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.