Greenpeace protestors may have a point
Mon, 30 Oct 2006
Greenpeace protestors were chucked out of last week's MacExpo, because showgoers complained at the pressure group's bahaviour there, or so it's claimed.
The protestors want the company to get wise - fast - to the pressing need to take environmental responsibility for its product manufacture and design.
Greenpeace explains its criticisms of Apple itself. You can read them on the GreenMyApple website.
But you, Apple and anyone else involved in the consumer electronics industry needs to take a look at the issues raised.
Kicking protestors out of a trade show because they are saying things that make people feel uncomfortable is an outmoded reaction.
It's a fact that the ejection of the protestors took place before Sir Nicholas Stern this weekend published his report on the calamity of consequences we face if we don't tackle environmental problems.
In the heady days of late last week, we hadn't yet been given such a strong warning, certainly not with the official UK government rubber stamp to lend it credibility.
Last week, it was still acceptable to insist that protecting the environment is someone else's problem.
This week, it isn't.
Economic consequences count
Stern's report warns that global warming will shrink the world's economy by 20 per cent - but acting to prevent this terrible economic and environmental meltdown will cost just 1 per cent of global gross domestic product.
These are the kind of figures that make sense to any accountant. After all, Apple, if the economy slips 20 per cent, who is going to be able to buy a Mac? Or a Dell, PlayStation3, digital camera, high-definition TV or other consumer electronics device?
Reacting to Stern's stern warning, UK prime minister Tony Blair said the report confirms that scientific evidence of global warming is "overwhelming" and the consequences of its impact will be "disastrous".
It's doubly ironic that the report reveals the people likely to be most affected will be those from developing countries, who have actually done the least environmental damage.
Stern warns the consequences of global warming could create a dispossesed migrant population of 200 million souls.
That's two-thirds of the population of the US destined to wander the planet looking for food and water. The sheer size of this diaspora will inevitably threaten global, international and local security, creating a host of additional problems.
That's not a terribly good thing.
Blair went further in his response to the report. Speaking to the BBC, he warned that this isn't a calamity that we can leave our kids to deal with, but one set to happen "in our lifetime".
"For every £1 invested now we can save £5, or possibly more, by acting now," he said. "We don't have the five years it took to negotiate Kyoto," he added.
I fully expect to attract a huge population of die-hard Mac addicts jumping to the defence of Apple. Some may believe that locking Greenpeace out of MacExpo makes the global threat of an environmental meltdown go away. I really wish it did, but it doesn't.
Without change, the Stern report warns that environmental Armageddon will take place.
I'm not criticising Apple alone. Every manufacturer of anything anywhere must address these concerns.
Many manufacturers issue environmental reports or have statements of environmental aims, but that isn't enough.
Like Tony Blair, I want to know that environmental damage through manufacturing - and destruction of previously-made products - is being reduced. Nothing else will do.
Change is good. Someone quickly needs to figure out how the consumer electronics industry can responsibly play its part in addressing this huge threat.
I say it's time for another revolution across computing and the entire gadget industry.
Apple must, as everybody must, exercise its genius, think different, and tackle this huge environmental threat.
Posted by: Jonny Evans
I agree that the planet needs saving and all, but the fact is that the Greenpeace people were making a deliberate nuisance of themselves to other exhibitors and showgoers, making babies cry, etc.
I thought that was what Apple PR was for...
Hardly rainbow Warrior, is it?
Concerned from L.A.
Quote --- Stern's report warns that global warming will shrink the world's economy by 20 per cent.
Socialists have been complaining of materialism for years.
Maybe shrinking the economy by 20% is a good way to counter that sinful materialistic way that is loathed by socialists.
But, my guess is that those rich socialists who would tell us all how to conserve, will continue to fill the skys with their pollution as they jet from here to there, and as they plan their next, wonderfully extravagant new home or vacation house, no matter how much valuable resources and energy are needed to produce the materials necessary to build the place.
Why don't all the socialists of the world, lead by example. The Soros's, the Kennedy's , blah blah blah. Of course you are all aware how Teddy boy Kennedy didn't want any wind farm near his vacation house. My oh my. And how is it, that Soros could come up with millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to convince the gullible that he should
Concerned from L.A. (continued)
be the final say on what should be done, yet he isn't capable or smart enough to build the nonpolluting wonder car that could reverse global warming? I mean, if the answer is so easy, why doesn't he just stop blathering and go ahead and build an enviro friendly product for us all to use? If it was priced half reasonably, and built with some kind of quality, I am sure there are loads of people that would buy it.
What it really all comes down to --- these guys would rather spend their money getting into a position where they can lord over you. And don't dare question them, as Neil Cavuto did. They are the elite. No one, but no one, is to make them look bad.
By the way, I grew up in a family that was recycling since before I was born. We are talking about the 1940's. Taking cardboard to the mill, recycling metals, composting, maintaining solar panels we long ago installed, and that others long ago abandoned. In fact, family is now part owner of a recycling center. We did much of thi
Concerned from L.A. (continued again)
We did much of this when people hardly new what the term recycling meant.
You see ----- I'm a conservative that does. Not a liberal that wants to force others, while living high on the hog.
Interesting though --- I saw a show the other day on National Geographic (maybe Discovery channel) about the worlds foremost expert on ancient ice cores. The bottom line of the show was that the environment is far more erratic than many would have us believe, and that a cooling period could easily be on the horizon.
As far as Apple -- www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/E83D58B3-10E0-4A9C-8847-BCE665EE235C.html
"In the heady days of late last week, we hadn't yet been given such a strong warning, certainly not with the official UK government rubber stamp to lend it credibility.
Last week, it was still acceptable to insist that protecting the environment is someone else's problem."
Now just replace "the environment" with "Iraq". so why should we give this report unquestioning acceptance when the the official UK government rubber stamp isn't using ink, but blood? Were a whole bunker-load of WMD's found, just like a past report insisted there were?
Concerned from L.A. - I also grew up in a family that was recycling before I was born. In the UK, just after WWII everyone had to, just as they had to 'make do or mend' and grow their own food if they could. What happened to throw that whole movement into the landfill site of history? Well along came the 60's and the Hippies going 'chill out man', grow some weed instead.
Legitimately advocating for a great cause does not excuse disrespectful behavior.
So of course, Greenpeace has a point. But to me, their behavior, which often seems a deliberate attempt to provoke media coverage, is so disappointing that I don't want to hear their message. Until people tell them that, they continue on with their ways.
Just watched Newsnight where Sir Nicholas Stern said that the report was commissioned to prove what Gordon Brown thought. WMD anyone?
Hey Cynic - it's an interesting thought that because the government seemed to lie to us over the invasion of Iraq, they may be lying to us now. That's symptomatic of a much wider malaise of UK folk feeling alienated from UK politics. However, on the environment, that's not a lie - evidence is everywhere.
Ah Simon, there's claims and counter claims on this here, Greenpeace are what they are, they are protestors. Not convinced on the crying baby thing.
I didn't say that the Government was lying to us about the environment - I spoke about the Stern Report, as you did in the lines I quoted, which is all about imposing taxes. Taxing the residents of the UK, whose total CO2 emissions only account to some 5% of world emissions and is a fraction of countries such as China, will have no useful effect except to swell Government coffers. And for that, the evidence is most certainly everywhere.
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