Conflict minerals: Why Apple can’t stop digging holes

“Just before Earth Day, Apple Inc. announced a new goal: to make its computers and phones and watches without mining any new raw materials. Instead, Apple would one day build its products ‘using only renewable resources or recycled material,'” Adam Minter writes for Bloomberg. “This is what’s known as a ‘closed loop,’ in which new products are made exclusively from older versions of the same product. If successful, Apple would no longer have to worry about digging holes in the ground, avoiding conflict minerals and the other messy details of high-tech manufacturing in the 21st century.”

“It’s a bold idea, even for Apple, which can boast several past successes in promoting sustainable manufacturing and operations,” Minter writes. “Given both technological and commercial obstacles, however, it’s almost certain to fail.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, they get 70% or 80% or more of the way there. Better than 0%, right?

Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. — Chris Hadfield

Apple promises to one day stop mining minerals to make iPhones – April 20, 2017
Apple continues supply chain transparency as Trump administration considers suspending conflict mineral requirements – March 27, 2017
Apple takes groundbreaking steps to combat deadly trade in conflict minerals – April 1, 2016
Apple says they’re making progress eliminating conflict minerals – February 12, 2015
Where Apple gets the tantalum for your iPhone – February 5, 2015
Greenpeace praises Apple for reducing use of conflict minerals – February 13, 2014
Apple confirms suppliers use conflict-free minerals – February 13, 2014


  1. It’s really amazing that those on the left-leaning side of things who tend to be more vocal about support for this kind of initiative are usually the first to criticize when the goal is not perfectly achieved. Yet these same left-leaning people have no problem voting for candidates that do NOT perfectly match their agenda, but bring them closer to the overall agenda so as to help them achieve it long-term.

    Yet we on the right tend to congratulate when a goal like this makes progress, even if it is not perfectly achieved, yet can almost NEVER unite behind a candidate that does not perfectly match our own agenda, throwing away the long-term “move closer to the goal” because of confusion over what we believe we are morally required to do.

    Humans are weird animals.

          1. You’re just annoyed with Derek because he rejected your heartfelt entreaties to join your political advocacy. Vacillation is not a moral stigma; Donald Trump himself vacillates with the best of them.

            1. I do not recall anyone categorizing “vacillation” as a “moral stigma.” However, it can be a sign of ignorance combined with uncertainty and other issues ill-befitting a POTUS.

              Changing one’s position on an issue based on careful consideration of the facts is one thing. Repeatedly flip-flopping because a person in power belatedly realizes that “things are more complicated than I thought…who knew?” is a major problem. A POTUS who reacts in knee-jerk fashion to the latest Fox News opinion piece is hazardous. And an egomaniacal POTUS who always has to “win” and who perceives the cheers and applause from supporters at a rally representing less than 0.01% of the U.S. as a mandate is even more dangerous.

              The U.S. recently elected the most unprepared POTUS in history. The results are unlikely to be good.

            2. Scientific research has demonstrated that “careful consideration of the facts” is an unnatural human behaviour, so rare that it tends to corrupt scientific research itself. We hardly know what monsters we really are, and when revealed, enter into a frenzy of denial. That’s where we are today, and where we’ve always been, at the mercy of charismatic leaders who promise us deliverance from personal responsibility if only we trust them.

    1. If you had commented against the far left or radical left, then you might get some sympathy from me. I do not like radicalism on either end of the spectrum. But you targeted “left-leaning,” which basically includes everyone on the left side of moderate, or about half of the population.

      What is “amazing” is that you think that it makes sense to belittle and disregard an enormous group of people based simply on your biased (and ridiculous) opinion.

      Please enlighten me on some recent situations in which any “right-leaning” people have congratulated anyone when an environmental goal makes progress. Your attempt at moral superiority is highly suspect.

      As far as the inability to unite behind a candidate, that largely applies to both major political parties. However, I do agree that the GOP has had greater difficulty in rallying behind a single candidate over the past couple of decades. Part of that stems from the fact that the GOP electorate spans a wide range of people with different key concerns – religion, gun rights, economic policy, social policy, taxation (on the wealthy), etc. It is difficult to satisfy such a disparate electorate, a substantial number of which are focused on one or two core issues.

      The real problem seems to be that few of our elected officials at the national level appear to be focused on what is best for the country. Far too many seem to care more about their personal power and wealth, which is tied to getting re-elected. Thus our politicians are all too willing to throw borrowed money to its citizens to buy votes, regardless of the consequences to the country.

      The GOP has long claimed the moral high ground in terms of fiscal responsibility. However, I contest that the GOP’s penchant for “tax cut and spend” is far more harmful to the country than the Dem’s penchant for “tax and spend.” In the latter case, at least there is some consequence to spending. In the GOP fairy tale world, borrowed money used to fund tax cuts trickles down through the system and spawns magical levels of growth that result in revenue growth exceeding the deficit spending and eventually paying back the accumulated debt. The problem is, that only works when the derivative of the revenue-tax rate function is negative. Math and physics *always* win.

  2. Another f**tard who wants his 15 minutes of fame talking bullshit about Apple.

    Lame article, lame journalism, mind poverety.

    Reading the article is a waste of time. Time is not yet in the closed loop Adam is trying to fit so normally. Get out of your mom’s basement bro! Go recycle yourself as a trash container.

    Gesh! I need a coffee!

  3. What sort of deluded world do you live in where anyone who has an alternative or opposite opinion to yours requires an immediate, biased, intellectualy-bereft response like yours.

    How is it that you offer no reasoned or rational response?

    Where you abused as a child?
    Do have a mental malady or physical deformity that has made you embittered?

      1. We must do no such thing. When you stick to issues, you often make good points. Sadly you seem to be following botvinnik down into the gutter with uncivil attacks that undermine any point you attempt to make.

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