• Rebecca Lippens

The Real Virus : The Truth About Data Centers & The Internet

The other day I reconnected with an old friend & mentor who inspired me to write this during these strange times. You may be like me and forget about some of the things I am about to present to you. Maybe it has never crossed your mind. I hope upon reading this you will take at least a few days to ponder the reality we are currently living in and that this article speaks to your spirit.

We face uncertain times during Covid-19. In just a few months our entire sense of ‘normalcy’ has been disturbed. Many of us have lost our income, our social connections, our sense of safety, and maybe even our homes…or so we think. I see a way being made for us to reinvent, or rather, recall old ways of life. Calling in remembrance of who we truly are and why we are here. We are all made for connection which has been severely limited during this time. We are being conditioned to fear one another. Keep your distance. Don’t speak for fear your saliva will jump onto your friend and infect them, killing their family. The horror. Of course we wouldn’t want to contribute to another’s suffering or loss.

We’ve turned to social media and the internet to educate ourselves, share with one another, be a positive influence, and to remain strong together during this time. We use these things for information that, ironically, may also be dis-information.

How do we know what to trust? What to consume? How much data stores arguments over social media on what to believe or not?

We all know our consumption has become problematic in the world today. Collectively we contribute to the carbon foot print of fossil fuel use, our waste production, our unsustainable use of generic pharmaceuticals, our reliance on mega grocery stores and industrial agriculture to name a few. Some of us may be stewards of change working to significantly lower or eliminate our use and reliance on these things. While some of us are blatantly reckless in our consumption. However, what almost ALL of us are unaware of is our DATA footprint which produces a rather massive CARBON footprint. We produce this through every text message, phone call, email, social media post, comment, like, photo, search, video, transactions, etc..

This has been predicted to significantly increase by 2021. In these past few months where we have been told to ‘shelter in place’, we have SOLIDIFIED this prediction and it makes you wonder if that wasn’t the plan all along. Since we have been at home the use of the internet, social media, and online purchasing has increased exponentially. Which caused us to make way for the reasoning and the funds to move forward with more physical construction of data centers to occupy our natural lands. Meanwhile, nearly ALL small businesses that contribute to their community & society have disintegrated.

The Zero Waste movement across social media was becoming viral and for good reason, but now everyone is rushing back to disposables and chemicals out of FEAR. Waste has and will continue to skyrocket. We have been so focused on greenhouses gases produced by fossil fuels and solid waste in landfills we FORGOT that are creating just as much waste with every share, every post about your stance and opinion, every comment, every picture or video, on and on and on.

Combine this with the fact that near the end of March Trump took control of the federal reserve away from the Rothschild’s & Rockefeller’s for the first time in history. You didn’t hear about this at all on mainstream media. Why? Because they own the news channels.

It is time to ask yourself, how complicit and complacent have I been?

Will I continue or will I choose to be on the right side of humanity?

Does what I contribute online need to sit in a box in a massive building running 24/7?

*What is a data center? There are over 8 MILLION centers worldwide ranging from 5,000 sqft - 3.5 million sqft. There are over 500 hyper scale data centers worldwide. https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/industry-perspectives/data-center-dilemma-our-data-destroying-environment

“All data centers are essentially buildings that provides space, power and cooling for network infrastructure. They centralize a business’s IT operations or equipment, as well as store, share and manage data. Businesses depend on the reliability of a data center to ensure that their daily IT operations are always functioning. As a result, security and reliability are often a data centers top priority.” https://www.aflhyperscale.com/understanding-different-types-of-data-center

*Who has the largest data center in the world? It has become a competition…

Kolos owns this data center in the arctic town of Ballagen, Norway. A beautiful place abundant in nature & clean water is now occupied by a 4 story building spanning across 600,000 square miles or 6.46 million sqft. ‘Ironically’ it is reported that this town has the country’s highest rate of sick leave. This is a mere 240 miles away from Facebook’s data center in Sweden. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40922048


“We found that transient exposure to EMF reduces a bee's ability to learn, reduces their memory retention, affects flight and foraging behavior all of which could potentially reduce their ability to pollinate.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5962564/

Now, imagine what this does to us on a daily basis being surrounded and in close contact with EMF devices. Data centers are built out on large open land where pollinators usually thrive in their natural habitats since cities aren’t the most ideal place to thrive.

A Facebook Data center in Fort Worth, TX which is powered by its own 17,000 Acre wind turbine farm in Clay County. SO, these mega complexes take up space themselves AND much more for their power consumption. Again, a total waste of space. This project alone was $1 billion. https://baxtel.com/data-center/facebook-fort-worth

FW Star Telegram speaks of expansion. They’re ruining my home town.

Range International Information Group was the largest data center in the world spanning across over 6.3 million sqft. located in Langfang, China.


*Who has the most Data centers in America? Bill Gates : MICROSOFT. Occupying a total 6.3 million sqft of native land. https://www.datacenters.com/news/and-the-title-of-the-largest-data-center-in-the-world-and-largest-data-center-in


https://www.engadget.com/2018-06-06-microsoft-s-deep-sea-data-center-is-now-opearational.html. They’re even putting them into the ocean!



*Who has the single largest data center in America? Switch SuperNap in Las Vegas, NV occupies 3.5 million sqft. of land. https://www.datacenters.com/news/and-the-title-of-the-largest-data-center-in-the-world-and-largest-data-center-in The Citadel in Reno, NV boasts 7.2 million sqft of total space occupied & owns Switch.


It remains a challenge to calculate all of the land occupied by data centers but I would venture out to estimate that it is easily somewhere in the hundreds of millions of acreage globally. Not to mention their nearby personal power supply as well as the local or underground water they tap to cool the servers. This is one major concern amongst many. Each data center uses an astronomical amount of natural resources like water to cool the servers that operate 24/7. As well as, the electricity consumption which is also constant. What I find most concerning is the electromagnetic radiation each center emits. How far does that reach? What kind of impact does that have on the surrounding nature, wildlife, and on we the people? In times past we have demonized the nuclear power plants & bases creating weapons, which still exist today. You better hope you don’t live near one of these hyper scale data centers. On top of the fact that we are all constantly carrying our EMF producing cell phones and living in houses that are bathed in a broad WiFi signal that extends beyond your home. If the WiFi signal from your home reaches maybe about 40 feet or more, how far do you think a data center’s EMR bubble goes? Is that 455th selfie or that viral meme really worth contributing/distributing? Do you stop to think about the beast that you’re feeding? Or the pollinators you’re killing? It took a massive amount of people to say yes to the construction jobs and yes to working in the buildings themselves. Maybe they are proud of what they do, but they are there to keep your habitual use & reliance on technology running more so than their work on the actual servers.

There are well over 4.3 million cell phone towers worldwide and more than 307,000 towers in the US as of 2016. Out of those numbers, there are about 154,000 5G towers installed in the US today and growing. Despite all of the evidence and testimony coming forward about how damaging they are to people & wildlife. You can bet that the numbers are far higher today.

We have come to a place where we not only consume things but we consume each other on a daily basis. We don’t seem relevant if we don’t give people access to consume us & the intricacies of our day to day life. What is a social media influencer & why do they make so much money? They influence you to be on your device. ‘Look at me & what I am doing!’ They tell you to buy this or that, think this or that, and come back for more. They influence consumption of themselves and influence us to also be available to be consumed by others. Maybe what they produce is inherently positive and could be of value to society, but most of it is mindless nonsense & attention grabbing. These days you are strange and ‘outcast’ for choosing not to participate on social media, for your unavailability to be consumed, to keep your privacy, and you may feel a bit ‘forgotten about’. Unfortunately, many people will not engage with you unless you are in that mess with them. I have always had a hard time with social media. It always felt unnatural and frustrating to me. Some of us bend to the use of social media simply to be included or ‘in the loop’ or for business.

Growing up, my mother was a professional photographer & carried her camera with her everywhere we went. While I see the value of having memories to look back on, what’s the matter with our actual memory? I remember having bad days or fights and she would want me to break from reality to take a ’happy’ picture when that wasn’t the truth of the moment. I would often refuse. One year, I was particularly unhappy with the situation & I refused to smile in a family photo. So, later on she cut & pasted a smile from another photo onto my face to create a false memory that her mind preferred.

How often do we do this on social media? Present a false reality to the world… Creating illusions of our own in this great web of illusion we call the ‘internet’. How far has it actually separated us with our constant use even while in the presence of people we claim to care for? What has filling your mind to its limits with information really done for you? How many books do you own? Did you buy them from Amazon or do you know your local book keeper’s name? Do you know your neighbors? Sure, you can argue that the internet has aided to help many people, but people have been helping each other and joining together far longer than the existence of the internet.

If you claim to want a sustainable planet, stop contributing to this & try to convince everyone you know. Food as we know it is being altered. This is severely disrupting our Earth’s ecosystems. YOU are part of that ecosystem. Give up the wifi, the cell phones, get a home phone, corded internet if you feel like you HAVE to have it for a time as you retract your dependency on something constructed to only consume you and fuels you to consume more. Maybe trust that you will be where you need and with exactly who you need to be around at any given moment. Lay down this destructive distraction, if not for yourself; do it for the bees that sustain us by tending to our food, nature, and the future of your children. Yes, Monsanto has poisoned us, plants and pollinators, but the real killer is Electromagnetic Frequencies above, around and beneath us.

This is the threat to our very existence. This is destroying everything and everyone. Ask yourself, what kinds of people would do this to us? Why would they continue to maim the earth and do so many things they know severely impact our home and our health? GREED. It will collapse in on itself. Prepare yourself before then. One by one we can gravitate away from this.

Stop buying mass production because its cheap and easy. Start going directly to the product source. Shop local and help small business owners revive. Revisit resale & thrift stores.

Be the change you want to see instead of just paying lip service to your conscience.

Use this time to reflect on the fissures within society & within yourself. Start making eye contact again and striking up a conversation when you’re out in public. Stop posting about being in the present moment and actually BE there. No endless picture posts. Stop marking your location.

Use your voice to spread the word with those you intentionally reach out to physically SEE in person. A text message or an email is usually very minimal data but the server allowing the system of delivery to exist and function is what you’re enabling. Why don’t we return to writing each other by hand? We can look at all the progress the internet has done for us but also know when to say enough is enough. This is unsustainable, destroying our planet, and our true connection to each other and the earth. As I was writing this, I heard a sound and looked over at the plant next to me opening up and growing in real time. I wonder how many of you have actually experienced this joy?

I wrote this for all of you. I invite you to step outside and look at the nature around you. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to allow this to turn into mere pictures in history e-books?”

Distribute this freely.

For Karen, the woman who initiated me into drawing close to the abundance around me and my daughter, Cora, who I hope will carry these lessons forward to share with her generation.

Rebecca Lippens



















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Ubuntu Contributionism by Michael Tellinger

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