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Unfriendly Climate Greets Gore At Apple Meeting 572

Posted by kdawson
from the inconvenient-shareholders dept.
theodp writes "Apple's shareholder meeting this week took on a Jerry Springer vibe, with harsh comments about Al Gore, former VP and Apple board member, setting the tone. Several stockholders took turns either bashing or praising Gore's high-profile views on climate change. Apple shareholder Shelton Ehrlich urged against Gore's re-election to the board, claiming that Gore 'has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted. If [the] advice he gives to Apple is as faulty as his views on the environment then he doesn't need to be re-elected.' Hey, at least he moved a few copies of Keynote, Shelton. Shareholders introduced proposals regarding Apple's environmental impact — one asking Apple to commit publicly to greenhouse gas reduction goals and to publish a formal sustainability report; another proposing that Apple's board establish a sustainability committee. These proposals were rejected by shareholders. However, preliminary voting results indicated that Gore was re-elected to Apple's Board."
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Unfriendly Climate Greets Gore At Apple Meeting

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  • Clearly (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:38PM (#31302638)

    Al Gore must melt the glaciers to retain his position on Apple's board

  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:45PM (#31302684) Homepage Journal

    You're practically begging the denialists to come out and play. ...oh, it's a kdawson article. Carry on, then.

    • by Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:53PM (#31302724)
      Make sure you use biofuels for those flames, or purchase carbon offsets. Otherwise this thread will become a major contributor to global warming.
    • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:56PM (#31302754)

      The bigger question is why denialists cluster around Slashdot in the first place.

      Oh, wait. I know the answer:

      ENGINEERS ARE BATSHIT INSANE [slate.com]

      (Yes, computer science proper is pure mathematics, and most people employ a bit of both in their jobs. But it's well-known that the only people crazier than engineers are mathematicians.)

      • by attonitus (533238) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:04AM (#31302814)
        I'm a mathematician and I resent that wildebeest
      • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:09AM (#31302856)
        Feilding, Campbell-Newman and a few other engineers that couldn't do it and got into politics are batshit insane but most of the rest of us are not.
        The problem is we are turning into societies that love technology but really hate the underlying science. All the "don't tell me about it until I can buy it at Walmart" posts that are starting to infest this site are a symptom of that. They just want magic and are starting to think just talking about physical things can make them real instead of the process of people knowing how to do things and then making it real.
        It's bad news that reality involves tradeoffs to make things fit and they never want to hear the bad news. We've had a century of nearly free energy with the tradeoff of altering the atmosphere, and various idiots would not believe that even if we could tell them what time it's going to rain tomorrow morning. Others demand to know details like that and do not understand that wide trends can be predicted without knowing to the second when it's going to start raining.
      • by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:40AM (#31303068) Homepage

        I simply credit it to the "I can do it!" attitude that leads people to become engineers or CS people in the first place. The sense that you're smart enough to understand everything and capable enough to figure everything out. Even when you're not. It's a great attitude to have in an engineer, but it has the side effect of them assuming that they know more than people who actually do know what they're talking about.

        • Re:Flamewar imminent (Score:5, Informative)

          by ppanon (16583) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:26AM (#31303310) Homepage Journal
          Well, most of them probably are smart enough to understand Global Warming/Climate Change and related arguments if they had the time to study it properly. Unfortunately doing so would take years and they don't have that time available. So instead they listen to the reactionary PR from business interests who tune their sales pitch to superficially sound good and who reinforce most peoples' natural desire to avoid change.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:05AM (#31302828)

      One one side you have people who ignore scientific evidence for financial gain.

      On the other side you have... those who ignore scientific evidence for financial gain.

      Science got way lost in the middle of this whole debate. Indeed the very term "debate" is laughable, as it is currently a which hunt on both sides.

      And you, sir, are not helping by demonizing those who think differently than you.

      • by twidarkling (1537077) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:18AM (#31302924)

        it is currently a which hunt on both sides.

        Well, man, don't leave me hanging! Which hunt is it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FooAtWFU (699187)

        I want to give you a hug, man. (But I won't. I respect your personal space.)

        I'm one of those guys who suspects that global warming is probably a real phenomenon, but that its coverage in the media is mostly-fake, its coverage in science proper is mildly biased and exxagerated as an institutional matter (cf. 'climategate', overrated as it may be) and the public policy prescriptions that are preached by Al Gore are mostly nonsense. But more importantly, the state of the "debate" is shameful.

        Do I get to be c

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:38AM (#31303058)

          Listen, you can either drop everything and study your ass off for the better part of a decade to get a PhD in atmospheric science, or listen to the people who have them. Science isn't fair or balanced. The atmosphere doesn't care if you believe in greenhouse gases or not.

          The state of the "debate" is indeed shameful.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by azaris (699901)

            Listen, you can either drop everything and study your ass off for the better part of a decade to get a PhD in atmospheric science, or listen to the people who have them.

            Indeed you should [drroyspencer.com].

      • by Interoperable (1651953) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:44AM (#31303092)

        One one side you have people who ignore scientific evidence for financial gain.

        On the other side you have... those who ignore scientific evidence for financial gain.

        Yes, but one side also happens to be wrong.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by quantaman (517394)

        Don't confuse two the public debate with the scientific debate.

        The public debate is as screwy as any political debate.

        But I'm don't think that the actual scientists are remotely as compromised as the denialists claim they are.

        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @04:15AM (#31304092) Journal

          Remember for how long the tobacco industry denied that their was a health risk to smoking? Oh they were so happy to point out all the old people who smoked and still had gotten old, surely that proved how wrong all the scientist were and that there scientist who got their paycheck from them were right.

          Or car safety. No sir, seatbelts kill people.

          Look at Mythbusters, just how many stupid myths people want them to investigate over and over because they just want to believe some silly idea. Using a net in your pickup truck to safe fuel... IF that is going work, it only works in an empty truck AND one that doesn't need the door... so why have you got a pickup truck then? You drive a three ton vehicle with huge wasted space and worry about saving a few nickels.

          One simple example of how denialists think, is that they have leaped on "global warming" rather then "global climate change". It is easier, anytime it snows you can shout "see, the world ain't getting warmer". Climate change is harder to debunk because ordinary farmers can tell you about it. Just a few more days of rain, or less can ruin a crop. And our western society isn't based on our universities, it is based on our farms. Farms that put plenty of food in our bellies, so much that very clever people can think very clever ideas and still think milk comes from a carton. The more intelligent a creature the less time it spends hunting for food == the less time hunting for food, the more intelligent you can become.

          But what if the climate does happen to change? It could radically shift were what types of food can be grown. You might think grain is just about putting a seed in the ground and coming back half a year later to mow it, but it is a delicate process. A frost at the wrong time, not enough rain at some point, to much at another, can ruin the crop.

          Right now, in the west we are incredible luck. A man can feed himself well for an entire day with about ONE hour of work, even on low pay. Say that prices double, what effect would that have on our society? Less money to spend on education, less money on healthcare. Less money to spend on taxes to fund the country as a whole.

          People can understand that if the planet had just a slightly different orbit it would be a desolate place like mars or venus. But they don't understand that those two weeks of warm dry weather in fall are more then just a nice end to the summer, they are the time farmers need to make hay. No hay, no cheap cattle food for the winter, means that other places must grow the food that costs more and can't grow human food.

          But hey, as long as you can drive your 3 ton pickup truck that never picks anything up, you can deny all you want. Just like a smoker with only 1 lung left and no larynx denies that there is anything wrong with smoking.

          And really, the entire problem is just as with smoking, by the time we got the absolute evidence (you died from a tar lung) it really is to late.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jwhitener (198343)

            I've brought this up a few times on various boards. What happened during the tobacco 'debates' is exactly what is happening in the AGW 'debates' now.

            Same funding model. Wealthy individuals/companies fund 'think tanks' for the purpose of spreading misinformation. Those think tank 'experts' get air time on TV and radio because a heated debate is more entertaining than a report about a consensus. And there is also great pressure to be 'fair and balanced' to corporations who are your major source of adverti

      • by wall0159 (881759) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:09AM (#31303548)

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're implying that:

        1. people who accept poor salaries and working conditions to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of truth and knowledge are as likely to "ignore scientific evidence for financial gain" as those who pursue power and wealth in big business.
        2. every person on Earth is biased and corruptible to exactly the same extent.

        I would dispute both those claims.

      • by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:29AM (#31303644)

        This got +5 Insightful?

        And you, sir, are not helping by demonizing those who think differently than you.

        There wasn't any demonization in the original post. There's a difference between dismissal and demonization.

        On the other side you have... those who ignore scientific evidence for financial gain.

        ...but that, on the other hand, comes close, in addition to being laughably irrational. People who are seriously interested in financial gain, if they go into the sciences at all, certainly aren't going to pick climatology as their cash cow. And once ensconced in climatology, there's no particular financial incentive to espouse any particular theory. "Hey, I really made a bundle off of my latest paper on upper-atmosphere particulates in the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes." Riiiiiiight.

        As with religious fundamentalists who like to argue that science is a religion, absurd accusations of this sort usually say a great deal more about the accuser than the accused.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Auckerman (223266)
        And you, sir, are not helping by demonizing those who think differently than you. Saying the previous poster is demonizing is a bit harsh, don't you think. That being said... The physical properties of CO2 are well known. It's heat capacity and spectral data aren't something people can deny. How it interacts with the solar radiation is very well understood. It is a green house gas. Even the scientists who have looked at the data and disagree with man made global warming aren't going to say it isn't a
      • Wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FatSean (18753)

        I understand that the energy interests are buying scientists who deny that human activity is causing climate change. Changing technology would hurt or destroy their profit centers.

        But what is the government's incentive again?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by johncadengo (940343)

      It's interesting how those who deny man's impact on global warming, or global warming itself, can claim victory if people like Gore and others succeed in preventing it. They'll sit back and say, "Told you so. The earth's still here, isn't it? We're still living, aren't we? No matter what we did, it would've happened like this anyhow."

  • by Nov Voc (1619289) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:50PM (#31302718)
    Clearly, Apple is trying to get rid of Linux as a competitor by melting the homes of penguins everywhere. Of course, they're not taking BSD into account...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Of course, they're not taking BSD into account...

      Apple probably figures the fundamentalists will take care of BSD, what with their mascot being a daemon and all . . .

    • by larkost (79011) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:29AM (#31303008)

      I know this was supposed to be humorous, but you do know that only a very small minority of penguins actaully live where it snows, right? The empror penguins live in one of the most inhospitable locations on the planet (south pole... so nowhere near the polar bears at the north pole), but most species of penguins live quite a bit north of there on coasts that never freeze. So the only way globabl warming is likely to kill off the penguins is by raising sea lelels enough to wipe out their traditional hatching grounds. And that is probably going to happen slowly enough that they will move those up-hill.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Graff (532189)

      The real news is that, according to the article, Steve Jobs is planning on using Apple's $40 billion in cash to throw a toga party!

      Besides the environment, many homed in on the theme of just what Apple plans on doing with all that cash it has sitting around--approximately $40 billion in reserve, Apple reported last quarter. One shareholder asked if Apple might consider investing in electric-car maker Tesla. To that, Jobs replied he was planning on throwing "a toga party" with the money instead.

  • Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toastar (573882) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @11:53PM (#31302726)

    How do i mod the whole article -1 flamebait?

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:01AM (#31302798)

    I think Al Gore is a pretty cool guy. He saves the environment and doesn't afraid of anything.

  • Thunk dumb. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:05AM (#31302818) Homepage

    Wow, apple stockholders must be really dumb.

    Because, seriously? Al Gore's movie came out like a couple years ago, and global climate change isn't something that you're going to see happening in dramatic fashion in a couple years. How is that not common knowledge?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      Dude, they bought Apple stock.. you didn't think "dumb luck" was just a saying did ya?

    • Re:Thunk dumb. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:23AM (#31302966) Homepage

      What, you expect lack of knowledge on an issue to stop people from commenting on it? You *don't* expect to hear straw men?

      Random straw man example: the "glaciers aren't melting" comment. First off, most glaciers are in decline [nasa.gov], so they're wrong. But more importantly, AGW does not mean that all glaciers will decline. Glacier melt rates certainly affect rate of flow. But so does snowfall rate, and there are a good number of lesser factors (for example, how strongly pack ice holds back the front of the glacier). Some glaciers almost never experience temperatures above freezing, so melt rate isn't a significant issue for them; it's all about the balance between snowfall and discharge rate (which partly depends on pack ice if it reaches the sea). Snowfall rate and how well pack ice is retained depends on how weather patterns and ocean currents and temperatures change in the area. In most areas, the average precipitation increases in AGW scenarios. Oceans generally warm (although not evenly, thanks in large part to thermohaline cycling). And ocean currents vary. So you can't make any general comment about how all glaciers will react.

      A good example of something that's been misused by *Gore*, to be even-handed here, is Kilimanjaro. Gore cited it as an example of climate change. It was probably one of the worst cases he could have picked. The summit of Kilimanjaro almost never goes above freezing. The rate of glacier change is a balance between snowfall and sublimation. Most (although not all) papers on the subject indicate that the balance of these two has indeed shifted due to human activity -- but primarily the raising of food in the region, not warming.

      It's really a shame that Gore picked that case, because most glacier declines that have been studied have been determined to be primarily due to warming (esp. inland/temperate/mountain glaciers). But not Kilimanjaro.

      • Random straw man example: the "glaciers aren't melting" comment.

        It's all well and good to point out the realities behind glacial melting. But it misses the more fundamental problem with the glacial quote - the 2035 claim was treated in the past by prominent figures of AGW as studied science, as an incontrovertible fact.

        So the reality that in fact the quote came from one off the cuff comment, when people were once called "deniers" before for questioning it - well that begs the question, what else are peopl

        • by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:56AM (#31303480) Homepage

          But it misses the more fundamental problem with the glacial quote - the 2035 claim was treated in the past by prominent figures of AGW as studied science, as an incontrovertible fact.

          Um, no. Anyone who wanted to get info on glacier forecasts would have turned to WG1, which is the working group that covered the science of global warming. Which *did* get it right. WG1 is held to a higher standard than WG2 and WG3. WG1 is written by climate scientists, is heavily reviewed, and uses almost no gray literature. WG2 is written by ecologists and uses a small but relevant amount of gray literature. WG3 is written by economists and people in industry, and contains a small but relevant amount of gray literature.

          So the reality that in fact the quote came from one off the cuff comment

          It was the conclusion of a not-yet-published paper. Calling it an "off the cuff comment" is a deliberate attempt to downplay that. Yes, the WG2 team screwed up there. On about two sentences of one page of a thousand page report -- one of three reports. Tell you what. You write a flawless 3,000 page report, then we'll talk.

          • You missed again (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SuperKendall (25149)

            Yes, the WG2 team screwed up there. On about two sentences of one page of a thousand page report

            Yes and then the head of the IPCC proceeded to widely publicize this one screw-up as factual beforehand, magnifying the problem a thousandfold. Normally one mistake in the middle of a huge document would not matter - but in the end it did matter because of how they used this without double-checking. If you are going to tell heads of state how to act based on some data it doesn't matter how much of a 3000 page r

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jeremy Erwin (2054)

        A good example of something that's been misused by *Gore*, to be even-handed here, is Kilimanjaro. Gore cited it as an example of climate change. It was probably one of the worst cases he could have picked. The summit of Kilimanjaro almost never goes above freezing. The rate of glacier change is a balance between snowfall and sublimation. Most (although not all) papers on the subject indicate that the balance of these two has indeed shifted due to human activity -- but primarily the raising of food in the region, not warming.

        Don't be so sure.

        The observed surface lowering is now partially the result of surface melting, a recent phenomenon as confirmed by obser- vations of the ice cores drilled to bedrock in 2000. The upper 65 cm of the 49-m NIF core 3 is the only portion containing elongated bubbles, channels, and open voids characteristic of extensive melting (Fig. 3A) and refreezing; these features are not observed in the lower sections of any cores (Fig. 3B). This finding is significant, because it confirms the absence of surface melting for the prior 11 millennia.

        LG Thompson (2009) [pnas.org]

        In addition, the current drought is not unprecedented. But the assignation of blame, so to speak, is complicated by the relatively poor instrumental record in the region.

  • Excuse me? (Score:4, Informative)

    by qazwart (261667) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:03AM (#31303198) Homepage

    One comment by a single share holder doesn't set a "tone". I've seen videos of the meeting, and you always have share holders like this. Not only that, but this same person was widely booed by other share holders as he ranted against Al Gore.

  • by kanweg (771128) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:05AM (#31303520)

    In the US, people are nice to each other and the fact that people are entitled to their own opinion is taken very far. In my country, people are blunt and tell you if you're wrong (and why). If you live in a country where myths like creation are vigorously propagated, discussion about it is discouraged and ignoring facts is encouraged, isn't the US at a natural disadvantage when it comes to discussing factual issues? People can only too easily mistake their opinion for true/a fact, and not as something that may be in for a rewrite. This is exacerbated by the drive of the more outspoken (conservative, if I may say so) people to push their thoughts on others. We have (a minority of) creationists in our country too. We let them keep their thoughts and they don't bother us with theirs.

    After years on slashdot, I still am often taken aback by lines of reasoning that boil down to: xyz is expensive, so phenomenon pqr does (not) exist). Uh, gulp. In this specific case of global warming: What can possibly be wrong with taking a couple of measures that make the initial cost go up and the cost of use go down. You pay the same (in the end), but do longer with a resource. Some allergy that the state could come up with a sensible idea is enough to throw some people into fits (look at the signature lines of several posters here on slashdot). There isn't a law of nature that says that *everything* a government proposes is wrong.

    Saving energy can be so easy. For some homes: Take taking a shower. The water that drains is still warm. You can buy a counter-current heat exchanger that recuperates about 40% of the heat (you have to have a mixing shower faucet, or whatever it is called, to use this). You have the same comfortable showers, except that you use less energy. The important difference is that the initial outlay is higher (but your energy bill is lower). The unborn can't bid with you for that energy. Do you really have the liberty to waste it, our is it OK if a government looking further than the next election says: Hm, we're going to introduce some bills to encourage you to reconsider wasting that energy.

    Bert

  • one asking Apple to commit publicly to greenhouse gas reduction goals and to publish a formal sustainability report; another proposing that Apple's board establish a sustainability committee. These proposals were rejected by shareholders

    Shareholders Care More About Bottom Line Than Environment.

    Film at 11.

  • by scifiber_phil (630217) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:17PM (#31307476)
    Al Gore's 100 ft. houseboat:
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gore-hits-the-waves-with-a-massive-new-houseboat/ [pajamasmedia.com]
    my boat:
    cheap 8 ft. kayak
    Yet, he gets to lecture me about carbon usage. Gore is a lightening rod of bad PR for everything he touches. That alone should make the Apple stockholders wary for electing him to the board. Making energy so expensive that the poor cannot afford it, while allowing the wealthy to use as much as they want through "carbon offsets" is one of the most despicable scams ever floated. Mr. Gore, if the planet is in such danger, then lead by example. Put on Gandi's loincloth first before telling the rest of us that we are wearing too much clothing. If we must use less energy, so be it. Then ration it. Then, if I have enough to last all month, Mr. Gore will be in the dark in his freezing cold home for three and a half weeks. By the way, Mr. Gore, the science is not settled simply because you say that it is. The bottom line: 1. don't lecture me 2. Stop trying to take money out of my pocket and putting it in yours.

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