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Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Lesser Evets, Apr 21, 2011.
Any tech company whose sole aim is to sell millions of units that will be thrown away two years later cannot be considered "green." That is, all of them.
You hit the nail on the head. This is why the terms; green, less green, more green, etc. are worthless.
I love this quote:
No Gary. Consumers want to use the cheapest most dependable energy sources so that they can keep on using their computers.
In the short term. In the long term, no one would willingly use something that contributes to the destruction of the world unless there's no alternative. "No alternative" defined loosly, I'm aware, but still.
I would trust what Green Peace states about the environment about as much as Al Qaeda's stance on religion as being unbiased and objective. They pick Apple as the worst because they have the most recognizable name. Even though their products typically have a longer useful life than other brands.
Besides Apple uses fewer toxic chemicals than most producers. The Mac Mini and iMac are more energy efficient than most desktops given the amount of laptop parts used, their laptops are as efficient as other brands of similar specs, the Mac Pro is comparable to other high end servers and workstations. The LED screens are more efficient and don't use mercury like CCFL backlights.
I think "destruction of the world" is defined loosly. Everything would be greener with more carbon dioxide since plants grow stronger and faster and are more drought resistant and water efficient with higher CO2 levels. CO2 levels on submarines get as high as 8000 ppm so higher CO2 isn't dangerous for animals either. And global warming is only a theory and that theory is developing more holes than the case on the Mac Pro.
I thought this was an appropriate face-palm for this comment.
This won't look good for Al Gore, being on the board of directors
People actually care about the environment? Screw the environment, we have technology.
Yes, that's a kooky US Navy site -- those hippy bastards...
Btw, what alternative, valid theory to you subscribe to that explains the change in sea level and temperature?
Apple Is Tech's 'Least Clean' Company: Greenpeace
Moving to the cloud could be making acid rain.
While U.S. companies are not required to disclose energy information, such as carbon emissions, a report by Greenpeace revealed the high cost of the data centers tech companies rely upon to deliver their services. Apple was the least green of all, with its data centers at 54.5 percent reliance on coal, followed by Facebook at 53.2 percent and IBM with 51.6 percent. Yahoo, Google and Amazon were highlighted for their clean energy use.
As cloud computing becomes more widely adopted, companies will need to support a rising number of data centers in order to process and store the information that's generated. While Greenpeace was able to produce its report based on publicly accessible data, tech companies also display major problems with transparency regarding their energy practices, the report showed. Despite Google and Amazon's clean energy commitments, both scored an F for transparency.
As the report notes, the expansion of the Internet will require a growing amount of energy to continue. But a tendency towards secrecy across the IT industry prevents it from being possible to fully gauge the extent of IT's potential effect on the worldwide energy picture. According to Greenpeace, data centers may be consuming energy at a rate 70 percent higher than predicted, with the combined electricity demand of the web estimated to reach a figure greater than the combined total demands of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.
The data centers are themselves projected not only to continue growing in size (many are already the size of several department stores), but to consume more and more energy. Right now, Greenpeace predicts that U.S. data centers account for 3 percent of the national power supply. Apple's new $1 billion data facility in North Carolina is estimated to require the equivalent the energy needed to power of 80,000 U.S. homes.
North Carolina is the hub for what Greenpeace calls a "dirty data triangle," referring to a trio of giant data centers run by Apple, Google and Facebook. North Carolina provides an attractive set of tax incentives, as well as the promise low-cost energy, offered in an initiative by local economic development agencies to battle high unemployment and draw IT companies to the area. But the generation mix in the area is one of the dirtiest in the country, drawing only 4 percent from renewable sources, and 61 percent from coal.
But many of Google's practices prove to be far more eco-friendly than those pursued through its North Carolinian data hub. The company has shown a commitment to green goals, signing a 20-year power purchasing agreement with a wind energy company in Iowa, and investing $100 billion in an Oregon wind farm, as well as setting up subsidiary Google Energy to let it buy and sell wholesale energy.
Still, the report emphasizes the double standard in the IT sector regarding transparency. Though companies like Google and Facebook access huge amounts of personal data, they are cagey about revealing their own carbon footprints and energy decisions. But as these companies become important buyers of energy, the need for openness is greater than ever: without more information, the rest of the world will be left in the dark as to how these actions will affect the world's environmental future.
F1rst! (first post of me on this forum, hehe)
At any rate. I found the title of this article to be misleading. How could you conclude that Apple is the 'least green' tech company based only on the electricity they use for their server park*? While I agree that that is a concern, what with it being a large server park and all, there's alot more to add into the equation. Aforementioned chemical substances that are used in products being safe or not is just one example. iPhones using a lot more electricity than my chunky old phone that can't even take pictures is another one - but yeah, most iPhone owners would own a smartphone anyway.
Also, I must say that Apple hasn't got a completely steady track-record here. There was the newsitem, not too long ago, of them using a toxic chemical at a Chinese factory, yet there are also numerous reports of things that they do 'right' from an environmantalist perspective. So while this article had me doubting (my current Mac Mini PPC 1,42 GHz is on it's last legs, replacing will have to wait until I moved in my new appartment though) if I should 'invest' my money in such a company, I have later come to realise that there simply isn't a completely clean way to go about it. Other manufacturers might indeed make computers that use more power, or use wrong chemicals, you can hardly find out what's the best. Still, I would have liked Apple to come out better here, to have built that serverpark somewhere where it could be solar powered.
*Note: I haven't thoroughly read Greenpeaces article, but I am under the impression that the claim is even less solid. The Guardian's claims are stronger than Greenpeces claims at their own website. In what I read of it, there is no mention of Duke Energy, and the claim is based on the electricity currently on the North Carolina grid, Apple could ofcourse contract a different supplier to put greener energy on the grid. I'm not saying I believe they will, since North Carolina is sort of infamous for this, but it's pretty much Apple-esque to not reveal this sort of details about this park until it's operational. Even if the information does turn out to be true, it's a bit early to draw these conclusions.
Edit: As the above-posted huffington post article explains, Google has a 'dirty' data center in North Carolina as well, while they get a decent score from Greenpeace. Only goes to show that no tech company is completely clean and, in my opinion, ordering them from good to bad is arbitrary.
Latest data shows a drop in both sea level and temperature. Cooling is not global warming. People have been too short sighted when thinking global warming. They have only been looking at the last 30 years. Those 30 years have been the warming half of a natural 60 year cycle. Early 1970's? Talk was of an ice age and global cooling. Tornado numbers peaked in 1974 in the US during that cooling cycle and a strong La Nina (Pacific cooling). Tornado and tropical cyclone numbers have been trending down for the past 30 years as warming peaked. But everyone tried telling us that warming was going to increase tornadoes and hurricanes.
Right now it is cooler with a La Nina and there are strong spring storms in the US.
I feel like I'm experiencing deja vu.
It seems every six months Apple is ranked dead last in the Greenpeace rankings. Apple then makes improvements to move up the list, then Greenpeace changes the rules to make Apple fall back to the bottom.
And yet Google gets a favourable review?
I know they're very different companies, but lets not make excuses.
I'll bite on this troll science... Sorry but it's a little off topic
CO2 ≠ Global Warming
I've worked with a weather forecaster for many years, the science behind the forecast and observations do indicate a very clear "shift" in current weather events. The shift doesn't mean things will get hotter as most think it's rather events like La Niña, El Niño, TCs, Tornados, Storms, floods, drought, etc will change and become far more severe.
Is this 100% a result of CO2? Well the is no 100% agreement on this. But considering over the last 10 years certain countries like Australia and South America has seem more La Niña/El Niño cycles than the last 3 decades while the extreme weather has increased tenfold, there were more TC's in Northern Australia than the average for DEC-FEB compared to other years.
It's like Galileo taking his theory about the Earth not being the centre of the universe, yes at the time it was considered by many as a pseudo theory but overtime proven to be correct science.
Then again back to the original point, I do think Apple are making a better effort than most with regards to going green, do I think it's enough? I'm not sure...
+1 to you.
Mostly because they play hollow politics.
They'd rather put up stunts, such as getting a bunch of people on a boat and asking Secretary of State Clinton for help, not realizing that a US politician cannot interfere with the operation of other sovereign governments without being called lots of nasty names. The same sorts of names we'd understandably use on somebody from another foreign country trying to manipulate ours. It works both ways.
Next up, Greenpeace will probably accuse the US of being imperialistic and demanding everybody does what it says... facepalm indeed...
And, if nothing else, surely pollution is an invariably real and tangible problem. Now I do agree "climate change" is a real phenomenon. But even those who don't think it is can't deny pollution impacts the quality of water people drink, amongst other factors. Countries lacking manufacturing regulations really need to make some, IMHO, but if we dictate what the world does, that won't make us look very warm and fuzzy in return...
I'm not denying that pollution isn't a tangible issue rather, in fact I'm 100% for going with better renewable and cleaner ways of doing things. Rather I'm questioning the "blame it all on one thing being CO2" approach, that the position I am coming from.
There are times in Earth's history where Carbon levels in the atmosphere has been higher, referencing icecore samples here where the overall weather had been cooler... Which tends to make me question whether or not CO2/Carbon is the main culprit here, this position doesn't take me away from going green instead question where the conclusion has come from