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Tim Cook advises climate change deniers to get out of Apple stock

In a response to a shareholder suggestion that Apple stop its environmentally friendly initiatives, the typically temperate Apple CEO draws a blunt line in the sand.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In his job as Apple CEO, Tim Cook is mostly known for having a demeanor that's in some ways antithetical to that of Steve Jobs. Instead of bombast and bold claims, Cook's soothing Southern-tinged speech and steely temperament have marked him as a man whose head could be nothing but level. That is, unless you're a shareholder who thinks climate change is bogus.

At Apple's annual shareholder meeting Friday, Cook shot down the suggestion from a conservative, Washington, D.C.-based think tank that Apple give up on environmental initiatives that don't contribute to the company's bottom line.

The organization, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), hasn't taken too kindly to Apple's increasing reliance on green energy, nor Cook's hiring of Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to spearhead sustainability efforts for the iPhone-maker. And NCPPR General Counsel Justin Danhof said as much in a statement issued to Apple ahead of the meeting.

"We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards," Danhof wrote alongside NCPPR's demand that the pledge be voted on at the meeting. "This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender."

Cook came back with a harsh reminder that despite the company's mounds of cash, it is not in the business of caving to shareholder demands, especially politically motivated ones. "We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive," Cook said. "We want to leave the world better than we found it."

Danhof's proposal was voted down, of course, but not before Cook put the final touches on his rebuttal. To any who found the company's environmental dedication either ideologically or economically ill-advised, they can "get out of the stock," Cook said.

(Via Mashable)