Apple CEO Cook delivers keynote speech at Ceres awards gala; spells out Apple’s stance on climate change

William Feuer for CNBC:

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s taking on climate change and he wants backup.

Cook delivered the keynote speech at the sustainability nonprofit Ceres’ 30th Anniversary Gala in New York City on Monday night, where Apple received an award for its sustainability initiatives. Cook used the opportunity to expound the company’s outlook on climate change.

“It is our most successful, innovative and agile companies that have a responsibility to lead on climate and sustainability because they have the greatest capacity to act in a transformative way,” Cook said in the speech. “If you are an executive who has not developed an innovation strategy to address your impact on the climate, then you are failing in your duties as a leader.”

Cook said that the company runs its entire global operation on renewable energy, and now seeks to bring all of their suppliers onto the clean energy grid. ″…I have found that something slightly magical happens when you set goals that feel a bit crazy,” Cook said. “The effort will take you to places you didn’t anticipate, but the results are almost always better than what you thought was possible at the outset.”

He concluded his speech with a call to action for all those with power to take on climate change head on.

MacDailyNews Note: Read Cook’s full speech in the full article.

Find out more about Apple’s environmental work at apple.com/environment.

36 Comments

  1. Funny how Timmy Appleseed has the moral fortitude to fully comply with collectivist bullshit like human-induced climate change, but operates in a moral vacuum when it comes to collectivist bullshit like Chinese slave labor and persecution of liberty in Hong Kong.

    1. Easy to be a critic behind a keyboard. China has always been a very tricky situation, with choices that seem to be right, turning out to be wrong, and vice-versa. Having been in Tiananmen Square back in the late 80s during the last major public protests, the West’s involvement not only hardens the position of the Central Gov’t against the protestors, but also turns public opinion against them, as it tends to validate the suspicion that Western forces are undermining central gov’t authority.

  2. Tim’s weakness for social fads like climate does not encourage confidence in his judgement. Tony Heller has a series of YouTube videos that undercut that carbon is even a modest causal factor in climate at all.

    1. @Thomas Jesperson @ C.O.D. @Otiose
      As I explain below, you don’t have to take part, just ignore the vision and let those who wish to act do their thing. It’s no skin off your noses since you think it’s nonsense and that you, despite the evidence, will not have to lift a finger whilst others do all the hard work.
      Presumably, since you are Apple users, you will now put your buying power where your mouth is and move to a company more suited to your POV.
      I’m not going to argue with you; you are irrelevant to this issue other than being a pointless hindrance.

      1. Well, Gotcha, there’s lots of skin off a great many noses if these delusions regarding climate – a problem that may not even exist – are ever enacted, so just standing by while the vision people do their thing is not an option.

        1. Actually dragging kids into this like Greta Thunberg is even worse. There is a thing called “climate anxiety” now. Greta talks about the house being on fire which is not making it any better.

          Also what XR is doing is making it even worse.

      2. Gotcha; thanks so much for being, assumably, one of the “others (to) do all the hard work,” while those that don’t embrace your view sit back while losing “no skin off (their) your noses.” That sounds so heroic as you forge through the detritus of the deniers that ignore the “vision” you nobly embrace that, apparently, makes their inaction as idiocy. I’m curious; how will you do it & are you doing right now/today…the “hard work”, that is?

        Is this “just” a matter of “vision,” or is this a matter of concrete, repeatable & provable science? To be clear, I ask not about just climate change, but *human causation for the change in climate. I assume that’s your focus? What is the #1 reason for this change…the burning of fossil fuels? The rise of CO2?

        You make it sound that “denialist noise” is just flack and has no relevance with the matter at hand. Sure, this might be true in cases, but just saying “denialist,” has a ridiculing tone…as rejecting the ignorant that speak with no logic. It’s a common posture when someone offers a different point of view, but it has no armor. It’s easy to call it just noise as it enables you to proceed with your “woke” vision w/o explanation.

        As the matter is presented by the ardent, it’s not just a matter of a “vision” and calling upon those with a “commitment” to be involved. This is not just a weekend get-together to pick up trash in the neighborhood? No, per the AOC refrain that’s inspired many, there’s no time to merely corral the troops with vision and commitment. With 10-12 yrs remaining until our demise, there’s little time to tarry and that’s why I asked very simple, but pertinent questions. One, what are you doing today? Do you own a CO2 burning machine? Have you forsaken travel by air looking forward? Is the production of CO2, from fossil burning machines, the primary culprit? I assume you are a vegetarian and (hopefully) grow your own food?

        You speak as if this matter is settled scientifically. I happen to believe science is never truly settled, therefore those with other “visions” are critical players moving the ball forward and the ball never stops moving forward. Automatically eliminating or denying the relevance of another’s view based on “consensus” is nothing but anti-science…esp with a topic like this where models & projections structure the *anthropogenic view.

        Do you think astrophysicists look at Einstein’s theories as settled and sitting idly in the texts?

        1. Well stated.. these climate hypochondriac fools deny historic records. Deny the MAIN source that runs of our climate, which is the SUN.
          They should do a search for “Vostok Ice Cores”, which shows empirical evidence that CO2 rise lags temperature rise by hundreds, if not, thousands of years.

          1. Ok, so we are near the minimum of one of the quietest solar cycles in over a century, yet temperatures are at the highest levels in longer than that. What about those historic records?

            1. Relevant and interesting question you ask that doesn’t prove a position any more than if I asked you to explain how/why 27 million years ago atmospheric carbon was 870 parts per million…double what it is on Earth today? As well, why did it then drop to levels on par with current levels without human intervention (assumed) 4 million years later? (SMU research presented ’17).

              There is a massive ebb/flow of carbon that has nothing to do with humans or the combustion of fossil fuels…as seen in SMU’s research. Yes, massive. I don’t believe there were lawn mowers and jet skis to convert to battery power back then, but atmospheric carbon dropped more than 100%.

              So, the quiet solar cycle with higher temps means what? I assume you’re using it to assert that temps are usually low/lowered during such a solar cycle and they are not? Are you using it to give credibility to AGW…human’s carbon production is actually overpowering the Sun’s normal effect?

          2. No, Ronner, what I am saying is that if solar activity is at a historic low while global temperatures are at historic highs, solar variability can’t be what is causing the warming. While a positive correlation does not prove causation, a negative correlation can disprove causation.

            The high CO2 levels during the Age of Dinosaurs were due to extraordinary volcanism. The Deccan Traps in central India covered 200,000 square miles with 6000 feet of lava. Those CO2 levels fell during the Paleocene because the extra carbon was fixed in hydrocarbon deposits and carbonate minerals

            Neither the rise nor the fall in CO2 levels and temperatures back then is mysterious. These are all well-understood processes that operate on the scale of millions of years, not on the scale of decades like our current warming. Again, if volcanic activity is rather low while CO2 levels and temperatures are rapidly rising, volcanic variability can’t be what is causing the warming.

            it doesn’t do to suggest that the current warming is due to “natural variability” without pointing to a specific cause. If there is no natural process that can explain the phenomenon, what is left other than artificial processes?

            1. Interesting new data was added to the debate by a recent new temperature measurement system put in place by the NOAA – in 2005 they set up 114 new temperature stations in the lower 48 states in ‘pristine’ locations untainted by the need for temperature adjustments (due for example to the urban heat effect). Despite the unprecedented (in the last 100 years) increase in CO2 the trend temperature hasn’t changed i.e. gone up. Such a negative correlation would tend to count against the idea that CO2 causes ‘global warming’. Let’s hope they expand the study. We need more such data before we implement the vision thing. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it turned out that CO2 doesn’t cause global warming and all the fervor to stop using CO2, destroy capitalism etc was all a mass delusion perpetrated by a small group of scientists with particularly strong political sentiments?

            2. It wouldn’t be “ironic.” It would be an earthshattering discovery like finding that dropped objects don’t always fall. The heat-trapping characteristics of CO2 have been observed (not just theorized) for two centuries. This is not a political plot dreamed up by Al Gore. The first efforts at putting together a mathematical model to predict climate change occurred around the time his father was born. Already by then the notion of anthropogenic global warming was a scientific given.

              This isn’t being pushed by a small group of scientists, but by nearly every scientist who has conducted research in a relevant field. Are you suggesting that conservatives cannot be scientists? Or that Republican Administrations at the federal and state levels are only funding liberal junk science?

              Your whole argument is right up there with the conspiracy theories insisting that the crew of the Air Force C-130 who were following a Boeing airliner in American Airlines livery and saw it hit the Pentagon at the same time that radar lost contact with American Flight 77 somehow confused it with a cruise missile (as did at least dozens of eyewitnesses on the ground).

              There is no non-psychological explanation for the denialist insistence that stuff they make up is as valid as generations of hard evidence assembled by competent scientists.

            3. @Odious
              Well you could start by understanding the difference between Weather or what we experience at ground level and Climate Science and it’s dynamic planetary influence on the weather we experience in the form of heat, rainfall and winds.

            4. “These are all well-understood” and these processes aren’t “mysterious.” Well, not really, but the presumption(s) fits well for your statements. We are talking about scientists throughout the world still busily sorting out all these matters and you call it not mysterious!

              Btw, the volcanism killing off the dinosaurs you referred to occurred approx 65+ million years ago. The SMU study I referred to were estimated to be approx 27 and 22 million yr ago. It was part of the 27million year ago study the CO2 levels were more that 100% greater than present day. Ok, “if volcanic activity is rather low while CO2 levels and temperatures are rapidly rising, volcanic variability can’t be what is causing the warming.” And? There’s a world of variables and you condense it down to one variable providing veracity of your statements? Your scientific methods, stated with such bravado are really interesting.

              Presuming that artificial processes must explain a state at a certain time because one can’t concretely make a link to a natural process isn’t good science. I understand we humans are left to make conclusions, but can I suggest you push yourself back from the table of such definitive statements…again. The influences of temp on the earth are macro/micro…some from outside our solar system. Do you think we understand ALL to such definitive depth?

              I’ve noticed your postings often have the same characteristic…in general, but also re: some personal topics. Though it’s not a new awareness, maybe I’m a little more aware now, as I experienced it personally about a week ago. You stated some “facts” about me that were nothing but imaginations built within a structure of “fact”. I’ll just call it an empty bravado.

        2. Happy to oblige.
          Background. Science graduate degree. Ceramics. Environmental Sciences postgraduate degree. Extremophiles.
          For me, personally, the argument was settled over 40 years ago. Everything data wise has enforced the argument since then in that those early trends in climate change are not only recognizable but accelerating. Except now, the role played by anthropogenic input contribution to the ‘change’ aspect of climate science, is far better understood and widely accepted by ~98% of climate scientists.
          So, since politicians are both unwilling and incapable of implementing measures even whilst acknowledging there is a problem, what to do about it?
          Apple’s example is a straightforward declaration that it is acting in its own best interests by promoting a planet friendly business model…and still be a highly profitable company. Much as it has always been, Apple skates to where the puck will be.
          Simply. Apple is a business that takes nothing away from competing businesses whilst adding greatly to its future survivability. Sales seem to support that view yes?
          What do I do?
          I sold our last house and built a PassivHaus on a smaller scale and moved my engineering business on site* into a building that has cut operating costs by 50%. Our domestic electricity bill is less than £160($200) for the whole year with solar and ground/air heat pumps for all buildings. It cost 15% more to set up but savings are measurable in many ways. Most building materials were sourced within 25 miles, we generated zero waste to landfill for the project, no unnecessary power usage during construction eg materials that absorb CO2 such as lime concrete and render were produced on site from excavation materials. As a result we saved literally 1000’s of road and shipping miles with their inherent pollution side effects, didn’t contribute to hardwood deforestation(indeed I planted 10 trees for every cubic metre of timber used as an offset), I used the construction phase to start an educational trust to teach renewable resource skills (since the apprentice schemes of yore have no governmental support currently) which now feeds skills into another business doing heritage restoration work. I don’t see any of this negatively affecting anyone else other than in a quite normal business competition sense. I was happy to bear the initial extra cost because of the long term advantages and yes, a little pride that I wasn’t adding to the planet’s problems. I didn’t wait for an environmental disaster or governmental directive to provoke lifestyle changes, I did it for the hell of it.
          Locally, we(people of similar persuasion) have managed to green the town, reduce traffic flow to lower pollution levels and speeds, convinced the local authority to relax regulations that enable single use plastics to be (ultimately) eradicated from food outlets and retail outlets etc – landfill saved again. We’ve started an environmental impact group** in association with the local authority, which shows how to save money and be planet friendly -at no cost. Basic education and self help guides, not empty rhetoric or restrictive regulation. It’s voluntary but the positive feedback and that there has been not one complaint shows that it does not have to be a zero sum game.

          *At the same time the company became a cooperative. In my absence they voted to forego a bonus to instead purchase eBikes for all. That really surprised me.
          **We questionaired every local business about traffic flow alterations post implementation,..no business downturn blip outside of trend data. But it’s quieter, safer for pedestrians(strong local retired demographic) and the air is sweeter. Oh…and Peregrine Falcons are now nesting on the church tower which is a sure sign of clean air.
          There is so much more.

          If all that is too polemical or antagonistic for you then in one paragraph –
          I, along with Apple I assume, am convinced that joint voluntary action from corporations down to individuals can offer a viable, sustainable future that sacrifices little and gains hugely by those actions.
          But then, I’ve always subscribed to the ‘show by example’ persuasion that welcomes participation. From anybone who is free to join or leave at any time.
          How is that a threat to anybody?
          You are welcome to disparage my efforts, like I said, I’m not interested in arguments anymore. Negativity is just an echo chamber of denial and wasted effort.
          And in case you’re still not satisfied, nowhere do I promote the wearing of hair shirts‘, the banning of cars, industry or the making of money. This is “Think Different” territory. Your efforts to dissemble with whataboutisms and absolutist pedantics “
          Do you own a CO2 burning machine? Have you forsaken travel by air looking forward? Is the production of CO2, from fossil burning machines, the primary culprit? I assume you are a vegetarian and (hopefully) grow your own food?” are just strawmen.
          Feel free to insert ‘unsupportable scepticism from a scientific viewpoint’ for ‘denialist’

  3. Well said Tim Cook…since MDN refuses to offer a supportive ‘take’.
    Since politicians are now hog bound by partisan outrage and thus incapable of even a cross party debate without the denialist noise, then absolutely yes, those with a vision will act. Communities, retail outlets, companies small and large and individuals. Anyone with commitment can be a part.
    And those that don’t have the vision can just move aside and let it happen since you will not be part of the vision or the planning.

  4. I presume this means that in addition to keeping Apple monitors “Bromine Free !!!” Cook will urge fellow true believers to increase nuclear plant builds to the same level as France, since this is the only real path to achieving his stated goal.

    1. Nuclear advocates always claim that including them is “the only way”.

      That is completely false. Natural gas is the bridge to 100% renewables. No investors back nuclear, especially given the unplanned costs that every nuclear disaster inflicts. Even planned expenses (Hanford cleanup) are budgetary disasters resulting in decades of half-efforts. Nobody wants a nuclear dump in their neighborhood.

      In the coming generations, individuals will be able to have stuff like roofs economically capture solar, and large scale renewable installations will intelligently manage fluctuations. New dams that don’t kill fish will serve the dual need for safe water and predictable base load electricity generation. Wind farms will deliver the cheapest power to the grid. If you choose to be off grid, anyone with an electric bank, or even an electric car, can use it as a home storage if needed when load exceeds production. With modern building techniques and old home insulation improvements, building energy demand will continue to DECLINE. Just as you rely on your battery powered Apple gadget, urban areas will steadily transition to EVs for transportation with dramatic air quality improvement and an end to wasteful gridlock engines idling.

      But it takes time and money. The gasoline auto didn’t replace the horse for at least two full generations. Just as your Apple phone has inadequate battery life for some, there will be range anxiety whiners clinging to their gas guzzler SUVs as long as possible. Sime might actually need them, but most drivers are blowing money on an oversized vehicle for no reason other than self image.

      Coal is dead, it’s already uneconomical. Nuclear is an economic nightmare. It trades the problems of carbon and particulate pollution caused by burning finite resources for substantially more difficult problems of managing a more toxic imported finite resource that incorrectly managed or put in the wrong hands will cause mass death. Then add an army to guard the spent fuel depots. All managed by an entity — a government— that righties claim to be incompetent and untrustworthy, except when holding patriotic rallies wrapped in a flag for which ol’ bone spurs and his blowhard fanboys never sacrificed.

      The future will arrive and it will be renewable. Humanity has no other choice. The only question is whether the transition is well planned, proactive, and peaceful … or not, as deniers would seem to prefer.

      1. We were never going to “fry” because of the hole in the ozone layer. We were, however, going to see grossly dangerous levels of ultraviolet radiation. We didn’t because the world outlawed the CFCs that were causing the hole, so it mostly went away. That confirmed the hypothesis, so why LOL?

    1. No such “consensus” ever existed. The notion that rising greenhouse gas levels translate into higher global temperatures has been considered unassailable since the late 19th century. Scientists have been trying to mathematically model the process for over a century. In the 70s, a few theorists suggested that the warming might disrupt ocean currents like the Gulf Stream and trigger increased glaciation. Exactly because this was a surprising conclusion, it got a lot of publicity (like Newsweek covers). It never got a lot of support and even the proponents abandoned it decades ago.

      That is how science works—scientists propose hypotheses, the scientific community debates them, and rejects the theories that don’t fit the facts. The existence of alternate theories does not invalidate the mainline theories. There is a sizable group of flat-earthers, but that does not invalidate the notion of a spherical earth pursuing an elliptical course around the sun. In this instance, about 97% of the experts in the subject agree on human-created climate change. There are differences in detail, of course, but the main lines are essentially uncontested in the scientific community.

      The other 3% of scientists (and non-scientific conspiracy theorists) have been unable to agree on a single hypothesis. Each of them argues for some alternative that has been rejected not only by the majority, but equally by all the other minority theorists. From a scientific standpoint, that violates Occam’s Law. All other things being equal, the simplest explanation is the most likely to be correct.

  5. Here is a interactive fact that global warming is bullshit:
    Look up any major costal city that they predict to be underwater in the next 10-20 years.
    Go to their county map with housing sales info.
    Look up any that have sold in the last year or ten years.

    DO YOU REALLY THINK BANKS ARE GOING TO BE APPROVING LOANS FOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR HOMES IF THEY ARE GOING TO BE UNDERWATER IN 10-20 YEARS?

    If you believe that, you are a special kind of stupid.

    1. Have you heard of the National Flood Insurance Program? It protects the lenders (not so much the owners) from the consequences of building in a probable flood zone. So, yes, BANKS ARE APPROVING THOSE LOANS because they expect the taxpayers to protect their investment. They also approve loans on buildings with wooden shingles because the fire insurance protects them. The existence of the loans does not mean that there is no risk of loss, just of uninsured loss.

    1. They will believe an uneducated opiod addict ex-rock DJ on talk radio before believing any science of the last 3 decades. You know, because a few isolated and disproved theories trotted out in the 1970’s is the perfect strawman for them as they flash their wealth and air their “i can burn resources as much as i want” attitude.

  6. Apple branded, small, modular, nuclear reactors, would be their greatest product EVER, providing clean, green, renewable energy for the world’s massive needs. For a company whose main products all need a lot of energy, Apple is better poised than anyone to lend the necessary gravitas to widespread nuclear energy adoption. All that stands is the way is a shrill minority of anti-nuclear, fundamentalist radicals. Let them scream while you actually make the world a better place for working people with the greatest untapped energy source in the world.

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