Everyone’s talking about “the cloud” lately. That’s just a fancy term for “everyone’s shit is being stored on the Internet now.” Your personal information is on Facebook, your photos are on Flickr, your blogs are on WordPress.com. Those are all examples of clouds.
All of these clouds store data (personal data, photos, lame news syndication blogs) on big servers in a place called a data center. These things take lots of power. Lots. Which means their carbon footprint can be rather large. Greenpeace, an environmental watchdog organization, rated popular clouds according to their data centers’ carbon footprints and the report has been released. From CNET:
Yahoo scores the highest on the clean-energy index in large part because it has located its data centers in places with available hydropower. Google stands out, too, for investing directly in wind farms and a solar power project as part of its effort to reduce its carbon footprint. But Greenpeace knocks Google and others for not disclosing enough about how their energy use breaks down.