A Facebook Petition to Stop Facebook From Powering Its Data Center With Coal

There's never been a better time for the "Dislike" button.


Data centers are some of the most notorious energy-guzzlers around, which is why it's so exciting when companies like Google reveal innovative designs to cut down on data center power use. It's also why its so disappointing to learn that the company behind the number two most popular Web destination, Facebook, powering its first custom data center with coal.

The reason, of course, is cost. It's ultra-cheap for Facebook to rely on coal power at the new Pineville, Oregon data center. But both Microsoft and Google also have data centers in Oregon and rely on cheap (and relatively clean) hydro power. Why can't Facebook doing the same?

Company spokesperson Lee Weinstein claims that Facebook's data center will get its power from Pacificorp, which uses, hydro, geothermal, wind and coal power. The facility will also be certified LEED Gold. But Weinstein makes no mention of the percentage of coal power to be used. And according to Pacificorp's Web site, over 83% of the utility's generation capabilities come from coal, geothermal, and natural gas resources. That means Facebook probably won't be getting much of its power from wind or hydroelectric sources.

Instead of standing idly by while Facebook spews CO2 into the atmosphere, we suggest doing what every good social media-savvy citizen does when confronted with a problem: sign a Facebook petition. So far, the "Tell Facebook to use clean energy for its data center" petition only has 183 members—not even close to enough to get Facebook to pay attention. But maybe, just maybe, this thing can go viral and Facebook will consider listening to its users.

[Via All Facebook]

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  • Dottie Dash

    Phil Jones noted that the warming trend of .2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade from 1995 to 2009 "is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the [95%] significance level." A statistical significance level of just under 95% means that there is just under 95% certainty that the data showing a .2 degrees increase are correct.

    So according to the scientist's work that Imre Beke appears to be trying to cite in a grossly oversimplified and incorrect form as "FACT", there's about a 5% chance that Imre's "FACT" is true. I guess that can still be called a "FACT" in the secondary definition of the word "(facts): information used as evidence or as part of a report" (used as evidence, whether true or not) but certainly not in the main definition of "a thing that is indisputably the case." While debating semantics on the internet is generally not my cup of tea, I really dislike seeing misleading or even wholly untrue statements that are made even more misleading by being being preceded by "FACT:" and compelled to flag that.

  • Morgan Goodwin

    ImreBeke - I generally listen to scientists, who don't reduce complicated trends to simple and unsupported facts to fit into a narrow viewpoint. The IPCC is the largest and possibly the most scrutinized scientific body in the world.

    Facebook can do better than coal.