Apple paints a dark picture of our eco-future in green documents

By Mark Sullivan

There’s nothing strange about a tech company making the case for its eco-consciousness to an environmental group. That’s what Apple did when it submitted documentation of its green initiatives to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), a UK-based nonprofit that’s become known for its ratings of big corporations’ environmental policies.

Apple has a lot to brag about when it comes to the green ways it powers its facilities and acquires materials for its products. But the company’s materials for the CDP went further, espousing the utility of the iPhone during the eco-emergencies that Apple apparently sees in the future.

“As people begin to experience severe weather events with greater frequency, we expect an increasing need for confidence and preparedness in the arena of personal safety and the well-being of loved ones,” explained Apple’s document, according to Bloomberg. iDevices “can serve as a flashlight or a siren; they can provide first aid instructions; they can act as a radio; and they can be charged for many days via car batteries or even hand cranks.”

The first line makes gives the impression that Apple believes global warming is already affecting the weather and will continue to do so with increasing frequency and severity. And the last part conjures a bleak mental image of the future. You’re crouched against a wall in the basement while a storm rages outside. You and your family are huddled around the tiny light on the back of your iPhone. You’re using the device to check emergency weather updates and to try to contact loved ones.

The company’s presentation must have worked: The CDP released its letter grades for companies on Tuesday, and Apple got an A.

Apple wasn’t the only company looking forward to a dystopian future. Also from Bloomberg’s story: “Bank of America Corp. worries flooded homeowners will default on their mortgages. The Walt Disney Co. is concerned its theme parks will get too hot for vacationers, while AT&T Inc. fears hurricanes and wildfires may knock out its cell towers. The Coca-Cola Co. wonders if there will still be enough water to make Coke.”

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


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