April 25, 2012

Apple Has Record Earnings And San Francisco Store Empty

Greenpeace Protest At San Francisco Apple Store

Greenpeace Protest Highlights Apple’s Failure To Address Environmental Concerns

On a day that Apple announced record profits, their San Francisco flagship store was empty, because no one would go into the store. Greenpeace was protesting Apple’s massive cloud initiative and the new data centers powered by burning coal, that will have long-term negative effects on North Carolina, and our nation's environment.

On a day that Apple released their earnings report, and the Wall Street Journal crowed that “Apple Profits Nearly Double On iPhone, iPad Sales,” it was a warm and beautiful day, in both Cupertino and San Francisco.

San Francisco Apple Store Greenpeace Protest I was in the financial district and wanted to stop at the Apple store, to lay my near-sighted eyes on the “Revolutionary” iPad 3 again. I wanted to check it out one more time before pulling the trigger to buy one. I’m torn between the iPad 2 and the iPad 3. The iPad 2 is a more sensible investment, but the iPad 3 is a thing of beauty (If I fall for the marketing hype).

As I got closer to the store, and looked up the street, I heard some loud yelling and chanting and saw a couple of news camera crews. I had skillfully traversed a huge SEIU protest march that was disrupting traffic and consuming the police, just minutes earlier. I thought I’d gotten ahead of them, and left them shouting and chanting in the canyons of the downtown skyscrapers.(The SEIU protest of city workers had over 1000 participants, and there were over 20 arrests.)

I cursed the SEIU protesters for disrupting my day again, as I approached the Apple store and saw more protesters and placards. Then I realized the activists who surrounded the Apple store were much more benevolent. They were smiling, and wearing brightly colored shirts, and shouting about the cloud. I looked up at the blue sky, as you would.......and couldn’t see a cloud at all. I took a few photos, scratched my head, and thought I’ll come back another day.

The residents of San Francisco are a smart and savvy bunch. We don’t disrupt protests, we support free speech and the right to protest and assemble, and we respect any picket lines or protesters, and we don’t cross them. Even if we disagree with their message, that’s what we do. No one was going into the Apple store on this day of record profits.

SEIU Protest March Market StreetJust as I was turning around to go home, I was approached with a big smile, by a very friendly and cute Greenpeace activist. We had a brief and lovely chat, and she filled me in on the economic and environmental destruction that coal powered electricity has on the environment.  Then we spoke about Apple, and the billions of dollars in cash that they are sitting on, and how shameful it is for an American Corporation with unlimited resources, to build huge data centers that will cause a tremendous amount of pollution and harm to our eco-system. All in the name of the cloud?

As I walked away I told my new friend that I would be writing about this today on my blog. I told her to check it out, and like a true idiot I didn’t get her name.

When I got home I read some of the studies that Greenpeace conducted, and signed the petition supporting their efforts, and it’d be cool if you would do that too. Apple, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft are all embarking on huge campaigns to encourage cloud computing, and Google and Facebook are right behind them. These companies continue to make record profits, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask of them, or expect,  that they use their technical abilities to build green data centers and find alternative fuel sources.

After signing the Greenpeace petition, the site asked me if I wanted to put a post on Facebook about the petition. They don’t know I don’t like Facebook (Google Plus is more fun and less Big Brotherish - check it out!). I wrote a message for my family and friends - that I’m going to share here - and I meant every word of it. (I didn’t realize that Google announced their new “cloud” initiative, when I wrote this.)

If my Greenpeace friend gets to read this blog post - thank you!

Visit cleanourcloud.com for more information.

My letter to Facebook:
Wassup! 
I think I’m turning into a hippie – and the only thing I can’t muster are the damn dreadlocks (fucking chemo). Birkenstocks, muesli, tie-dyed tees and Greenpeace rules! 
With all the talk of our lives and data being stored in the “cloud,” it’s imperative that we do everything we can to improve the environment for future generations. 
Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are the largest technology companies investing in the cloud currently, and Google and Facebook could be entering the “cloud” market in the future. With the energy demands that these data centers command, we must find a way to use alternative fuel sources to meet our energy needs. Apple has over $80 Billion in cash sitting in the bank – and they can afford to invest in clean alternative fuel sources. We must make this a priority and demand this for our kids. 
I want my fantastic niece and all my nephews to have every opportunity to thrive in the future. That’s why I fight for safe schools, and strong anti-bullying laws. That’s why I advocate strong and fair anti-discrimination measures be put in place across the country. We must ensure no one in this great nation of ours – where we are all allegedly created equal – loses a job, or is denied a place to live, because someone believes the Bible gives them license to discriminate. 
In order to be the best country in the world, we must set an example for the rest of the world to follow. Being responsible stewards of our fragile ecosystem and the environment is an integral part of being a role model and world leader. 
Please consider going to cleanourcloud.com and sign the petition. 
Your kids, your nieces and nephews, and your grandchildren, deserve the best. Help make it happen! 
Thanks for listening! 
Love, 
Roy Steele xxx 
Greenpeace Cloud Cleaning In Process Stockton St

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