Forward Thinking:What Apple's EPEAT Fiasco Could Mean For Frequent Fliers
The truth is Apple can't seem to make up it's mind whether it wants to be seen as green or not. When you dig a little deeper the truth is not quite straightforward. Apple claims its products actually exceed the EPEAT standard and that the whole of its portfolio is not adequately covered by EPEAT hence the rational for removing itself from the program. Apple was said to have reversed the decision when it received complaints from large loyal customers including government agencies government bodies and universities worried about Apple's green credentials.
What has any of this got to do with healthy frequent flying you might ask? Apple's sizeable share in tablets and mobile phones means they are often the items of choice brought on aircrafts when passengers choose to entertain themselves. The WSJ article Switch Off or Get Off highlights a potential problem electronic equipment may pose if Wi-Fi in the sky becomes the norm, which does seem to be the trend these days. The key passage to note reads as follows
"Two studies to date highlight the possible dangers electronic devices may pose to aircraft. The first one conducted by researchers from Carnegie Mellon in 2006 measured cellphone emissions in-flight and found frequencies that could interfere with global positioning satellite systems. The other by RTCA Inc (an advisory body to the FAA) in 2008 confirmed emissions from personal electronic devices or T-PEDS could interfere with critical aircraft systems".
If emissions from phones and tablets risk posing a danger to aircraft systems and peoples health on-board then Apple's change of heart is welcome and we should applaud it. Lest we forget the quality and availability of oxygen on a plane at altitude is suspect to begin with, polluting what little oxygen there is with emissions from mobile devices could become a problem for all fliers. It might be a personal preference but the best apples are always green!
References & Sources
MobiThinking.com - World's media tablet shipments by OS (2010 -2016)
WSJ Europe Article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204781804577267304080904804.html