“Apple’s normally soporific annual shareholder meeting contained a glimmer of interest this year when a shareholder from a conservative think tank asked the company to stop worrying about sustainability, green issues, and climate change and concentrate instead on the bottom line of profitability,” Tim Worstall writes for PandoDaily.

“Tim Cook essentially told his interrogator from the National Center for Public Policy Research to go boil his head, which is nice of him and provides good copy. But this fails to elucidate the dilemma that Cook actually faces,” Worstall writes. “He is indeed focusing on the bottom line by taking the actions that he does on these very issues. It’s just that he can’t actually stand up and say that.”

“Yes, sure, I sign up to Milton Friedman’s idea that a company should be viewed as having one purpose and one purpose only, which is to enrich its shareholders. With a couple of obvious caveats, legality for example, playing their part,” Worstall writes. “However, and here’s the dilemma, it’s not actually obvious that Apple’s activities in green and climate change matters do not in fact add to the bottom line… Apple does indulge peoples’ green fantasies when it doesn’t cost them much if any money and entirely ignores such greenwashing when it might indeed affect that profit line. And that, really, is Cook’s dilemma. He knows this, he’s a sharp enough cookie, but he cannot actually stand up and say so. The golden glow that the company gets when Greenpeace lauds its commitment to renewables is worth money in the bank”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom Ferguson” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Tim Cook gets angry over shareholder proposal for environmental spending transparency, says those who disagree should get out of Apple stock – March 1, 2014