Greenpeace gets very public with protest of Microsoft

Earlier this week, the environmental group Greenpeace issued a report about cloud computing and energy consumption. In the report, Greenpeace claimed that many tech companies, including Microsoft and Amazon, don't do enough to power their cloud services with renewable energy sources.

Today, two Greenpeace activists took a more public approach to their viewpoints. The official Greenpeace blog reports that the two members rappelled down the side of Amazon's office building in downtown Seattle, which is still under construction. Then the duo unfurled a 800 square foot banner that could be seen by people inside Microsoft's own Seattle office building. The banner had Microsoft and Amazon's logos with the question, "How Clean is Your Cloud?”

Greenpeace International IT Analyst Casey Harrell gave a statement about today's actions, saying,

Amazon and Microsoft have some of the brightest, most innovative engineers in the business. They have the potential to power their cloud with green, renewable energy, but are falling behind competitors Google, Facebook and Yahoo in the race to build a truly clean cloud.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the two Greenpeace activists were later asked to leave by police. The duo went back up on the roof and left the building. No arrests were reported.

Image via Greenpeace

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wait... didn't MS build that new ultra efficient data center which is basically shipping containres that are self sufficient basically that runs almost all on solar and wind power and only uses the grid as a backup energy source if needed? and ontop of that was completely water cooled and used the heat from that to heat the buildings? what am I missing here? or did green peace not research first?

Why doesn't Greenpeace protest the energy providers.
These companies choices of datacenter locations are not arbitrary, but rather placed in areas where they can have the most impact.

If those areas do not have clean energy policies already, what are these companies to do?

Yeah, I don't get Greenpeace ... according to their own report, Twitter, Oracle, IBM, Apple all score worse than Microsoft, yet they are singled out.

They are either clueless or just pulling a stunt, at least when it goes to Microsoft.

Go ahead and look up Microsoft's Generation 4 datacenters. If there is one company that is pushing the envelope in running datacenters in a "green" fashion as possible, it is in fact Microsoft. I toured a Gen 4 facility and it runs with no AC units.

Clueless.

A simple mining company could use the same electricity than 1000 Microsoft's Cloud, without counting waiter polluted and soil poisoned.

Hiprocrisy, of course not, it is POLITIC AND MARKETING.

Greenpleace, How clean is your organization?.

actually if you view the Green Peace report... they may have a point here that is worthy of this attention. Apple and Oracle are the wost offenders and Microsoft is in the middle of the pack with Google and Yahoo looking the best.

DukeWars said,
actually if you view the Green Peace report... they may have a point here that is worthy of this attention. Apple and Oracle are the wost offenders and Microsoft is in the middle of the pack with Google and Yahoo looking the best.

If Apple and Oracle are the worst offenders, why attack Microsoft and Amazon instead?

The thing that strikes me is that Cloud Computing is inherently more eco-friendly than what it replaces, yet they still protest. Sure, it's possible that MS and Amazon could do better, but they're already moving things in the right direction, yet they still get blasted.

I can understand hanging up signs around the area, but not on Amazon's building. That's trespassing and vandalism. Sounds like Greenpeace is becoming more like PETA.

Breaking the law isn't in and of itself sufficient to make something harmful. The law is there so that at least in theory we have a way of arbitrating how to act and what to do when something is done that we consider to be wrong (and possibly sometimes just to protect the interests of those who make it and/or those who lobby them but that would be another matter again).

How much greenhouse gasses were emitted to form this so-called protest? 800 square foot banner, rope, harness, transport (to get the protesters there) etc let alone the cost/greenhouse emissions to remove it. Silly and highly hypocritical protest.

Billus said,
How much greenhouse gasses were emitted to form this so-called protest? 800 square foot banner, rope, harness, transport (to get the protesters there) etc let alone the cost/greenhouse emissions to remove it. Silly and highly hypocritical protest.

Compared to Amazon and MS, NOTHING.

Billus said,
How much greenhouse gasses were emitted to form this so-called protest? 800 square foot banner, rope, harness, transport (to get the protesters there) etc let alone the cost/greenhouse emissions to remove it. Silly and highly hypocritical protest.

Yeah your argument is stupid.

Billus said,
How much greenhouse gasses were emitted to form this so-called protest? 800 square foot banner, rope, harness, transport (to get the protesters there) etc let alone the cost/greenhouse emissions to remove it. Silly and highly hypocritical protest.

Damn straight. Enviromentalists are easily some of the biggest hypocrites out there. Do as they say, not as they do.