Today my Twitter feed was abuzz with two news items. A report by Greenpeace criticizing major data center operators drove the most traffic, but the failure of Amazon's AWS cloud services caused almost as many Tweets.

Most of the articles written about the Greenpeace report seemed to single out Apple as the worst offender. IBM fared as well as anybody with two Cs and a B.  but other well-known operators of large data centers received very poor grades. Twitter got three Fs, and Amazon Web Services  received an F for transparency, D for infrastructure siting, and D for mitigation strategy. In the end, Greenpeace wants to fail these companies for accepting the benefits and incentives available for siting facilities in states having large percentages of coal-based or nuclear generation. North Carolina, in particular, earns Greenpeace's ire because of the coal-based generation mix and its recent success attracting large data centers.

So how are these companies responding to Greenpeace's broadside? I plan to spend some time finding out, but playing a little mind exercise might shed some light on the issue. Pretend for a moment you are a significant stakeholder in Amazon, and you learn that your EC2 Cloud Service has gone down, in this case at just before 8 am on Thursday. You begin trying to find out what has gone wrong. Perhaps depending on your role at the company, you begin to hear from customers. At about 8 pm the same day, just when you start to wonder what else could go wrong, you hear about the Greenpeace report criticizing the siting of major facilities dedicated to your cloud business. It also begins to sink in that full service may not be restored to all customers until late the next day or even Saturday.

What would you prioritize?