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Environment, China stores at Apple shareholders meeting

updated 03:30 pm EST, Thu February 25, 2010

Company plans for 25 Chinese retail stores

Environmental issues played a significant role in today's Apple shareholders meeting, inside accounts say. Although the meeting was notable for the return of CEO Steve Jobs, now said to look "good" despite last year's medical problems, events were quickly upstaged by the Shelton Ehrlich, a Palo Alto man who insisted that Al Gore was ignorant about melting glaciers and other aspects of climate science. Gore, who serves on the Apple board of directors, is also known for his climate change advocacy.

Ehrlich has become an infamous conservative critic at Apple shareholder meetings. In 2009 he accused the room of being "socialists," attempting to "make us slaves to the government." His Thursday speech was countered by other shareholders however, who backed Gore and received applause.

Attendees nevertheless voted down a sustainability measure, one which would have required Apple to provide more thorough accounting of its environmental damage. Another revelation from the meeting is that Apple intends to build at least 25 retail stores in China alone, likely reflecting the country's massive population and its growing wealth amongst some classes. Many European countries have less than a handful of stores.

Jobs is reported by Reuters to have defended the company's approximate $40 billion in cash reserves, saying it offers flexibility and security. The executive also rejected calls for dividends or a stock split, insisting that Apple is so large at this stage that such measures would not influence share prices. He lastly refused to comment either way on the prospect of a Verizon iPhone, expected by some analysts.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, it's nice

    that they let Ehrlich blather on about this evil people's conspiracy, or that secret plot to undermine the United States of Business.
    I personally find it difficult to see a disadvantage to creating cleaner, more energy efficient products.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Brad Bradley

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good for Ehrlich...

    Apple's board meetings might be the wrong place to rave about global warming and "real" environmental concerns may have merit... but I can never figure out why Al Gore is on Apple's board. He may become a liability as the "global warming myth" continues to be debunked... just as the "ice-age scare" of the sixties was.

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Regardless of where you stand on an issue like climate change, attacking Al Gore in a shareholder's meeting of a consumer electronics company is inappropriate and just makes you look like a lunatic.

    And the previous poster is right, global warming is a myth. Anthropocentric global climate change, however, is already here and you don't need any fancy scientific studies to see it. Anyone who's lived where I do for a decade or two has seen marked shifts in weather patterns to the point it's almost unrecognizable, and the 2000-year-old trees growing here seem to agree.

    I also find it amusing when someone sites the Daily Mail as evidence for any factual argument. That they're a tabloid prone to inaccurate stories doesn't automatically invalidate everything they publish, but they're not what you'd call a reliable source of objectivity.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    No matter how much someone has learned about the AGW theory, any person concerned with their business or investment knows that "more thorough accounting," especially the kind that supposed to placate zealots like greenpeace, is a money drain. Just look how much time and money "environmental impact" studies cost developers, and how many projects are abandoned to to conflicts and cost.

    No, it's in Apple's and their customers' best interest to avoid the dog and pony shows that are these enviro-accounting bureaucratic drains.

  1. chas_m



    Accommodating the mentally ill

    Should not be done at shareholder meetings.

  1. hansmickle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Accommodating the mentally ill...

    Why not at shareholder meetings? There's one at least on the BoD...

  1. zunipus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ehrlich = Neo-Con, NOT 'conservative'

    In this current age of disinformation it is critical to properly distinguish between Neo-Cons, or Neo-Con-Jobs as they have proven themselves to be, versus actual, factual conservatives. Calling Mr. Ehrlich a 'conservative' is IMHO disgraceful. His remarks are entirely within the propagandist realm of Neo-Cons. If he were actually 'conservative' I'd expect on him making sense in his criticisms rather than resorting to HATE, ABUSE and sucker faerie tales he heard on the Neo-Con media.

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