Politico reports the latest backlash against Google’s massive data centers, this time in Luxembourg.
The [Luxembourg] government wants the investment to help diversify the Grand Duchy away from its reliance on the financial sector, but locals from the nearby town worry that the 34-hectare campus could burn through about 12 percent of the country’s electricity and use up scarce water, while providing only about 100 jobs.
“People were interested at first,” said Hientgen, the president of Pro Bissen, a local organization hoping to halt the project. “But now, they’re starting to increasingly realize that the data center will represent few jobs, barely any taxes, no scientific contribution — basically, only risks.”
This isn’t the first time that Google has been caught snarfing up electricity for its enormous data centers–notwithstanding that Google uses slight of hand definitional tricks to try to get you to believe that they get the power for the data centers from cherubic elves jogging on magic flywheels. The water to cool the hellish heat from these server farms obviously must come from the condensation on the hooves of Santa’s reindeer.
Actually not. They get the power from the same place as everyone else, and the water comes from public aquifers, too. Remember, it takes about as much power to run YouTube as it does to light the City of Cincinnati.
But Google consistently denies that their data scraping, storage and manipulation has an awful effect on the environment. You know, like other corporate climate deniers. And that water gets turned right into steam and it’s gone forever.
But there is hope–Politico tells us that the locals may block the development.
Luxembourg, already the European headquarters of Amazon, has long been cozy with U.S. tech companies — perhaps even a bit too cozy, according to the European Commission, which in 2017 said the Grand Duchy gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million. (The case is under appeal.)
In Bissen, Google faces a make-or-break communal vote in April, where local authorities will decide on whether the project can go forward. Google will then have to go through an environmental impact assessment and get government approval for the project.
The town of 3,200 is no stranger to foreign investors — both Goodyear, the U.S. tire company, and international steel manufacturing giant Arcelor-Mittal, have nearby plants.
But so far Google hasn’t swayed the locals. The U.S. company did hold an open meeting for the town, leaving many people unhappy.