Stop Purchasing Our Product

The letter from Apple arrived via snail mail, itself a worrying sign, and began ominously:

Your household efficiency rank is in the bottom quartile and declining. You are spending more money on apps, purchasing more music, and using more bandwidth than your neighbors. Our data show that you also have more Apple products in your household than is typical in your area.

Please log into your account at for customized tips about how you can save money by reducing your demand for Apple products and services.

Why would Apple admonish its customers for purchasing too much of what it is in business to sell?

It wouldn’t. Neither would Google, Facebook or Twitter. Yet each month my neighbors employed by these enterprises and I open a report like the one at right from our local energy utility. The idea is to shame us into conserving energy by comparing our consumption to that of “more efficient” households in our neighborhood.

Purchasing less is absolutely essential. To save the planet, don’t you know.

However, it’s not so simple. In typical left-wing fashion, saving money in my neighborhood first requires “investment” in a money-no-object ecologically advanced dwelling of the sort dancing in the heads of Greenpeace executives on Christmas Eve. In short, a low energy bill hereabouts is another way of telegraphing, simultaneously, that you are very, very rich, and also incredibly caring.

My Silicon Valley neighbors overwhelmingly favor deterring consumption, except when it comes to the products and services responsible for their own considerable financial success.