Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is Greenpeace a publicity hound, just stupid, or both?

The folks at Greenpeace issued a report this week which was actually one day early, it should have been issued tomorrow.  The Greenpeace Publicity Grab argues that cloud computing devices like the iPad are troubling because their increased use  "could come with a huge jump in greenhouse gas emissions."  I ask the question again are they publicity hounds or just stupid?

Cloud computing does a couple of things.  First, it helps to reduce the amount of air travel.  By being able to collaborate over the net the need to jump on all those airplanes is reduced.  Second, presumably, the environmental awareness of the cloud computing companies is probably better than the average individual user in terms of recycling and other environmental disciplines.   Third, the component parts of the iPad - according to industry experts are among the greenest in history - thus if a user dumps a PC for an iPad the environmental footprint is likely to be reduced. Finally, there is the power requirement for this device which is less than a normal computer - all those things reduce the environmental footprint for computing.  There are undoubtedly more hole in their report - certainly more than have been proven in the ozone layer.

What this looks like is a chance for Greenpeace to grab some of the excitement surrounding the release of the first iPads on Saturday.  If this is an example of the quality of their work, the rest of their rants should also be called into question.

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