Last week, if you caught it and I certainly didn’t know anything about it, was Earth Day. Apparently more than one billion people in 190 countries took part in “green initiatives” with the goal of improving and sustaining our environment.

If you are wondering what this has to do with cloud computing there is a heavy debate going on about how cloud computing is environmentally damaging and if we pursue this technology we will end up submerging small, low lying islands in the Indian ocean.

As you would expect the providers of the base technologies that power cloud computing have a different take and last week on Earth Day it was the turn of Cetrom, an SaaS provider, to put the alternative message.

Cetrom President and CEO Christopher Stark argued “With the Cloud Computing model, businesses are able to leverage the energy efficient network hardware of a hosted IT services provider, inside data centre facilities that are also designed with various green initiatives as well.”

“With energy costs always subject to market fluctuations, most providers make it a practice to always evaluate their current hardware power consumption against new hardware offerings and their scheduled lifecycle upgrades. Cloud computing also offers telecommuting opportunities for businesses since their employees have remote access capabilities, allowing for an additional reduction of the carbon footprint for the business.”

This topic isn’t going to go away. It was sometime last year that I read somewhere that Google planned to power it’s cloud computing base camp from floating data centres located in the world’s oceans. Greater dependency on cloud computing, it could be argued, will increase the need for energy sources to drive the dramatic increase in server demand.

I confess that I am not that well versed in the finer arguments of climate change – don’t call it global warming as we have had the coldest winter for decades – so I would be really grateful if you could give your views here.