Don’t Blame Greens for Gore’s Loss in 2000

voteThere is a trend lately on social media and even some news outlets to blame the the Green Party for the loss of the Democrats in 2000, essentially handing the White House to the Republicans. In a time when the current top two nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have secured historically low approval ratings, it’s easy to preemptively assign impending failure to someone else, like current presumptive Green nominee Jill Stein or current Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, but the notion itself is irresponsible and undemocratic.

Did people vote in 2000 for the Green Party nominee, Ralph Nader? Obviously. Could the Democratic nominee, Al Gore, have won if those votes went to him? Some experts say yes. But as far as blame is concerned, the 2.74% of voters who voted for Nader pale in comparison to the 61% of Democrats who didn’t vote, and the 11% of Democrats who actually voted for the Republican nominee, George W. Bush.

Blaming a group of voters for placing their votes for the nominee who represented their interests and values is about as undemocratic as you can get. Presidents of The United States are elected by a democratic process. Each nominee has earned the votes they receive. If you plan to blame Green voters for not abandoning their nominee to back the Democratic nominee, you might as well also blame the Republican voters for backing their nominee.

An important election is coming up in November, and you should vote for the nominee who matches your interests and values, vote your conscience, cast your vote for who you know will take the country in the direction it needs to go. We live in an information age where you can search for almost any information on any nominee, and sites like iSideWith make it almost fun to see how you relate to them. This November, place an educated vote for the nominee who represents you.

Since some might ask, I definitely won’t be voting for Trump this November, he is further from my interests and values than any nominee in my lifetime has ever been. I haven’t made up my mind about the other three though, I still have 104 days to learn as much as I can about each of them.

Update: The same comparisons are being made with the results of the 2016 election, so here are the facts. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral Collage to Donald Trump. Based on exit polls, 2% of Democrats voted for a third-party candidate, while 9% of Democrats voted for Trump, and 40% of registered voters didn’t vote. I’ll update this bit with more numbers as they become available.


The Cloud is Not Necessarily Green

“Cloud” is one of the biggest buzzwords these days. Many services are launching on a distributed cloud-based platform, like file sharing, applications, blogging, even hosting, and there are many advantages to cloud services. The most obvious being that you can access your files and applications from wherever you have an internet connection, and especially in the case of cloud hosting, downtime is almost nonexistent as the entire cloud would have to go offline before you noticed any service interruption.

One of the advantages that I keep hearing about online, from friends, and even from speakers at events is that they are moving to the cloud because it’s green (better for the environment). This is false. Sure, the resources that originally took an entire server to run are now efficiently spread across hundreds of servers (hooray!), but those servers may receive their power generated by coal or other fossil fuels (boo!).

Just because something is energy-efficient does not mean that it is green. Facebook’s Prineville Data Center is a miracle of energy efficiency, but it receives its power from PacifiCorp, who derive 70.6% of their power from coal and natural gas, 22.5% from other supplies, and only 6.9% from water and wind. So, while the Prineville Data Center is a miracle of energy efficiency, its overall operation is not green.

Now, if your cloud service derives its power from 100% renewable resources, then you have something highly efficient and green. Google has made incredible strides go green, and A Small Orange covers 150% of their power consumption with Renewable Energy Certificates (which is a topic for a later date), but most cloud services are not so environment-conscious.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for this. Tom Raftery, the man behind GreenMonk, gave a brilliant keynote address on Cloud Computing’s Green Potential and I highly recommend that you watch it.

I do feel that the cloud is really the future of software and web-based services, and I use many cloud-based services myself, but make sure that you know the facts before touting the cloud as good for the environment.