We’re Burning Coal Right Now, As We Type And Read And Watch

With the growing popularity of Facebook comes an ever-expanding need for energy. Greenpeace recently called on the talents of Director Daniel Bird and his international production company, Savage, to create a new 30-second spot asking Facebook to “Unfriend Coal.”


Visual Effects/Animation Company: motion504

According to The Nation, data centers and telecommunication networks—two key components of the “cloud” that Facebook depends on—will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity in 2020. That’s more than triple their current consumption and more than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.

Facebook’s new data center in Prineville, Oregon is a more efficient model, for sure, but the complaint from Greenpeace and other activists is the source of electricity used there is coal instead of renewables.

I was in central Oregon, last week and the wind was howling. Facebook could catch that wind and sail on smoother seas. This problem won’t go away until conscious people (at Facebook and everywhere else) make it go away.

Previously on AdPulp: Yet Another Facebook Story: An Open Book In Prineville

UPDATE: Boardman Coal Plant, operated by Portland General Electric, is the only remaining coal powered plant in Oregon. In April 2010, PGE decided to close the plant in 2020 to save $470 million in upgrades.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.