Getting Into Fights With Data Centres

“To folks like me, two major reasons to grapple with data
centre expansions include 1) wider climate trajectories
and 2) political suspicions about the kind of world that
endless data storage is slowly building. Setting limits on
digital infrastructure—or even beginning with the
assumption that what we currently have might already
be sufficient—could help foster a culture of technical
maintenance and repair over and above an emphasis on
innovation (regardless of the social or climate cost). It
would be great to learn how to be better stewards of
what we’ve already built instead of playing regulatory
catch up with the infrastructural and digital monsters
that lurk on the horizon. Plus, again and with emphasis,
this climate change thing is pretty bad. We should do
something about it.

To those living in the shadow of data centers,
however, I suspect the rewards will be a little more
immediate and tangible: being able to open your
window without being overwhelmed by whining
fan sounds, lessening the load on your
groundwater during a drought, keeping farmland
fertile, reducing the risk of black outs and rate
hikes, and ensuring that the businesses that do
set up shop in your city actually pay their fair share
of taxes.”

“Happy fighting out there. Good luck.”