“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.”
I always saw Greenpeace as fitting nicely into that old “Think Different” Apple ad. So in the early days of the “Green my Apple” campaign, when the company was (gently, lovingly) lambasted for the number of toxic chemicals in its products, I was disappointed at how Indifferent and Undifferent they were thinking. Steve went ballistic at a taste of his own medicine. He dug in.
But he had a problem. Because we weren’t actually talking to him — we were talking to his customer base. He could afford to ignore Greenpeace. But his customers? To them he has to listen. And when we said “We love our mac. We just wish it came in green” we were speaking with their voice, and they liked what they heard. In the best Lao Tzu style, we won without ever going to war, when the words “A greener Apple” appeared on apple.com, linking to a policy which delivered on nearly all of our demands.
But this month, Apple showed its true colors as a renegade by leading the pack in Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics in the number one slot, and the launch of the iPad kept Apple true to their green word: it’s PVC, BFR, arsenic and mercury free. Which means that if it ends up in India or China or Africa at the end of its lifecycle, to be cooked apart by 12 year old scavengers recovering precious metals or components, it won’t be poisoning them. The world is measurably better for this. And by greening Apple, Jobs is helping green the whole electronics industry.
But there’s more to be done. The green iPad shouldn’t be operating in a brown cloud. It shouldn’t be powered by dead dinosaurs. It shouldn’t be running its thin, sleek screen on electricity with a fat flatulent carbon footprint. Apple has the power to change minds, to change the world, and they should use it more to ensure that the cloud computing sector, our servers, our infrastructure, that internet that you’re holding in your hands when you hold an iPad is powered by green energy. When Apple walked out of the US Chamber of Commerce over disagreements about the Chamber’s stance on global warming, they were showing the kind of leadership we all need. Keep it up, Apple. Be that renegade, that energy revolutionary, that crazy force which refuses to accept the world as it is, but demands it to live up to a personal vision of what it could be.
Because the world needs those rebels now. It needs the renegades who won’t accept an unacceptable status quo, and who push the human race forward.
Take it further, Apple. Kick it up a notch. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the only ones who do.