It must be nice to be on Old Media's "free pass" list.
For years, Apple Computer has been on that list (disclosure: yours truly is a 23-year Mac user). Apple has been the cool, innovative tech darling, the noble foil of big, bad monopolist Microsoft.
Another free-pass beneficiary is Al Gore, who sits on Apple's Board of Directors.
According to Apple's detailed scorecard (PDF), the company scored a zero in 18 of the 22 measurement criteria. Some of them include (bold is mine):
- Item 13 -- Has the company achieved emissions reductions?
- Item 5 -- Is there external, qualified third party verification of emissions data, reductions, and reporting (where applicable)?
- Item 18 -- Does the company require suppliers to take climate change action or give preference to those that do?
- Item 19 -- Does the company support public policy that could require mandatory climate change action by business?
In 2006, Apple's score was "2." I doubt that ClimateCounts.org has set aside a "most improved" award for the company's 9-point 2007 pickup.
Note that I do not subscribe to any of this nonsense. "Climate friendliness" is part of the broader, dangerous notion of "Corporate Social Responsibility" (CSR). As I have noted before, companies that embrace CSR, or cynically give into it in the name of appeasement, are engaging in an an economic and ideological sellout to groups who are, at bottom, hostile to capitalism. The late Milton Friedman was and still is right when he wrote that CSR is a "fundamentally subversive doctrine," and that "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits."
Here's an interesting possibility: One of the reasons Apple is financially outperforming its peers under Gore's "oversight" may be that it's not allowing itself to be overly distracted by CSR, and that Gore's mere presence on the Board is enabling the company to escape activists' wrath. If so, how "convenient."
You would think that journalists who have swallowed whole the gospel of globaloney (my term for the mistaken beliefs that catastrophic global warming is taking place, and that it's largely caused by human activity) to be giving Apple and Gore some, uh, heat over the company's "disgraceful" (as ClimateCounts.org defines it) record of environmental stewardship.
But it appears that when you're on the "free pass" list, all is forgiven.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.