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Earth Power Apple

Apple: Greenpeace's Cloud Critique Driven By Bogus Numbers 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-the-figures dept.
miller60 writes "Apple says Greenpeace has wildly overestimated the amount of power it uses in its data center in North Carolina, and used that bad math to give the company a low grade on sustainability. Apple says it uses 20 megawatts of power at its iDataCenter, a fraction of Greenpeace's estimate of 100 megawatts in a new report on energy use by cloud computing providers. Apple says that its huge solar array and biogas-powered fuel cell will supply 60 percent of the facility's power, not the 10 percent claimed by Greenpeace."
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Apple: Greenpeace's Cloud Critique Driven By Bogus Numbers

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  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:33PM (#39725675)
    Greenpeace: blah blah blah blah bad bad bad

    Apple: blah blah blah blah good good good

    The truth? Probably somewhere in the middle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:38PM (#39725749)

    Greenpeace is more than happy to distort the truth for propaganda purposes. They've said in the past that the whole reason they single out Apple is because it makes good news. And they are right.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:41PM (#39725793) Homepage Journal

    "Distort" the truth? Hell, they just made up some numbers and went with that as the "reasoning" for their rant.

    But as usual with Greenpeace, it's 99% bullshit believed by no one except the Greenpeace faithful.

    And from what I see, the Greenpeace faithful do definitely qualify as a cult, complete with wingnut behaviour.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:45PM (#39725889)

    Absolutely true. The real intelligent green thinkers are working with the system to make things better in baby steps - the only way things can change. We don't generally notice these people, but they do make a difference.

    Greenpeace is anti-system and falls into tired false extremist eco groupthink, which obviously isn't very productive.

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:48PM (#39725925)

    No, actually, Greenpeace can pull numbers out of their ass all day long, and few people challenge them on it, because "it's for a good cause", and "they're just trying to save the planet", etc. The whole "somewhere in the middle" has more relevance when you're talking about arguments with lots of grey areas. We're talking about simple numbers here. Greenpeace made a bunch of guesses on the numbers involved, and they've been called out on their very bad estimates and incorrect assumptions.

    Apple has all the number they need for a very accurate reading on power usage. Unless you're going to accuse Apple of out and out falsifying those numbers (it would be an incredibly stupid thing to do, as one whistleblower would blow the lid on this), then I'm going to have to side with Apple here as being closer to "the truth".

  • by SirWinston (54399) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:50PM (#39725951)
    These Greenpeace types are the same people who've prevented us from developing and deploying newer, safer nuclear power plants to replace the less safe older ones which are forced to keep running--and which could replace polluting coal plants and help us immensely in the transition away from the fossil fuels they themselves also decry. They're the same folks who stirred up opposition to Yucca Mountain, yet use the lack of such a facility as a talking point against nuclear. They're the same folks who also fight hydro and anything else with "environmental impact" (i.e., changing anything at all about a local environment). Until they're willing to back some realistic alternatives to current power generation--other than living like Luddite hippies--I tune these idiots out. Solar and wind currently supply only about 1% of our national power generation needs, and there's no chance they'll ever supply it all. Until the Greenpeace types back something useful to our situation, they're the same ones keeping us stuck on fossil fuels. Fuck 'em.
  • by FridgeFreezer (1352537) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:51PM (#39725963)
    Most environmentalists != scientists, it's about time journalists & politicians realised this before bending over to support whatever they dream up this week. How many times have Greenpeace bullied the world into things only to change their minds? Biofuel was the last one that springs to mind - "It's the future, we should all do it!" then just as the world starts to do it "It's destroying the rainforests, don't do it!" Unfortunately they will just shrug and play their "get out of jail free" card that lying about stuff is justified by "drawing attention to the issue". The sad thing is all this just gets in the way of people understanding/caring about/acting on the real issues which might actually benefit the planet.
  • by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:52PM (#39725991)

    I love the Greenpeace "response to the response" where they doubt the numbers Apple bring forth:

    While Apple is well known for making more expensive consumer products, if Apple’s plans for the $ 1Billion investment only generates 20MW in power demand, that would be taking the “Apple premium” to a whole new level.

    So first "we want them to stop cutting corners and spend money to make green energy"

    Now: "darn, these fools seem to be spending too much money to save up energy, must mean they are lying!"

  • by mekkab (133181) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:57PM (#39726061) Homepage Journal
    Why did I join Greenpeace in college? well, it's the same reason why I joined the vegetarian club in college. And the same reason I participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests.

    To meet girls with "evolved" morality. Who would let me touch them, without clothing. Basically, for tail.
  • Re:Excellent... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turken (139591) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:00PM (#39726111)

    too true. What would be really shocking news is if we found that for once greenpeace was NOT lying to get attention. And it's not just Apple. Basic M.O. for these schmucks is to simply pick whatever company is big in the news at the moment and then give that company a bad "rating" based on some imaginary numbers on some arbitrary scale.

    For several years in a row when the Wii was at it's popularity peak, the greenpeace "report card" gave Nintendo a failing grade -- for the sole reason that Nintendo had the common sense to ignore them, and refused to give any detailed information about their business operations. Thus, in the mind of the eco-nuts the company *had* to be hiding something horrible, and thus was *clearly* an eco-failure.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:09PM (#39726231)

    And there are a good many scientists that have become environmentalists and left science behind. HOWEVER, because they were scientists once in the past many people figure they can be trusted as accurate in the present. But then again there are scientists who have admitted they made extreme and/or incorrect statements to get their papers accepted by the IPCC and keep their funding so I say to heck with the lot of them when it comes to climate/environment/et al.

    Just accept that humanity is just another animal on the planet, that it's a top level predator and its numbers are going to be curtailed in the same way any other top level predator's are, by overusing its resources. Life will adapt, with or without us, and carry on. It's not a steady state system and never has been.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:15PM (#39726313)

    Could've saved yourself a lot of aggregation by just throwing a keg party.

  • by Burz (138833) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @03:49PM (#39726843) Journal

    All the frothing against environmentalists in this thread aside, GP does have an interesting response to Apple's denial... [greenpeaceblogs.com]

    While it is good to see Apple acknowledge it should reveal more details of the energy consumption of its data centers, the information they released today does not add up with what they have reported to be the size of the investment and physical size of the data center. When Apple announced they were building a data center in North Carolina, they announced a commitment to invest $1 Billion (USD) over 10 years. For a number of the facilities in the “How Clean is Your Cloud?” report, we made estimates of power demand using fairly conservative industry benchmarks for data center investments: 1MW of power demand from servers for every $15 million, though the number is often closer to $8 Million for many companies. Thus, a $1B investment should net Apple 66MW of computer power demand. Assuming a fairly standard energy efficiency factor for new data centers for non-computer energy demand of 50% gives you a 100MW data center. While Apple is well known for making more expensive consumer products, if Apple’s plans for the $ 1Billion investment only generates 20MW in power demand, that would be taking the “Apple premium” to a whole new level.

    Size Matters

    The size of the facility at 500,000 sq foot would also indicate a much larger power demand. Amazon’s chief web engineer recently conservatively estimated that based just on the size of the facility, the iDatacenter would consume at least 78MW, and speculated that it is probably higher.
    We made these estimates because companies like Apple and Amazon have not disclosed details of how much energy data centers use now and will in the future. We provided Apple with our data prior to releasing the “How Clean is Your Cloud?” report, and while they did not agree with our estimate, they declined to provide specific information on their energy demand.

    My short summary of the argument is that in this case Apple is trying to use secrecy to avoid public scrutiny, and Greenpeace has done their due diligence. Frankly, if Apple won't communicate with an enviro group as large as Greenpeace on matters of waste and power consumption, then it is Apple's attitude and business model that I have to question.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:24PM (#39727349)

    Fuck. I hate agreeing with Apple.
    Now I hate Greenpeace even more for making me side with Apple.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @04:32PM (#39727471)

    Someone once gave me a piece of advice many, many times.
    At the time I hated him for telling me this in the end though I understood and am a better person for it.
    "It doesn't fucking matter how you feel."
    "It doesn't fucking matter what you think."
    "It only matters what you do."

  • by geekoid (135745) <(dadinportland) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @05:04PM (#39727851) Homepage Journal

    Why? Are you so emotionally tied up into a belief pattern that it actually bothers you to look at data and come to the same conclusion as Apple?

    Maybe you should reflect on that.

  • Re:Excellent... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @07:45PM (#39729677) Journal

    What is sad is that all these groups..PETA, Greenpeace, MAD, all started out with good intentions and goals, Greenpeace to stop whalers and those breaking treaties and polluting our oceans, MAD to stop drunk driving, PETA to insure the ethical treatment of food animals, but somewhere along the way the batshit fringes took over and frankly they are all loony tunes, PETA with the "sea kittens", the new head of MAD saying their goal is now prohibition (like we haven't seen what a failure THAT was) and Greenpeace with the constant lies.

    Man its just a shame that you can't have an org that does good things hardly anymore without the batshit coming along and mucking everything up. All three originally had goals we could all stand behind, I mean nobody wants to see animals tortured, our oceans destroyed, or drunks plowing down families on the highway, but having sensible goals looks to be a thing of the past, its all loony tunes all the way down and i think that's a damned shame.

  • Re:Excellent... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:00AM (#39733431) Journal

    But then they become worse than nothing! the guys from South Park nailed it when they had the Klan who wanted to keep the SP flag come out against the flag because the knee jerk reaction would be to automatically vote the opposite of what the Klan wanted. in this case they have gone so far out of mainstream when anybody sees their name they think "total whackos" and this automatically gains sympathy for the ones they are against!

    Frankly PETA, MAD, and Greenpeace would be more helpful to their causes if they didn't exist at all because they have pissed away any credibility they once had. damned shame as all three were originally worthy causes but now I'd probably buy any product made by a company opposed by them simply because i see them as self righteous whackjobs that just like on SP if they are against it then its probably something I'd support simply because they are so far from mainstream anymore. I mean you have blatant lies, Sea kittens (look it up if you haven't I swear its not a parody, they honestly think at PETA calling all fish sea kittens will keep people from eating fish) and prohibition...yep I'd buy anything they're against.

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