Apple’s Tim Cook and his dilemma over sustainability and climate change

“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

176 Comments

  1. Tell the wingnuts to crawl back in their hole. They are slimy and disgusting. Their ideas are old fashion and stupid. Cook is doing the right thing. He is a smart CEO who understands the direction the world is headed. He doesn’t need to be listening to the STUPIDS of the world.

    Cook did the right thing in telling the haters to sit down and let the grown ups take care of matters. All the Koch Brother funded crowd wants is higher profits for THAT QUARTER. STUPID.

    Cook is thinking long term, as did JOBS. Apple is not a three month, one trick pony. We want a company that is going to be around for a long time with great products and always doing the right thing. Forget the short term idiots. Focus on the best products and be smart in doing it, as you are in protecting the environment.

    1. hating haters?…

      here’s the solution to you pussies that bitch about global warming while driving your nacre white Volvos to the soccer games:

      EVERYONE of you bastards should be made to work a 56 hour a week, 10pm-6am tour on the top of an oil derrick in 3 degree weather in either the Texas or Oklahoma panhandles. If you actually did a man’s work, you would appreciate…no WORSHIP the labor, intelligence, risk, refinement, distribution and capital it requires for you boobs to have at nearly any corner in America, a gallon of gasoline.

      1. I used to think you were merely a pissy, small-minded, poisonous little fuck, botvijerk. From the ravings down the length of this page, I now realize you’re a lunatic.

        MDN — Can we please have some fucking moderation of this forum — to delete things like this fucking post of mine and most of the raving shit on this page?

        1. Shakespeare, at least, understood the limits of a man tested by life, or by the gods, or by circumstance; he didn’t differentiate. But he made it clear that it was a bitch.

          I think we’ve seen the soul and gut of botvinnik, Sean, and must absorb it as a lesson, the way a police baton to the solar plexus is a lesson.

          A man is shaped by his experiences. A cruelly sculpted life leaves sharp edges but is no less noble in its expression. Achilles was forever wounded, at birth and through repeated episodes of betrayal and rebuke. Yet he personified heroism and strength for all time to come.

          The Iliad was full of trash talking. Since that was recorded centuries ago, nothing has changed in the human condition. In the end, everyone died, and the gods themselves shook their heads in wonder at the folly.

          Any who survive torment, I think, are entitled to a form of rage.

          1. Botvinnik – I truly enjoy your attempts to enlighten Sean and others. They are pithy and fun. I am not sure he gets the fun part though. I sense a lot of anger and frustration at being smarter than the world yet unable to keep up with your information or your wit. You may make him so sociopathic that he becomes qualified to be a Democrat Senator or even President.

  2. I checked on Obama’s green investments. Almost every company that he poured billions of dollars into that specialized in green technologies – windmills, solar, organic boogers – all are now bankrupt, but the company executives and inside investors were enriched dramatically. Fortunately for Obama all were major Democrat donors, and that really is the point of environmental sensitivity, isn’t it? Paying for the next Learjet and Rolls for the worlds most deserving Democrat hacks?

      1. Facts- Solyndra (Obama touted this initiative) bankrupt.

        First Solar – $3 billion in federal loan guarantees. The company has now laid off most of its US workforce, closed most of its US operations. Its CEO made $329 million in stock sales before being fired.

        A123 Systems – battery maker for electric cars. Got big Dept of Energy loan guarantees. Received $132 million in federal money before going bankrupt supplying defective batteries to Fisker.

        The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
        Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
        SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
        Solyndra ($535 million)*
        Beacon Power ($43 million)*
        Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
        SunPower ($1.2 billion)
        First Solar ($1.46 billion)
        Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
        EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
        Amonix ($5.9 million)
        Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
        Abound Solar ($400 million)*
        A123 Systems ($279 million)*
        Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
        Johnson Controls ($299 million)
        Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
        ECOtality ($126.2 million)
        Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
        Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
        Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
        Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
        Range Fuels ($80 million)*
        Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
        Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
        Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
        GreenVolts ($500,000)
        Vestas ($50 million)
        LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
        Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
        Navistar ($39 million)
        Satcon ($3 million)*
        Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
        Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
        *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

        Also, there are the US companies that were successful, with manufacturing of things like incandescent light bulbs, that the idiots in both parties outlawed so the plants were closed and the jobs killed. All so we could have compact fluorescents which put toxic mercury direct into our well water when the mercury leaches at the dump.

  3. Tim Cook is ruining Apple. Sell my stock if i don’t like it? DONE, sold you are killing the stock also so I sold it. You’re ruining the product line, so I won’t be upgrading to anything Apple for some time and then I’ll build a Franken Mac.

      1. Jesus had a weak, violent side, just like any human being. He struggled his entire life to overcome this animal nature, and tried to impart his experience with that struggle, to articulate his discoveries about grace, to the rest of us, that we might transcend our base emotions. We’re still working on that. If we can somehow dismiss the cancer of hubris, we might have a shot. Until then, let’s continue to have fun behaving like animals. Predators, prey, what could be more thoughtlessly delightful?

        1. *Climbing into my flame retardant suit before posting*

          I will also point out that the one, single time Yeshua (the actual name of ‘Jesus’) lost his cool and got violent was when he found money lenders, aka business men, doing their work inside the temple. That was beyond the pale for him.

          Isn’t it amusing how so many businesses pretend their ‘christianity’. Sorry folks, but business has nothing to do with religion, nor should it. Nice PR stunt. Bring your religion in to work with you, please. But don’t bring your business into church. You’re defiling actual Christianity with your primitive worship of mammon.

  4. 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.

    Milton Friedman was an ass. He lead the US economy and government down the garden path to the 2007 global economic depression, from which the world still suffers. Signing up for Milton’s psychopathic, self-destructive, inhuman babble is equivalent to giving up on life. That’s not a good thing, Tim Worstall who writes for PandoDaily.

    Tim Cook doesn’t have a dilemma.

    Please look to yourself. Stop projecting your problems onto other people. Take the choices being alive offers you of becoming your best self, as opposed to your current determination to become your worst self. It really can be that simple, after you scrape away the accumulated mould and rot to which you cling so vocally and vehemently.

    Folks: What is it with the Human Self-Destructive Imperative? Why is the current ruling generation so inspired to destroy itself? Seriously! Let’s hope it FAILs.

    1. Milton Friedman was just a brilliant economist who defended free market and thus free people. You on the other hand are a useful idiot for the power hungry thugs trying to destroy American freedom and replace it with the utopia that can be found in Cuba, Russia, and Chicago. Thugocracy. In an ideal world you would simply be transported to Cuba since you like that model so much, and not destroy a great country.

    2. Derek Currie wrote: “Milton Friedman was an ass. He lead the US economy and government down the garden path to the 2007 global economic depression, from which the world still suffers.”

      The ‘great recession’ was sparked by the popping of the housing bubble that started under Bill Clinton. And it was the clinton admin who pressured banks to lower their lending standards which drove demand and hence prices.

      1. Derek has paid for his crimes and is likely not to have sex with animals again. He paid for his good time.

        As for Milton Friedman – he was one of the best free market economists of the last century. He believed in old fashioned ideas – like a government can’t just print as much money as it wants to buy whatever it wants. Friedman said that would not only destroy the currency but was infantile and would only be advocated by retarded people who like to have sex with animals.

      2. Hey! I didn’t give YOU permission to have the last word, did I!

        Anyone who can read the his history of the 2007 economic depression, which still depresses us, can discover that the housing bubble was popped by all your beloved, parasitic, Friedman fanatics. You killed. We died. Well done. Friedman: Ass. His dung did fly.

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