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Greenpeace blasts iPad, Dell

updated 08:40 pm EDT, Tue March 30, 2010

Group credits iPad with helping drive emissions

The activist group Greenpeace has publicly blasted the iPad and Dell over different environmental issues. The organization labels the iPad one of many "quintessential cloud computing devices" that are credited with driving the technology industry's demand for dirty coal power.

"As the cloud grows, the IT industry's appetite for energy will only increase, so the industry must become strong advocates for renewable energy solutions and strong laws that cut global warming pollution," said Greenpeace campaigner Casey Harrell.

The group's recent "Make IT Green" report claims that current growth rates, data centers, and telecommunication networks will collectively consume approximately 1,963 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2020. If the forecast is accurate, the numbers represent a tripling of current consumption rates and over half the total energy usage by the entire United States.

Despite the focus on Apple's iPad, Greenpeace only calls out Facebook as a direct contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The social networking site opened its own data center in Prineville, Oregon, a location that allegedly relies on coal-based power from the utility company PacifiCorp.

Dell has been accused of backtracking on its previous promises to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its range of products, while Apple has been lauded for following through with such actions. The computer maker initially claimed it would remove PVC and BFRs by 2009, however the deadline was later pushed to 2011.

"Dell was aspiring to be the greenest tech company on the planet," Greenpeace spokeswoman Iza Kruszewska told The Register. "Apple, HP and even cheapo Acer, which has four lines of notebooks free of PVC and BFRs, have all jumped ahead. Shame on you Dell."

"We have always been committed to eliminating BFR/PVC from our products, and we plan to achieve that goal by the end of 2011 for newly introduced personal computing products," said a Dell spokesman. "This task presents challenges, but we're working closely with our suppliers to find reliable, environmentally preferable alternatives that maintain the performance standards our customers require."

"The company is just a bloody marketing machine," said Kruszewska.

Greenpeace on Monday staged protests outside Dell offices in Bangalore and Amsterdam. The group plans to hold additional protests aimed at bringing attention to the company's broken promises.

by MacNN Staff



  1. twieland

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Chill ...

    I'm generally pretty passive when reading these articles and all the comments. Tonight just felt like telling the Green folks to just 'chill' a bit ... understand your cause and the importance of awareness and efforts we all need to make ... but just 'chill' a bit ...

  1. bogmonster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So how does "the cloud" compare

    to the burgeoning electric vehicle industry? P'raps a little perspective is in order

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Never happy

    It doesn't matter what you do, the Greenpeace folks will never be happy. Now they're complaining about energy consumption by data centers as is relates to internet connected devices, yet I wonder if they've considered the fact that new data centers are using very efficient (and 'green') building techniques, and server computers are using extremely efficient processors & components.

    The number of data centers are growing, yes, but performance per watt is increasing significantly, and I believe you're just seeing a shift in compute resources moving to data centers and off the desktop.

    The iPad could be just the beginning of real usable ultra low power devices. We're buying an iPad for my mom, and in her case it will be replacing an aging desktop PC. So, she will be using a new, more user-friendly device that consumes an estimated 3-7 watts of power (10 watt power supply), instead of the old PC with a 350 watt power supply (estimated 200w consumption).

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Narrow Minded...

    How much energy does it produce a book. Cutting the trees, transporting the logs, turning trees into pulp, creating the paper, the process for creating ink, manufacturing the book, Packaging the book, transporting the book then eventually disposal of the book. The amount of information I read, if I had to do it all by paper I bet you a million bucks that would be far worse on the environment.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't care

    I don't care what they say. They're a bunch of nuts.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh for the love of god...

    How much does hot air contribute to climate change? Greenpeace needs to step back.

  1. philomath777

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They feed on blame

    Without someone to blame or call a bogeyman, Greenpeace would lose their reason to appeal for $$$$. They profit from both their fictitious pollution and real pollution. Dirty money.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This kind of complaining for complaining's sake is becoming rather tedious. Important issues get lost in the noise they create when they complain about everything. Hence, Greenpeace becomes Green-noise. Congratulations, idiots!

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just trying to capitalize on the media attention

    Surrounding the iPad; what's new?

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There's a reason

    the Founder of Greenpeace left and now speaks out against them!!

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