Facebook is ubiquitous.
In July, the social networking behemoth catalogued its 500 millionth user.
Its co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, a shy tech nerd turned world’s youngest self-made billionaire, opened up in a recent New Yorker profile.
The site's winter 2003 birth in a Harvard University dorm room will be chronicled in full Hollywood detail in the upcoming film The Social Network.
But should Facebook's pervasive market share be powered by coal?
This is the question posed to Zuckerberg and Facebook by Kumi Nadoo, the executive director of Greenpeace International.
According to Nadoo’s Huffington Post op-ed, Greenpeace wants to know why Zuckerberg chose "to locate, then double the size of, Facebook's data centre in Prineville, Oregon—a location with an over-reliance on dirty energy?"
BBC is reporting that while the new building will administer various energy-efficient technologies, Facebook has admitted that its utility company, Pacific Power, uses more coal than the U.S. average.
According to BBC:
To keep energy consumption to a minimum, Facebook's servers will be kept cool using fresh air rather than traditional air conditioning, with an evaporative cooling system kicking in when the climate is too warm. It is a similar system to the "free air" cooling system installed by Microsoft in its Dublin-based data centre which opened in 2009.
So who’s right?
Greenpeace—which argues that the planet must blacklist coal in order to red-light climate change and that social-fabric tugging companies like Facebook have a moral obligation to fully embrace clean technology, especially when they have the financial means to?
Or Facebook—which responded to Nadoo with a letter outlining its energy efficiency initiatives, including the new building in question which will cut the company's electricity consumption by up to 12 percent?
Watch the Greenpeace video—Help Us Get Facebook to Unfriend Coal—and decide for yourself.
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