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Earth Day - at eight in the evening the light is turned off for an hour

US President Barack Obama called in a speech for Earth Day that the environmental literacy and scientific skills of students should be increased and they should be encouraged to prepare for a sustainable economy. When in Israel? * Greenpeace ranks the parade of polluting computing companies

Air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in the USA. The plant generates 2,900 megawatts and emits 14.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year Photo: Greenpeace
Air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in the USA. The plant generates 2,900 megawatts and emits 14.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year Photo: Greenpeace

On April 22, Earth Day is celebrated around the world. The purpose of the day is to promote the issue of environmental quality. The main theme of Earth Day 2007 is finding solutions to climate change.

The idea to mark this day was born in the USA in the 60s of the last century, in protest of the problem of air pollution. In 1970, the day was officially noted for the first time. In the same year, the "Environmental Protection Agency" was established in the USA.

You can read about the effect of warming on Israel here.

Yesterday, Monday, US President Barack Obama issued a special message on the occasion of Earth Day: "On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to celebrate the first Earth Day. Students, teachers, activists, elected officials and countless others challenged our nation to confront burning environmental issues and march with a unified message: the success of future generations depends on our action today. As we mark Earth Day this year, we reflect on the challenges that remain and recommit ourselves to the spirit of togetherness and shared responsibility that shaped this moment 42 years ago.

"Following this mobilization, we passed the clean air, clean water, endangered species, and marine mammal protection laws. We founded the Environmental Protection Agency and ignited the spirit of stewardship that drove progress for four decades. Today our air and water are cleaner, pollution has been reduced and Americans everywhere live in a healthier environment."

However, Obama does not address the demands of the Republicans, who are a sort of echo chamber of the demands of the Koch brothers - owners of many energy companies, and strong donors to the Republican Party, according to which regulation is a bad thing and measure how much it costs the factories, and for some reason forget how much it saves the public in money or health .

Next, the president details actions to reduce the amount of mercury and other toxic substances in emissions from vehicles and factories.

In the next section of his speech, Obama refers to the need to increase environmental literacy as well as providing strong foundations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to every student to ensure that young people have the skills and knowledge to advance the clean energy economy. Last year, the Ministry of Education launched the Green Ribbon campaign in order to encourage more schools to increase sustainability messages, promote health and quality of life, and integrate environmental literacy into the curriculum.

In conclusion, Obama says that he encourages Americans to take part in programs within the framework of Earth Day 2012.

Greenpeace: Google Yahoo and Facebook are green, Microsoft Apple and Amazon pollute

A new report by the Greenpeace organization which was launched last Tuesday, a few days before Earth Day, reviews the 14 largest companies in the world in regards to their data servers and the growing use of polluting energy. The biggest polluters: Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

The report titled "How clean is your cloud?" Shows a growing gap in the Internet industry, between companies that use clean energy and those that still use polluting energy, to operate their data servers ("cloud").

Among the "green" companies are Google, Yahoo and Facebook and those companies that have not yet progressed to clean energy are Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. These three companies still run their huge data servers using coal burning or nuclear power plants.

The report reviews 14 computer companies and their electricity supply chains, which includes over 80 data centers, based on key components required to establish a clean data server.

"When people around the world share music or photos on the Internet, they want to know that it is powered by clean and safe energy," says Hila Krufsky, director of the energy campaign at Greenpeace.

As more and more people around the world use the Internet to store and share photos, videos and documents, computer companies have to build more and more data centers. These are buildings so large that they can often be seen from outer space. These data centers store thousands of computers and consume enormous amounts of electricity. The electricity consumption of some of them is equal to that of 250,000 homes in Europe. A Greenpeace report found that if the Internet were a country, its electricity consumption would rank fifth in the world - and it is expected to grow threefold by 2020.

"Unfortunately, innovative and profitable companies, such as Microsoft, Apple and Amazon, are building data centers powered by technology from the 19th century and consuming electricity that comes from burning coal," Krupsky adds. "Consumers are interested in innovation and it's time to provide it to them.
"The new technology brought about by the Internet has changed our world. It has largely reduced the waste and pollution it produces, but this is only one side of the coin - without a real initiative to replace the energy sources that drive all of this innovation, the step forward in regards to protecting the environment may be just a sight to behold."

Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are starting to lead the industry on the clean energy path, through energy efficiency and the use of clean and renewable energy.

These companies set up their data centers in places where there is a supply of green energy and even demand clean alternatives to coal and nuclear from the decision makers in the electricity companies and the government.
The companies Google and Yahoo operate their facilities on an increasing scale using energy from renewable sources - while they continue to expand. Facebook joined the trend and 5 months ago announced a preference for clean energy sources for the company's infrastructure.

And these are Greenpeace's requirements from all computer companies that own data centers:

  • Increasing transparency when it comes to the use of polluting energy
  • Determining the location of the data centers in places where there is a supply of clean energy
  • Investing in energy from renewable sources or purchasing such energy directly
  • Demand from governments and electricity companies to increase the scope of electricity from renewable sources

10 תגובות

  1. In my opinion, we should do some earth days, and also have them do a little more things than turn off some lamps in the house for an hour. Planting trees, cleaning the beach, things for which you can recruit a lot of people for one hour and it contributes much more.
    The problem is that we are lazy, and in addition, this day and what it somehow contributes, doesn't really speak to us.

  2. Father, I am not against. Just stop deluding ourselves that shedding a tear will do anything.

  3. The pollution that results from the fuel burned in the vehicles that travel to those Earth support events is many times greater than the pollution from the burning of coal that is avoided as a result of turning off the lights for an hour.


  4. Uri: Is awareness really increasing or does the hour create a feeling of "I already contributed at home"?
    The media coverage I've seen focuses on turning off the light and not on all the other things that need to be done.

    Quotes from the site:

    When millions of people, all over the world turn off the light for one hour, the message is clear:
    We stop ignoring the problem, and start doing something to save the planet, all of us

    What exactly is this something that is done to "save the earth" and does it really have an effect?

    What can I do?

    1. To be involved in the "Earth Hour" activity and thereby create a bigger and better "Earth Hour".
    2. Join the environmental organizations fighting the damages of global warming
    3. Sign up for Facebook activity

    Their answers to "What can I do?" implying that the question is actually "what can I do to externalize the event?" And what to do to reduce air pollution.

  5. Faclsthez:
    The stated purpose of this is to raise awareness. Without it, there probably wouldn't have been more actions for the environment, but awareness would have gone down.

    I completely agree with you that very little is being done in the environmental field. And I certainly agree about Lag Ba'Omer that the repulsive custom of lighting bonfires makes it the most disgusting day of the year.

  6. The day after tomorrow for the war on poverty. Everyone identifies and for a whole hour does not buy an expensive product.

  7. Why do you support this nonsense?
    Every year this exercise is performed in public relations and a good feeling. People who turn off the light and light candles instead.
    A few weeks later, the savings in pollution that could have been achieved from actually turning off lights by burning bonfires are returned many times over. A month later electricity is wasted again and the temperature is raised by air conditioners that work all night.
    Why not encourage real savings?

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