Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Remember when Google’s thing was DO NO EVIL?’: Report reveals how internet giant funds climate villains

Published

on

For the last damn time: Big. Tech. Is. Not. Your. Friend.”

Google, whose unofficial company motto was once “Don’t be evil,” counts major deniers of the climate crisis among the groups “that receive the most substantial contributions” from the tech giant’s U.S. Government Affairs and Public Policy team.

“It ought to be disqualifying to support what is primarily a phony climate denying front group. It ought to be unacceptable given how wicked they have been.”
—Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

ADVERTISEMENT

As part of a Guardian series on “the polluters,” the newspaper reported Friday on the biannually updated list (pdf) of “politically-engaged trade associations, independent third-party organizations, and other tax-exempt groups” that Google helps fund.

According to The Guardian:

Among hundreds of groups the company has listed on its website as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organizations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections.

The list includes the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon the Paris agreement and has criticized the White House for not dismantling more environmental rules.

CEI isn’t the only group that Google has funded which promotes unscientific takes on the climate, the newspaper noted:

Google is also listed as a sponsor for an upcoming annual meeting of the State Policy Network (SPN), an umbrella organization that supports conservative groups including the Heartland Institute, a radical anti-science group that has chided the teenage activist Greta Thunberg for “climate delusion hysterics.”

SPN members recently created a “climate pledge” website that falsely states “our natural environment is getting better” and “there is no climate crisis.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Other organizations highlighted in the report for receiving money from Google include the American Conservative Union, the American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the Cato Institute the Mercatus Center, the Heritage Foundation, and Heritage Action.

A Google spokesperson said the company contributes to groups that support “strong technology policies” and “we’re hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy.”

“We’ve been extremely clear that Google’s sponsorship doesn’t mean that we endorse that organization’s entire agenda,” Google’s spokesperson added. “Our position on climate change is similarly clear. Since 2007, we have operated as a carbon neutral company and for the second year in a row, we reached 100 percent renewable energy for our global operations.”

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite Google’s attempted defenses, climate experts and activists expressed frustration with the company’s decisions to give money to such groups.

Co-founder of the global advocacy group 350.org Bill McKibben accused Google and other funders of climate deniers of engaging in “functional greenwashing.”

“Sometimes I’ll talk to companies and they will be going on and on about their renewable server farm or natural gas delivery, and I say thank you, but what we really need is for your lobbying shop in Washington to put serious muscle behind it,” McKibben told The Guardian. “And they never do.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), a vocal advocate of climate action on Capitol Hill, said that “it ought to be disqualifying to support what is primarily a phony climate denying front group. It ought to be unacceptable given how wicked they have been.”

“What all of corporate America should be doing is saying if you are a trade organization or lobby group and you are interfering on climate, we are out. Period,” added Whitehouse.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some readers who weighed on Twitter also criticized the company. The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen declared, “For the last damn time: Big. Tech. Is. Not. Your. Friend.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Others invoked the “Don’t be evil” motto that Google officially removed from its employee code of conduct in the spring of 2018—which, at the time, prompted critics to conclude that as far the as the Big Tech firm is concerned, “evil is fine now.”

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

by

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report

Published

on

On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.

"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."

Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation

Published

on

Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a

"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump spoke with Giuliani on unsecured phones that were vulnerable to Russian surveillance: report

Published

on

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump has communicated with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani via unsecured and unencrypted phone lines that are potentially vulnerable to interception and monitoring by Russian intelligence officials and other hostile foreign powers.

"Trump is not identified by name in the House phone records, but investigators said they suspect he may be a person with a blocked number listed as '-1' in the files," stated the report. "And administration officials said separately that Trump has communicated regularly with Giuliani on unsecured lines."

Continue Reading