The newly green Apple

I listened to the latest episode of The Prompt today, and as the boys were talking about Apple’s new video on environmental responsibility, I thought about Tim Cook’s confrontation with a right-wing shill at the last shareholders’ meeting. I was going to write something about it at the time but didn’t get around to it. Fortunately, none of you come here for breaking news, so I’ll write it now. Two months later.

As you may recall, the shill, who works for the National Center for Public Policy Research, made a show of arguing with Cook about Apple’s environmental policies. Four brief comments on that little divertissement:

  1. Like many strong free market advocates, the shill has never deigned to work in that free market himself. He had a few government positions (!) before landing at the NCPPR, which is a sort of low-rent Heritage Foundation.
  2. The purpose of the confrontation with Cook was, of course, not to get Apple to change its policies. It was intended to get press attention and increase donations to NCPPR.
  3. Apple’s green initiatives aren’t being forced upon it by jackbooted government regulators—it’s making these decisions on its own, which should be something free market advocates approve of. If the decisions are wrong, won’t the market—in its supreme and infallible wisdom—punish Apple? Again, the NCPPR didn’t stir this up because of its interest in Apple or free enterprise. It did it because it knows that ranting about Al Gore and the tyranny of the global warming cabal will open the wallets of its neo-Bircher donor base.
  4. Apple as an environmentally sensitive corporation is a relatively new thing. In the mid- and late-2000s, it was regularly getting hammered by Greenpeace. It changed its policies when it was good and ready, not when environmental groups complained. This fact seems to have fallen down the memory hole. My Google searches for Greenpeace’s old attitude toward Apple kept coming up empty until I came upon this recent Forbes article by Mark Rogowsky, which both confirmed my memory and gave me the Greenpeace link above.

OK, I feel better now. Carry on.