Let Apple’s iPhone save the planet

“Apple delivers many familiar products and services in formats that are much lower in carbon content than the ones they replace—and might even be able to deliver an app that one day saves the entire planet from the dual impacts of climate change and an energy-inefficient economy,” Terry Tamminen, former Secretary of California’s EPA, writes for CNBC.

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“The iPod version of [a] movie, for example, has a much lower carbon footprint than driving to the theatre or even ordering a DVD through the mail and watching it on an energy-guzzling plasma TV,” Tamminen writes. “More recently, Apple’s iPad has replaced enormous volumes of carbon (and trees, for that matter) by giving people newspapers and books in digital formats. And common iPhone apps save uncounted gallons of fuel by finding the nearest Starbucks and giving directions to it, rather than driving aimlessly in search of your next iced latte.”

Tamminen writes, “Congress has consistently refused to deal with our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels, including the serious problems of carbon emissions, energy security, and unstable prices for the fundamental building block of our economy… So why not ask anyone with an iPhone to take photos and video of members of Congress every time they are wined and dined by lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry or meet with executives of major utilities, oil/gas producers, and coal companies. Let’s post them to a Facebook page that compares the frequency of these contacts with the votes cast in favor of continued tax breaks and subsidies for Big Oil and King Coal.”

“In fairness, let’s also add images of Congress members every time they take mass transit, carpool, or turn off a light switch. Won’t you be fascinated to see how many carbon-cutting images can be posted compared to the fossil fueled lobbying category?” Tamminen asks. “If the iPhone is a fraction as effective at this new task as it has been at everything else it tackles, carbon pollution could be a thing of the past.”

Read more in the full article here.

29 Comments

  1. Once the iPhone is available on all carriers and has gained an order of magnitude of market share, we’ll all be offering up or down votes for everything in sight. Servers will become polling stations that will gather consensus on every topic known to man.

    Looking for a free hot meal? Check the polling station.
    Looking for a party with free booze? Check the polling station.

    I look forward to the day when our iPhones become our digital identity complete with secure signature transactions for uses in shopping, voting, gifting, bill-pay, tag-teaming, etc…

  2. California: Quite Obviously The Land of Fruits and Nuts.

    I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.

    American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy.

    There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.

    Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

    In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

    The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

    The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

    Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, “poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity.”

    We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

    We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.

    For so many reasons, we can’t afford to kill responsible domestic energy production or clobber every American consumer with higher prices.

    Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?

    Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/13/AR2009071302852.html

  3. Repeat after me, there is NO Global Warming, There has been climate change since the dawn of time. And no matter what we did, even if we all decided to go back to the stone age, it would not change the natural evolution of the planet’s climate.

    Moron’s like this guy need to be removed from government

  4. I wonder if Tamminen has ever tried to take seven people skiing in a Prius: doesn’t work. I wonder if that will be outlawed in the future as too carbon intensive. Skiing only in VR.

  5. Macinfo,

    Actually, there is global warming. It’s measurable and self-evident.

    The question is whether – or more accurately, what amount of – it is attributable to man and can it be slowed, stopped, or even reversed?

    Anyone who insists that man is to solely to blame certainly has no factual basis for their wild-eyed claims.

    Anyone who thinks we can survive without oil and coal for at least the next 20 years has watched too many movies and is totally divorced from reality.

  6. @Macinfo
    Repeat after me; you do not know the “facts” you are spewing, they are your opinion and are not based on solid research. Here’s a fact for you; 8 of the last 10 years have been the warmest in all the years that records have been kept. Sticking your head in the sand and refusing to look at the data won’t make the data go away.

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