I was once asked by a French colleague of mine if Cloud Computing is ethically justifiable. At first I thought he was referring to Big Data Analytics and possible misuse of personal data, but in fact he was asking if the huge energy consumption of data centers and the impact on the environment outweighs the benefits of Cloud Computing. I was baffled at first because I couldn't really answer this question.
I did some research on this topic and found the solution in the combination of the two areas that I've been working on in the last couple of years: 'Smart Cities' use 'Cloud Computing' to make the urban environment more livable (and this is a huge benefit). This presentation summarizes my findings.