecen computación en la nube deben hacer cuidadosas elecciones de energía.

Greenpeace ha estado estudiando la sostenibilidad entre las compañías tecnológicas por más de una década, y recientemente entregó un informe, "¿Cuán Verde es Su Nube"? evaluando la huella verde del movimiento hacia la computación en nube. Según el análisis, algunos de los mayores jugadores (Google, Facebook y Yahoo) se han esforzado mucho para asegurar que cantidades significativas de la energía que necesitan provenga de fuentes limpias y verdes como el viento y solar. Pero Greenpeace castiga a otros (Apple, Amazon y Microsoft) por depender de las llamadas fuentes más "sucias" de electricidad, como carbón y nuclear, para operar sus inmensos centros de datos.

"Cuando la gente alrededor del mundo comparte su música o fotos en la nube, ellos quieren saber que la nube está conectada a energía limpia y segura," dice Gary Cook, un alto analista con Greenpeace. "Sin embargo compañías sumamente innovadoras y rentables como Apple, Amazon y Microsoft construyen centros de datos alimentados por carbón y actúan como si sus clientes ni sabrán ni les importará. Están equivocados".

El informe de Greenpeace evalúa 14 empresas técnicas prominentes y las cadenas de suministro de electricidad en uso a través de más de 80 centros de datos diferentes que potencian los servicios de nube. Algunos de los centros de datos más grandes están en edificios tan grandes que son visibles del espacio y utilizan tanta energía como 250.000 casas europeas. Si la nube fuese su propio país, dice Greenpeace, sería No. 5 en el mundo en consumo de electricidad.

"Compañías como Google, Yahoo y Facebook están comenzando a dirigir el sector por una senda de energía ecológica vía innovaciones en la eficiencia de energía, priorizando acceso a energía renovable cuando eligen donde construir sus centros de datos, y exigen mejores opciones de energía de las empresas de electricidad y el gobierno, reporta Greenpeace. Pero desgraciadamente la mayoría de la industria no marcha a este ritmo. En vista de esto, Greenpeace está urgiendo a todas las compañías técnicas con servicios de nube que desarrollen política de localización basadas en acceso a fuentes de energía ecológica, invertir en o comprar directamente energía renovable, ser transparente acerca de su uso de energía, y compartir soluciones innovadoras de modo que el sector en general pueda mejorar, y demandar que los gobiernos y empresas de servicios aumenten el porcentaje de energía limpia y verde disponible en la red.

CONTACTOS: Verdantix, www.verdantix.com; Greenpeace, www.greenpeace.org.

EarthTalk® (DiálogoEcológico) es escrito y editado por Roddy Scheer y Doug Moss y es una marca registrada de E - La Revista Ecológica. (www.emagazine.com). Traducción española de Patrice Greanville. Sírvase enviar sus preguntas a: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Suscripción: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Pida un número gratis: www.emagazine.com/trial.

Comments

dwerrlein said…
thanks for sharing this - very interesting. i completely agree that environmental issues are also feminist issues. glad to find your blog!

Popular posts from this blog

Is there love after abortion?

Over two years ago , way before I started writing for Girl w/Pen, Alison Piepmeier wowed me with an essay about getting an abortion and how her decision made with her husband was a love story : ...the story I most want to tell—and one I have never heard—is of abortion as an intimate part of a couple’s life together.  Our abortion was a love story. I’d worried that Walter and I were rejecting a gift from the universe.  What I discovered, though, was that when we stripped away the distractions of everyday life so that we could make this difficult decision together, it bound us together as surely as if our choice had been different—and as it turns out, that was the gift. Every once in awhile their story returns to me. I often don't know why it stumbles into my brain and says, "Hey! Ponder me!" but it does. This morning it returned to me yelling, "Why?!" I was half-listening to WBEZ's 848 and some story about a man running away from his life. Original, I kn

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Less than a year ago, Abby Wambach took the stage at Barnard's commencement and gave a speech that shook many, including myself, to the core . Her speech went viral and I made the above image in order to share the highlights of her speech. Earlier this month Abby released the speech in book form. Wolfpack : How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game is short (less than 100 pages) but is much more than just her speech . You get a peek into how the speech came together and why she said everything. And because the book is short and is an expanded speech, it moves quickly. I feel that it moves with the same ferocity that Abby use to move down a soccer field. And you might find yourself cheering as she takes you through the story. Abby has always been one of my favorite players. The way she ran amok on the pitch was exactly the way I felt I played sports. Never caring how you looked and giving it your all. Leaving it all on the field. When she retired from socc

Chicago Women Who Owned 2015

When I asked social media which Chicago women kicked ass in 2015, I got a list far too long to do justice. I also realized how many of my lady friends kick ass every day, but it's a constant kicking of the ass, not a lot of headline kicking. Ya know what I mean? So I tried to make this list a mix of Chicagoans who had some headline kicks and some who kick ass every day and deserve a shout out. Let's get started, shall we? Photos from social media or public domain pages Luvvie Ajayi Luvvie did my job and summed up her amazing year herself! I love it when women do that. Yes, let's take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and dance at our own parties. Luvvie makes us laugh, even when we want to cry. She pushes us to be active, even down to our shoes. You'll never laugh so hard when learning so much than when you are in a meeting with her. From hanging with celebs to her epic travel schedule, Luvvie definitely owned 2015. Charlene Carruthers Carruther