New verbiage coming out of a report from the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) is casting Apple and Google in a somewhat ghoulish light. The nonprofit organization surveyed seven thousand companies about what they felt the risks and potential rewards were when it came to climate change. Their responses were pretty stunningly tone deaf.
According to Apple, "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."
Indeed, watching the sea creep up to your front door tends to induce feelings of "increasing need for confidence." Apple went on, saying that their phones "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."
Can we anticipate the iCrank?
Google's response was even more dry.
"If customers value Google Earth Engine as a tool to examine the physical changes to the Earth's natural resources and climate, this could result in increased customer loyalty or brand value. This opportunity driver could have a positive impact on our brands."
So, as you watch the biosphere disintegrate, please take solace in the fact that Google's bottom line will hold steady.
These answers underly a criticism that many in the environmental movement have levied - that solutions to the climate change crisis are going to come from the public sector. When two of the largest players in the private sector are openly announcing that they're doing growth projection research about climate disaster scenarios, that claim feels very substantial.