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Greenpeace Slams Apple For Environmental Record 271

nandemoari writes "According to a recent advertisement airing on American TV, Apple's new Macbooks (well-received by most technology critics) are 'the world's greenest family of notebooks.' It seems an indication that the Cupertino-based company is increasingly aware of a consumer base that demands green electronics. However, Greenpeace is less than enthused with Apple's overall green performance. In their report (PDF), the environmentalists argue that Apple 'needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.'" Ars Technica points out that Greenpeace's research isn't quite up-to-snuff, and it's also worth noting that Greenpeace admitted to targeting Apple for the publicity in the past.
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Greenpeace Slams Apple For Environmental Record

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  • by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:24AM (#25921991)

    The fact that Greenpeace comes down on Apple is a good reason for me to consider buying a new Macbook.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:28AM (#25922335) Homepage Journal

    Apteras and Zaps both make products that no-one wants. Tesla is at least making a product that people want, even if they can't afford it. The people who were making a product that people both wanted and could afford, took their product off the market because they were afraid it would cannibalize their other product lines.

  • by nsayer ( 86181 ) * <nsayer @ k f u . c om> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:54AM (#25922489) Homepage

    Leaving Beans, Nuts, and Fruits as the only source for your diet

    You left out eggs. milk and honey.

    Eggs may or may not count depending on your point of view about protecting the unborn/unhatched, but I have yet to find someone both strongly anti-abortion and insanely vegan. Never mind the fact that most eggs in the store aren't fertilized anyway. But then, if eggs are out, then so are strawberries and pomegranates.

    But milk and honey are truly the only foods that you could truly say can be obtained from the plant and animal kingdom without harming a plant or animal or impinging on its reproduction. It is, however, counting on the animals in question to overproduce for their own needs to supply yours. In other words, living purely on milk and honey puts you in the same category as a leech.

    No, the only meat eaters that are acceptable to militant vegans are scavengers.

    Me? I'd rather eat militant vegans. Long pig. The other white meat.

  • A badge of honor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:08AM (#25922529) Homepage Journal

    Greenpeace, despite their name, is a pretty radical group, often just a notch inside that line that groups like the Animal Liberation Front often cross. Greenpeace is just Earth First with more money and better publicity. Getting attacked by Greenpeace is a lot like getting attacked by PETA... sometimes, the public sympathizes with you precisely because a radical group is targeting you.

    Is this actually going to stop anyone from buying an Apple? No, it's just free publicity for Apple. I bet every time PETA pulls one of their lamebrain stunts, steakhouse profits go up. Same thing here.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:10AM (#25922539)

    Except it just further drives rational people who share their ideals away from them and makes them look like desperate losers.

    I am an environmentalist, green, pro-recycling, green energy, save the planet, save the animals guy, but I want *nothing* to do with Greenpeace whatsoever.

    They go about their agenda in totally the wrong way. Not just this targeting of Apple (and their prior attack on Apple for being "less green" than competitors when in reality, Apple had "gone green" with the suggestions Greenpeace made many years before that but just didn't tell anyone, but their assault on nuclear power with totally fictitious "tug at the heart strings" videos about how nuclear power can only ever result in Chernobyl-level accidents.

    Ugh. Greenpeace, just go away already. You're scaring away people from being green.

  • Re:green (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:41AM (#25922685) Journal

    And has anyone done a study comparing the failure rates of items created with lead free solder VS lead? Because from what my engineering friends tell me the non lead solder is crap. it doesn't flow evenly, it seems to fail more often, it simply doesn't work nearly as well as the lead according to them. So while insuring a clean environment is a good thing(and recycling the lead would probably work just as well) if the lack of lead in solder joints causes us to end up with giant mounds of e-waste as electronics fail earlier than they need to, then we may very well be "penny wise and pound foolish".

    We need to have consumer electronics that will last. And if that requires lead then either raise the price a little to pay for the recycling or have the manufacturers provide an easy way to drop these items off for recycling. But if we don't look at these situations logically we may end up being buried in "green" e-waste from electronics dying before their time.

  • by Admiral Ag ( 829695 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:54AM (#25922741)

    You might want to read a bit more about that one. The problem in that case was that the French decided that it would be a good idea to test nuclear weapons in the South Pacific, which mortally pissed off pretty much everyone who lived there. If it was so safe, why couldn't they test the blasted things in France. It wasn't just Greenpeace. The New Zealand government had sent ships to the test site to protest in previous years. Why stand by as some European nonces shit in our back yard?

    European nuclear powers had a well-known history of contempt for people in the South Pacific. Britain, for example, tested nuclear weapons in Australia without bothering to inform the Aboriginals who lived near the test site that they should get out of the way. So you can guess that the French were not popular.

    New Zealand was a supposed ally of France and there are thousands of New Zealanders buried in war cemeteries in France and Belgium, which is where they died helping defend France against invasion. So to have the French security forces commit a terrorist attack and murder on New Zealand soil just because they couldn't hack a rusty old boat sailing up and down near their nuclear test site was in my opinion a bit much.

    The French officials responsible for this are lower than shit. If I had the chance, I would put a bullet in their heads. So would a lot of other people I know.

  • Re:Flawed study (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:59AM (#25922759)

    The proper way to aid consumers in environmentally-friendly purchases is to provide accurate ratings. Scoring based on lack of information is inappropriate in all categories except an "willingness to divulge information" category.

    The fact of the matter is Greenpeace has no idea and so simply cannot provide this information to consumers. What they've decided to provide instead is unquestionably inaccurate and I fail to see how this helps consumers buy environmentally-friendly products.

    A useful guide would plainly state when information is not available. If they want to "pressure the companies" a simple note saying the companies would not provide the information is not only more accurate, but leaves open the possibility of the company cooperating in the future. Looking like coercive zealots is not an effective way of getting people to open up!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:34AM (#25922949)

    So actually strict vegans are cum eaters, because beans, nuts and fruits are the plant's equivalent of animal's semen.

    In other words, vegans swallow, don't spit.

    Actually they're unborn baby (fetus) eaters, not cum eaters. To be cum eaters, they'd have to eat pollen. But anytime you eat saffron (the stigma which is a female part of the plant but also catches pollen), you are eating the vegan equivalent of a cum-covered pussy.

  • by lmnfrs ( 829146 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [srfnml]> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @05:35AM (#25923499) Journal

    Greenpeace complains about lots of big companies' non-greenness. I heard from a co-worker who canvassed for Greenpeace long ago, for years, that they are a "greenwash".

    There was another Greenpeace complaint recently, and when the canvassers in the downtown metropolitan area I work in were informed (by me) that "Greenpeace is a marketing organization; their information is skewed." the entire group of canvassers that I recognized every day on the way to work disappeared. Almost as if they investigated what I said and agreed.

    About three weeks later new canvassers appeared. None of them were the same. One told me that my information was "wrong" but had no sources or reasoning to back that up.

    The ideas behind Greenpeace are great general points that should be kept in mind but it seems that many of their statements should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • by hessian ( 467078 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @05:46AM (#25923541) Homepage Journal

    1984 - The Mac is friendly, it's the future, lalalala. Reality: 128k machine with 4 pieces of known software.

    1987 - The Mac is more efficient than IBM PCs, it's the future. Reality: It's four times as expensive and people quickly learn windows.

    1995 - The Mac is a better operating system than Windows, it's the future. Reality: holding down the mouse button suspends the entire operating system.

    2000 - The Mac is superior, it uses the PowerPC family of chips and custom hardware. Reality: it's slower and Apple acquiesces to this fact a few years later, making Intel machines.

    2008 - The Mac is superior, it's "green." Reality: it's still a hunk of plastic you chuck in the landfill, and being made by the world's most neurotic computer company, it's more likely to break.

    I used to believe in Apple; eventually I saw that, like most things hyping "hope" and "change," they were marketers and not revolutionaries. They sold a lie.

    Now I prefer the world of open hardware and open source + Windows. I can buy any motherboard I want, and I assemble machines that last years longer than any Macintosh. For people who want the bulk of mainstream software, there's Win XP or Windows Vista (which many people do like), but for those with more experience, there's OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Linux.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @06:49AM (#25923819)

    It is not so easy. Greepeace actually has a "computer waste" focus for quite some time and they developed some good pratices. All companies do now Green IT, not only APPLE.

    I would suspect that the solution to computer problems lies in the software. You can install less resource-consuming applications, for instance as a Linux user the LXDE desktop environment [], this is organic software. These days hardware *burns* a lot of energy but responsible is also software-as-a-brake (Saab). The environmental effects of speed optimisation would be great.

    How come that your Vista-desktop is slower than your good old Win98 installation although you basically just do the very same things. A 1998 style processor today consumes very little energy. A fast low carbon desktop would make a lot of sense for many commercial and private users in times where energy pricing explodes.

    Just 5% of IT energy reduction would have massive effects on the economy at large.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:58PM (#25926231) Journal

    As for honey. Well, you are ripping the hive off its store of winter food, for the sole benefit of having designer apartments supplied.

    Yes, but you also protect the hive and ensure that it is located in an environment that maximized the produced honey. Also, to the best of my knowledge, even after the beekeepers retrieve the "extra" honey, the bees are still better off compared to a wild hive. If so, the relationship is symbiotic rather than parasitical.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Sunday November 30, 2008 @05:40AM (#25931699) Journal
    "The sad thing about the greenies is that they would be the first to tell the Religious Right, "stay out of my life!" on abortion or gay marriage or sex on TV or the Internet, but they are the first to tell others how to run their lives in a green way, whether anyone asked them or not."

    At the age of 50 I'm certainly aware that political ideaology is no match for real life pragmatisim in a Darwinian environment. I am not Irish but for conceptually similar political reasoning I am unashamed to be "green". I ask you to please refrain from lumping all greenies (evironmentists) together under the greenpeace banner. Some of it's later day actions are a huge cringe factor to the rest of us and have been successfully used by many politicains/corporations to put rational people with genuine concerns into the political "nut-job" basket.

    As a scientifically literate "greenie" I am happy to inform you that I do not want to "tell you what to do", the caveate being that whatever you ARE doing has no material affect on me. If what you are doing is offensive to me (but not directed at me) I will ignore you, if you befowl OUR planet I consider that a material affect on me and reserve the right to "interfere" by finding/pointing out what you are doing and petitioning society [] to find an effective solution. Even if that solution is to take your company away by force as a defensive measure [].

    Note - The link is an extreme example, I don't think GP self-promotion is a "defensive measure" but the jury did and that's what counts, I am compelled to begrudgingly accept the referee's decision not because I think it's justice servered but because imperfect democracy trumps a perfect free market.

    Like most humans (including "greenies") enviromentalisim is only part of my world view. If you want to label my politics I would say "socially liberal, fiscally conservative, strong advocate of science based policy" - To me the science requirement would seem to automatically imply the environmentalisim, it would also reduce the influence of the creationists, the eco-warriors, the French secret service that sunk their boat, the managers of Exonn and their chief anti-scientist Fred Singer, Neo-cons at the UN, Senator Inhofe and his fans, in fact a whole bunch of cliques within large organizations who do no actual work in society other than trying to "tell you what to do" by unilateral force or deception....OTOH....Each and every one of us has a point in our worldview beyond which "telling someone what to do" is our only reasonable option.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.