Apple's departure prompts questions of chamber representation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Following the departure of Apple and other high-profile companies from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, some have begun to question whether the organization represents the interests of its members.



Traditionally aligned with the Republican Party, the chamber must now wield influence over a Democratic Washington, and its stance on climate change had led a handful of companies to resign from its ranks. In the wake of recent comments about global warming, some officials have questioned whether the chamber has "the pulse of their membership," according to BusinessWeek.



Much of the issue lies with President Thomas Donohue, whose "bulldog style" has rubbed some the wrong way. Donohue personally became involved when Apple abandoned the chamber earlier this month, writing a letter to the company accusing it of forfeiting the chance to "advance a 21st century approach to climate change."



"There aren't many who would willingly take on Apple icon Steve Jobs -- and lecture him on technology," the report said. "But Thomas J. Donohue, the combative head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, isn't one to step away from a fight."



As some in Washington see the chamber as less of an influence, the White House has relied more on the Business Roundtable, a consortium of over 160 CEOs on which it relies for feedback and input on issues. The group aims to be non-partisan, and has not taken a stance on a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.



But Donohue argued that the roundtable does not provide an opportunity for CEOs to be frank. Instead, they must be polite in order to be a part of the group. That's why, Donohue said, he's needed to play the "bad cop" and protect business interests.



Last week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu praised Apple for its departure from the chamber, calling the move "wonderful." Greenpeace, too, noted Apple's decision to leave the group.



Preceding Apple in departure were Pacific Gas & Electric, PNM Resources and Exelon. Nike also withdrew from the chamber's board, but retained its membership.



The Mac maker has recently pushed to highlight its environmentally friendly approach, and began reporting carbon emissions of its hardware for the first time. Apple has said that its products themselves produce a great deal more emissions than its operations or manufacturing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Now we will hear all the usual Rush / Fox News comments and pseudo science from the wing nuts ... Meanwhile, well done Steve. Now many more companies lead by centrist and clear headed folks should also take their leave of the COC.
  • Reply 2 of 121
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Interesting: Apple's interest (or lack thereof) defines the viability of political institutions.



    Now THAT is power.



    Then again, the Chamber is allied with the Republican party, so the possiblity that they're completely out of touch is all the more real.
  • Reply 3 of 121
    Donohue spent 13 years as chief lobbyist for the US trucking industry: http://www.uschamber.com/about/management/donohue.htm



    Not much surprise there, re. his position on the environment and climate change.
  • Reply 4 of 121
    This is why Apple left "U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu praised Apple for its departure from the chamber, calling the move "wonderful." Greenpeace, too, noted Apple's decision to leave the group."



    It's brilliant - they realize nothing is going to happen Washington as it relates to them and they are probably just wasting their time so they go ahead and make a big deal about not wanting to waste their time anymore and they get tons of free, good press.
  • Reply 5 of 121
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Interesting: Apple's interest (or lack thereof) defines the viability of political institutions.



    Now THAT is power.



    Then again, the Chamber is allied with the Republican party, so the possiblity that they're completely out of touch is all the more real.



    I can imagine in earlier times the Chamber would be sticking with 'the Earth is the flat and the center of the solar system' for sure.
  • Reply 6 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Now we will hear all the usual Rush / Fox News comments and pseudo science from the wing nuts ... Meanwhile, well done Steve. Now many more companies lead by centrist and clear headed folks should also take their leave of the COC.



    What about the CNN wing nuts and their gratutious amounts of pseudo-science? You realize it goes both ways right?



    Many companies left before Apple so it's not like Apple is a trailblazer here (as noted in the article).



    EDIT: Look like penchant for sensationalism has ratted you out - I won't even bother.
  • Reply 7 of 121
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post


    This is why Apple left "U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu praised Apple for its departure from the chamber, calling the move "wonderful." Greenpeace, too, noted Apple's decision to leave the group."



    It's brilliant - they realize nothing is going to happen Washington as it relates to them and they are probably just wasting their time so they go ahead and make a big deal about not wanting to waste their time anymore and they get tons of free, good press.



    I disagree with this being a publicity move for Apple. SJ took a stand on principle to make a statement about the far right wind position of the COM. I resigned my company membership several years ago for the same reason.
  • Reply 8 of 121
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post


    What about the CNN wing nuts and their gratutious amounts of pseudo-science? You realize it goes both ways right?



    Many companies left before Apple so it's not like Apple is a trailblazer here (as noted in the article).



    EDIT: Look like penchant for sensationalism has ratted you out - I won't even bother.



    I don't get my scientific information from Fox or CNN, I got mine from university and years of teaching, reading and listening.
  • Reply 9 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I disagree with this being a publicity move for Apple. SJ took a stand on principle to make a statement about the far right wind position of the COM. I resigned my company membership several years ago for the same reason.



    Far right = "a 21st century approach to climate change."? Really? You must live in a really polar world - either far left or far right. By that approach anyone that thinks as you think must be far left and anyone who doesn't is far right. Well, ok, whatever floats your boat.
  • Reply 10 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I don't get my scientific information from Fox or CNN, I got mine from university and years of teaching, reading and listening.



    So what if I gave you data from University professor and scholars around the world? Would you dismiss it instantly if it didn't go with your hypothesis?



    This isn't about Fox vs CNN - this is about hypothesis vs hypothesis (it's all a hypothesis by the way since it's all about projecting what will happen it can't be a fact to say x, y, or z is going to happen in 2050).
  • Reply 11 of 121
    Good practices towards keeping our environment good is the way to go.



    Global warming is a farce being forced on us. Redistribution of wealth is the real truth. There's so much junk science we'll never know the real truth.



    Read Atlas Shrugged for a little enlightenment.
  • Reply 12 of 121
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Colt45 View Post


    Good practices towards keeping our environment good is the way to go.



    Global warming is a farce being forced on us. Redistribution of wealth is the real truth. There's so much junk science we'll never know the real truth.



    Read Atlas Shrugged for a little enlightenment.



    I agree we should read Ayn Rand for enlightenment. We should read Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, and a bunch of other works for enlightenment too.

    That way we can be exposed to a whole array of mentally bankrupt, crackpot thought systems!
  • Reply 13 of 121
    x38x38 Posts: 95member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Now we will hear all the usual Rush / Fox News comments and pseudo science from the wing nuts ... Meanwhile, well done Steve. Now many more companies lead by centrist and clear headed folks should also take their leave of the COC.





    Guess you'd better add the BBC to your hate list:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm



    Interesting implicit perspective you have there - everyone who agrees with your hypothesis is using science and everyone who disagrees with your hypothesis is using pseudo science. Since you have been delegated the authority to declare what is science and what is pseudo science, I suppose that it your prerogative.



    Since you speak for all science, how do you explain the discrepancies in weather station records? If you look at all weather stations, there appears to be a historical rise in temperatures. However, if you look at just the weather stations that are in rural areas there is no historical trend of increasing temperatures. If you look at those stations around which cities have grown up over time, there is a significant increasing temperature trend. In other words, our historical records of temperature show that if you build cities around weather stations they will be in a warmer environment, but those weather stations in locations that remain more or less unchanged do not show an increase in temperature. You've got a pretty classic proof of the well known urban island heat effect there, but no smoking gun proof of global warming.



    The consequence is that we have to face the fact that the only meaningful direct measurements of temperature and temperature trends we have on a global scale have only come into existence in the age of modern weather & climate satellites over the past couple of decades or so. Since it is also well known that there are natural cyclical effects on global temperature of a similar time scale (such as the solar cycle and the Pacific ocean thermal cycle), it is simply impossible to determine at this time by direct measurement whether or not we are observing normal temperature fluctuations of a cyclical nature or a long term trend. At present global warming is only a conjecture that is supported by indirect and inconclusive evidence at best.



    Of course I'm sure you're now going to tell me Im full of pseudo science and expose me for a heretic since I dared to question your dogma.
  • Reply 14 of 121
    ...On Apple's part.



    I was driving into Tampa thismorning for school, and as I was crossing over the Howard Frankland, I noticed a brown, thick steam of industrial exhaust streching across the clear sky from South Tampa (originating from a collection of stacks down near MacDill AFB) for 50 miles+ beyond my field of vision. It was extraordinary! I've never seen anything like it. It was disturbing that that entire stream was from one plant (an electricity plant, perhaps).
  • Reply 15 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post


    I agree we should read Ayn Rand for enlightenment. We should read Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, and a bunch of other works for enlightenment too.

    That way we can be exposed to a whole array of mentally bankrupt, crackpot thought systems!



    They should all be read so one can determine the best course of action because the way we are heading today is a pending disaster. The market manipulations are robbing us all.
  • Reply 16 of 121
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by X38 View Post


    Since you speak for all science, how do you explain the discrepancies in weather station records? If you look at all weather stations, there appears to be a historical rise in temperatures. However, if you look at just the weather stations that are in rural areas there is no historical trend of increasing temperatures. If you look at those stations around which cities have grown up over time, there is a significant increasing temperature trend. In other words, our historical records of temperature show that if you build cities around weather stations they will be in a warmer environment, but those weather stations in locations that remain more or less unchanged do not show an increase in temperature. You've got a pretty classic proof of the well known urban island heat effect there, but no smoking gun proof of global warming..



    I wasn't aware of this, do you have any relevant links? I'm not trying to bash you, just curious as to the facts and methodology.
  • Reply 17 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hyperscribble View Post


    ...On Apple's part.



    I was driving into Tampa thismorning for school, and as I was crossing over the Howard Frankland, I noticed a brown, thick steam of industrial exhaust streching across the clear sky from South Tampa (originating from a collection of stacks down near MacDill AFB) for 50 miles+ beyond my field of vision. It was extraordinary! I've never seen anything like it. It was disturbing that that entire stream was from one plant (an electricity plant, perhaps).



    Call me a skeptic but do you have a picture of said "brown, thick steam"? I only ask because I grew up in a town just 10 miles from not 1 but 2 coal burning power plants and I haven't seen brown steam in well over a decade as they have really put a stamp down on emissions. There is always steam coming from the plants but for at least the past decade it's been something that looks just like a white cloud.
  • Reply 18 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    I wasn't aware of this, do you have any relevant links? I'm not trying to bash you, just curious as to the facts and methodology.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island



    Edit: Here's the main point of it if you don't want to click

    "There are several causes of an urban heat island (UHI). The principal reason for the nighttime warming is that buildings block surface heat from radiating into the relatively cold night sky. Two other reasons are changes in the thermal properties of surface materials and lack of evapotranspiration in urban areas. Materials commonly used in urban areas, such as concrete and asphalt, have significantly different thermal bulk properties (including heat capacity and thermal conductivity) and surface radiative properties (albedo and emissivity) than the surrounding rural areas. This causes a change in the energy balance of the urban area, often leading to higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. The energy balance is also affected by the lack of vegetation in urban areas, which inhibits cooling by evapotranspiration."



    Pretty standard application of "no duh" science. Which is hotter? Grass or Asphalt? Is Asphalt hotter than grass after the sun has gone down? Just puts some numbers to the natural observation
  • Reply 19 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hyperscribble View Post


    ...On Apple's part.



    I was driving into Tampa thismorning for school, and as I was crossing over the Howard Frankland, I noticed a brown, thick steam of industrial exhaust streching across the clear sky from South Tampa (originating from a collection of stacks down near MacDill AFB) for 50 miles+ beyond my field of vision. It was extraordinary! I've never seen anything like it. It was disturbing that that entire stream was from one plant (an electricity plant, perhaps).



    I also made the same drive and the thing you observed was not industrial plant at a military base. Your second guess is closer. It was Big Bend Power Station near Apollo Beach. Macdill AFB is on the tip of the peninsula stretching into Tampa Bay. If you follow Westshore or Bayshore south you will come to Macdill AFB. Apollo Beach is reached by going out to brandon and heading south towards Bradenton. The plant is HUGE and has manatees sheltering in winter - they are pretty cool.



    The Industrial Exhaust is left over from Burning coal. Mostly Water and CO2 and some nitrogen and Sulfur dioxide. Much reduced from how it was many years ago.



    Today was the same exhaust as every day, it just looked like that due to the atmospheric pressure and temperature. The same reason their was fog this morning in many areas of Tampa Bay. that combined with the beautiful sunrise made for quite a dramatic sky.



    I would not be mad, that plant probably enable both you and I to post these messages

    At least be consoled that the plant is doing a lot to clean its emissions (based on the news articles over the past two or three years)
  • Reply 20 of 121
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post


    This isn't about Fox vs CNN - this is about hypothesis vs hypothesis (it's all a hypothesis by the way since it's all about projecting what will happen it can't be a fact to say x, y, or z is going to happen in 2050).



    Well, leaving aside the intricacies of space-time as it relates to the "existence" of facts (for the sake of argument, we'll assume that a fact does not exist at previous times), it can still be true that x, y or z will happen in 2050. Now, which should we suppose to be more likely to be true: those things predicted by a theory that has a high degree of confirmation based on [models applied to] historical data (global warming), or those things predicted by the theories that have no general acceptance in the scientific community (global warming denial)?



    Put another way, past experience indicates that severing your aorta will result in a rather quick death, and most of the medical community will assure you of the same. Still, it's only a theory, or hypothesis, since it hasn't been tested on every living person, and it's possible some might survive. If you see a doctor who tells you that, based on his research, you'll be just fine after severing your aorta, who would you choose to believe? It's not yet a fact that you are dead, but if you sever your aorta, it's most likely true that you will be.
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