Update on Facebook’s Controversial Data Center
It’s a little unbelievable that there was anyone who wasn’t already on Facebook, but the social networking site just keeps getting bigger and more complicated all the time. With over 500 million users, clearly they do need massive facilities at their disposal, but the data center they’ve been working on in Oregon has raised a lot of arguments.
The problem at hand is Facebook’s choice of energy source. Although historically they have been more conscious of the environment than this move seems to indicate, they’ve chosen to power their facility under construction with coal – a non-renewable and environmentally-unsound fuel.
This choice has outraged environmental organizations like Greenpeace, which is on the warpath at this point. I guess Facebook’s selection is based on what they feel like they want to pay for, rather than a sense of social or environmental conscience. It’s very disappointing, in any case, and now they’ve announced they are altering their original construction plans to include an additional 160,000 sq. ft. shell to the 147,000 sq. ft. structure already being built.
Construction does create a lot of work in the area for a time, but only thirty-five longterm jobs will come out of this environmental misstep. The whole coal decision seems very strange for a company which ought to be pretty hip. It’s incredibly clear that the trend in technology is towards renewable energy and green solutions, and it just seems like Facebook would be eager to get in on all the greenwashing.
It puts people in a pretty uncomfortable position – it really can be a serious social and even professional handicap not to have a Facebook, so it’s incredibly difficult to get a sizable boycott organized. Facebook, as powerful and omnipresent as it is, has a responsibility to set a better example than this.
See the article at the Examiner for a more news-oriented take on the situation.
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