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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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  • by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @12:59AM (#31302778) Homepage

    Correction: The quote as that he "took the initiative in creating the internet". And that is correct [wikipedia.org], at least as far as the internet as we know it today.

    Creating != Inventing.

    Carry on.

  • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:02AM (#31302802) Homepage

    One of the biggest disservices we can do to the cause is to talk of doom scenarios. The planet isn't heading for doom, nor are we, even if there was a 5-10C temperature increase.

    The economy might be fucked and hunger might kill of large portions of the human race... But that's not the same as being doomed.

  • Re:Thunk dumb. (Score:3, Informative)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:15AM (#31302902) Homepage Journal

    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 @01:23AM (#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.

  • by larkost (79011) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @01:29AM (#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.

  • Excuse me? (Score:4, Informative)

    by qazwart (261667) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:03AM (#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.

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

    by ppanon (16583) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:26AM (#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.
  • Re:Fools. (Score:2, Informative)

    by rve (4436) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:36AM (#31303364)

    Dude, go to your preferences -> Discussions -> Viewing and check the box 'Do Not Display Scores'
    It's a revelation. The forum suddenly is about the posts again, not about playing the moderation system for the highest score.

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:50AM (#31303444) Homepage Journal

    Those who denied that a bacteria (imagine that) was responsible for most stomach ulcers were ridiculed by the established medical community (until they were proven wrong).

    Wow, that's an interesting example you've picked there. I happen to know a bit about the "stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria" theory as there's a lot of Australian scientists involved. The controversy is over the claim that stomach ulcers may be caused by or made worse by bacteria in the stomach. This was considered controversial for a very simple scientific reason: no-one had found bacteria in the stomach. However there was a single data point which suggested they might actually exist.. and there were other explanations for how that single data point might be wrong, contamination being the most important.

    So, for years, doctors took samples from patients with stomach ulcers and sent them to researchers who tried various methods to culture them. When they failed the objectors to the theory repeated the mantra that the same thing that makes culturing bacteria in stomach samples hard is what makes it so unlikely that there's any bacteria that live in the stomach. After lots of good science, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall managed to culture and isolate bacteria from some samples. They contended that most stomach ulcers were caused by the bacteria they had isolated and Marshall dramatically demonstrated this by drinking some of the cultures and getting very sick.

    This was met with a lot of skepticism, but after careful study, by various independent groups, it was found the Warren and Marshall's technique did indeed result in measurable cultures in patients with gastritis and to a lesser extent stomach ulcers. To-date no clear link has been established between H. pylori and the majority of stomach ulcers. So really, although their work was good science and improved our understanding of stomach pathogens, they were wrong, it doesn't cause most stomach ulcers. Maybe time will prove them right, but for the attention span of the media it doesn't matter, the media will keep repeating that Warren and Marshall defied the conventional wisdom of the day and proved that bacteria cause all forms of stomach ulcer because that's an interesting story.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:52AM (#31303448)

    Which global warming model predicted massive blizzards in the northern hemisphere in 2010?

    None. Because no global climate model predicts local occurrences in a single season. What they do predict though is that increases in temperatures will lead to more snowfall in certain areas as what would normally be dry cold air is now warm, moist air hitting a cold front. Which leads to snow. That's just basic physics.

  • by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:56AM (#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.

  • by wall0159 (881759) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @03:05AM (#31303526)

    "Science also didn't care if preservatives in vaccines led to autism. The media cared a lot. Articles in peer reviewed journals thought it did "

    There was _one_ paper, in _one_ journal that suggested a link between vaccines and autism. The study was widely criticised by many scientists and was subsequently retracted. Hardly the protracted controversy that you imply it was.

    I see someone else has already discredited your claim about stomach ulcers also.

    Look, no one is saying science is perfect, but in general: when there is a scientific consensus it implies there is a modicum of truth.

  • Re:Lazier Still (Score:2, Informative)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @04:00AM (#31303780) Journal

    False. Just like Truthers, most of them have a mixture of beliefs that really defy labeling (read the full manifesto of the Dallas plane guy). It's just another generalization you want to apply for convenience

    Having attended fairly recent conservative political meeting I'd say you're dead wrong about this unless democrats rail against healthcare "socialism."

    Now you claim Libertarians are "right-wingers" (by your use obviously a derogatory term)? They are the ones that got Obama elected. Read comments in Reason articles before the election to see just how confused you really are on that point.

    Well libertarians are economically closer to the political right which is what I was getting at here. Although technically libertarians don't really fall on either end of the political scale very well hence why it is often split into the economic and social components of political ideology.

    Quite a large conceptual leap there, you made from AGW to "phenomenon" which I am betting you imply as some degree of climate warming. The two are totally separate issues, and the arguments about what to DO even if AGW is true is another still.

    I said phenomenon because the major sticking point is what to do about AGW. There are people who agree that we are responsible for AGW but also believe that the proposed solutions suck.

    Because obviously people that obstruct FIOA requests are to be trusted in all respects.

    Some data used in models is from sources that require a NDA and can not legally be released.

    Because obviously people with code that simply makes up data sets are to be trusted.

    Except that the anti-AGW crowd wasn't paying any attention here. They made sure to cherry pick a few lines here and there but failed to follow up with actual reading. Turns out that after 1960 the tree ring proxies diverged from temperature readings and virtually every other proxy in use. The tree ring data indicated a decline where otherwise none existed.

    You choose to only read what agrees with you then.

    Not really. I do keep up with various claims of AGW skeptics and sadly virtually all of them involved some degree of ignorance. Everything from "the Earth isn't warming" to "warming is a good thing" to "even if warming is a bad thing, we can deal with it just fine." No... it would be great if we were wrong about AGW and that it really was not a problem but the evidence largely points to this not being the case.

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 28, 2010 @06:49AM (#31304378) Homepage Journal

    Sigh.. what didn't I make clear? There's lots of different sorts of ulcers. Some ulcers are caused by these bacteria, and antibiotics can fix them, but some are not. The story which is continually repeated in the media and by the guy I replied to is that all ulcers are caused by these bacteria. This is simply false and its a good example of how the media reverberates a good story even if it is inaccurate.

    And btw, doctors don't just prescribe antibiotics to anyone with ulcers and hope they go away.. the exact type of antibiotics that they use are quite dangerous to healthy individuals and the treatment is no picnic. Instead they take samples of the ulcer, send it to a lab to be tested, and if the tests indicate the cause of the ulcer is bacteria, then they prescribe antibiotics. That treatment is 90% effective.

       

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

    by Paua Fritter (448250) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @07:39AM (#31304516)

    Have you read the interview Phil Jones did with the BBC.

    You mean this one [bbc.co.uk]?

    Why yes, I have. You quite obviously have not or you wouldn't have come up with this bullshit:

    He came clean and admitted that there is no evidence of man made global warming.

    This can only be described as a blatant lie, given that when the BBC asked him "How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?", his reply was actually:

    I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - [...] there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

  • Re:Fools. (Score:3, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday February 28, 2010 @09:20AM (#31304982) Homepage Journal

    I know, but seeing the scores reminds me that people don't understand how hypocritical they are ;)

    I think you're being down-modded because you're being a dick, not because people disagree with your posts.

    And desperate whining does not endear people to you.

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @09:59AM (#31305254)

    No, he did not invent inter-networking, nor is he claiming so. The Gore Bill funded projects of the National Science Foundation, among others, that culminated in the enrichment of the Internet as a medium for economic as well as educational growth, and the mainstream acceptance of the World Wide Web--which eventually turned into the economic engine it is now.

    The technical infrastructure and lower level protocols may have remained the same, but the focus and spirit of use has changed considerably.

            -dZ.

  • by Rei (128717) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @04:16PM (#31308422) Homepage

    36,000 physicists are worried.

    What is that, proof by red herring ghost reference? That has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand (the 2035 glacier-typo). Secondly, the IOP isn't 36,000 physicists; it has 36,000 members, but only a fraction of those are physicists: "Our diverse membership ranges from university students through qualified professionals employed in all sectors of the economy to the retired community.". Third, physicists != climate scientists. Fourth, 1 != many dozens [wikipedia.org]. Fifth, thank god that the UN is investigating these ridiculous denier claims, because most of them are patent nonsense. Despite you citing the UN now, in a couple months, I fully expect to hear you saying, "Who cares what the UN has to say; they're just trying to clear their name" or something of that nature.

  • Re:Excuse me? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2010 @01:07AM (#31312108)

    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.

    Exactly right. I expected to read about some kind of shareholder rebellion. It was one perennial malcontent.

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