I do not know where you stand on the whole climate crisis issue. There seem to be two camps and they won’t allow anyone to straddle the line. It’s either the world will end in 2050 or the whole climate crisis story is a hoax. Pick a side.
Now, those on the ‘mother Earth will collapse in a couple of decades if we don’t repent of our ways’ ticket are a bit more persuasive.
By persuasive I of course mean loud. Humans love their peace and if you shout at them and threaten to cancel them if they don’t make the ‘green concessions’ you believe in, they will just do whatever you want.
As a result, we have seen a lot of ‘green pleasing’ going on. Whole countries deliberately weakened their own energy independence to worship at the green altar. We saw this come back to bite some of these countries in the nether regions leading them to turn to ol’ dirty coal like cavemen.
Companies have of course been doing this dance too. Every year you hear these companies talk about how they reduced their carbon footprint or some other green-sounding stuff.
When Samsung launched the S23 earlier this month, they towed the party line and pledged allegiance saying,
Samsung adopting new & sustainable ways of doing business to meet the urgency of climate crisis
Samsung says they incorporated recycled materials in more device components than ever before and also used 100% recycled paper in the packaging material.
You know how the dance goes, some experts tell us just how Samsung’s efforts are not as impressive as they made them out to be. And we sit here trying to pretend we are surprised that a company would exaggerate anything to make themselves look good.
Apple is the king
Apple is gangster, my friend. Those guys know how to use ‘the current thing’ to their financial benefit. Right now, all the rage is sustainability and so you best believe Apple has danced the dance too.
The one that sickens me is the whole missing charger-in-the-box thing. If you have bought a flagship smartphone in the past few years and found no charger in the box you have Apple to thank for that.
The story that Apple went with was that users already had chargers lying about their homes and stuffing new chargers in new iPhones’ boxes was just leading to waste. So good guy Apple, not wanting to see landfills fill up with old iPhone chargers decided to just remove the charger from the box.
They added that because they were removing the charger, they could also make the box smaller. Leading to less cardboard used to package the millions of iPhones they sell every year. It all sounded like the most green thing a company could ever do.
Except it was all about the other green, the greenback. Apple could sell you an iPhone for the same price despite it coming without a charger. If they had lowered the price by the price of a charger then their story could have had teeth.
To make matters worse, they would gladly sell you the charger separately. It would come in its own little box, with its own little plastic wrapping. It wasn’t about the planet my friend.
Clean Energy Charging
This time around, I can’t quite see how they stand to make money from this move directly. Except that it gives them a few green points with the Greta Thunbergs’ of this world. The Gretas are powerful people at the moment so it is wise to appease them whenever you can before they call for a boycott of your company.
The latest gift to the green gods from Apple is clean energy charging. Apparently, the new feature was introduced with iOS 16.1. Here’s what Apple says about it,
…iPhone will try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available…
This means the iPhone will only charge when the national grid uses clean energy sources like wind and solar.
We know that iPhones charge slowly but users have been complaining that they have been charging even slower only to find that this new clean energy charging was to blame.
Those in the ‘climate crisis my foot’ camp have been annoyed to the bone by this. They are especially incensed by how Apple tries to guilt them into not turning the feature off. At least that’s how they see it. When a user tries to turn clean energy charging off they get the following message,
Clean Energy Charging helps reduce carbon footprint.
Turn Off Until Tomorrow
One user made his thoughts on this known when he said, ‘Thank you. I’d like to leave the biggest footprint possible.’ Another sincere user asked, ‘Is there a way to select “Only coal or diesel generated electricity” if so I would like that please and thank you.’
What a world we live in. Such understanding. Not polarised at all.
Not in Zimbabwe
For now, the feature is a U.S. exclusive. I am running iOS 16.3.1 but there’s no clean energy charging feature on my phone.
They are not going to be able to bring this feature to countries like Zimbabwe. While hydro-electricity is not too bad on the sustainability hierarchy, we also supplement that Kariba electricity with dirty ol’ coal.
As far as I’m aware, we don’t actually get to know where the electricity we’re using is coming from. We just flip the switches on, and cook our potatoes and vegetables, none the wiser about where the electricity we’re consuming is coming from. I’d imagine ZETDC knows but do they disclose this? I don’t know.
Our grid is not smart just yet. Although we are working on it.
So, if Apple cannot know the source of your electricity, clean energy charging cannot work. I hope it stays that way.
Imagine waking up to your phone at 22% because ZETDC fed your neighbourhood some filthy Hwange electricity and your iPhone was like I only eat vegan, I don’t do dinosaur juice. I’d be knocking on Tim Cook’s door demanding a word.
Anyway, that’s the new feature. The latest grandstanding, the latest virtue signalling from Apple. Or maybe it’s the latest in a series of eco-conscious decisions that are saving the planet by the fruit guys? Do let us know what you think in the comments below.