Earlier this month, Google hosted a $2,500 a person fundraising dinner for one of the world’s most powerful climate change deniers, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe. And just two weeks before that, Google poured $50,000 into the coffers of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a right-wing think tank that is also funded by the likes of ExxonMobil and Philip Morris (Altria) to put out faux “studies” that are used by policy-makers to deny climate change exists.
Google had been a corporate leader in fighting for the environment, so why is it funding the very people and institutions that are fighting tooth and nail to block progress on climate change?
A global outcry is starting to build now that people see Google moving away from its unofficial corporate motto — “Don’t be evil“. Let’s add our voices to that chorus to make sure Google knows that tens of thousands of its own users across the globe want it to cut off all support to climate change deniers who are destroying the planet we all have to live on.
As long as the U.S. continues to block global progress on climate change — by refusing to sign global treaties, by avoiding dealing with its own carbon problem, by electing lunatics who claim global warming isn’t happening — what U.S. legislators and think tanks say about climate change will affect the rest of us. But while those legislators and think tanks may not care what non-Americans think about their anti-climate ways, Google does care what its users outside the U.S. think.
Right now, Google is actively helping to fund the reelection of an American senator who dismisses climate change as a “hoax”, and who even goes to far as to say that global warming, should it exist, is actually good because it adds to the economy. Google’s support of CEI is just as harmful; the institute once ran ads saying that carbon dioxide is a positive factor in the environment and is best known for arguing that global warming is not a concern. CEI also launched multiple lawsuits aimed at discrediting the science behind climate change.
Google’s funding is particularly perplexing considering Google has invested heavily in fighting climate change. Google was known to be a industry leader in promoting clean technology and reducing its operations’ carbon footprint. It has spent billions of dollars on carbon offsets and other investments in clean technology. Just last month, Google’s chairman said “You can lie about the effects of climate change,” says chairman Eric Schmidt, “but eventually you’ll be seen as a liar.”
So why the about-face? It turns out that, last year, Google hired a conservative former Congresswoman, Susan Molinari, to head up its lobby shop in DC. Since then, Google has been quietly passing donations to some of the most extreme politicians and right-wing causes.
But word is getting out and Google is on the defensive. It knows its positive brand image will be damaged if more people find out where Google’s donations are going now. Now we need to make sure Google gets the message, loud and clear.
Thanks for all that you do,
Angus, Kaytee, Claiborne and the rest of us
Google hosts fundraiser for climate change denying US senator, Guardian, 9 July 2013
Inhofe Fundraises Off Environmental Protests at His Google Fundraiser, Time Swampland, 16 July 2013
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