Greenpeace urges Facebook to ‘Like’ renewable energy


SAN FRANCISCO — Greenpeace activists rallied outside Facebook headquarters on Wednesday, calling on the social network to “unfriend” coal energy for powering data centers and other operations. The international environmental group set up a large computer screen to display comments streaming in from around the world in response to a Facebook post urging the firm to join an energy revolution. “We want them to ‘unfriend’ coal and ‘Like’ green energy,” Greenpeace spokesman Daniel Kessler said after the rally at Facebook’s offices in the Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto. “We think a lot of Facebook employees will be on our side, so we are trying to recruit them.” Facebook last week unveiled greener, cheaper data centers to more efficiently power online services. The social networking star custom-designed hardware, power supply, and architecture of a new U.S. data center that is 38 percent more power efficient and costs 24 percent less than the industry average. Schematics and designs for Facebook’s revolutionary data center in the Oregon city of Prineville were made available to the world as part of an Open Compute Project announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg. “Their efficiency is fantastic,” Kessler said. “But it simply isn’t enough.” “They should be concerned about coal,” he continued. “If we don’t stop burning coal, we are not going to stop climate change.” Facebook did not respond to an AFP request for comment. The trend toward music, video, e-mail, social networking and more being offered as services hosted in the Internet “cloud” has Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon and other technology firms investing in massive data centers. “What we are seeing is cloud computing, and that takes a lot of power,” Kessler said. A Greenpeace zeppelin towing a banner reading “Facebook: Join the Energy Revolution” was to take to the sky above the company’s headquarters on Thursday, weather permitting. Greenpeace claimed that its Facebook rally post set a Guinness World Record for the number of comments on a post in 24 hours, with 65,000 responses logged by mid-day and more expected by the deadline.