Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Google's 'Shameful Hypocrisy' In Support Of Anti-Global Warming Senator Inhofe

Posted by Tom Foremski - July 10, 2013

Google's PR machine will let you know about all its wonderful "Green" projects and the $1 billion it's invested in energy from wind and sun: Google makes $1 billion investment in renewable energy - SFGate

But you'll have to go elsewhere to hear about its support for Senator James Inhofe, described by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist as "the delusional or dishonest Oklahoma Republican" who has called global warming the "greatest hoax."

The "Green" giant is helping to raise thousands of dollars for his re-election by hosting a lunch at its Washington office on July 11, costing  as much as $2500 per plate. Google has a large data center in Oklahoma, the senator's home state.

James Temple, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, called it a "shameful act of corporate hypocrisy."

He points out that the senator has tried McCarthy-like tactics in accusations against 17 top climate scientists of violating the Federal False Statements Act, which could result in five years in prison over their global warming claims.

The senator has said that CO2 emissions are "beneficial to our environment and economy." 

Mr Temple writes,"This is the type of person whom reasonable, thoughtful people - people who supposedly cherish science, data and reason - call out as dangerous and unfit for public office."

Vice's Brian Merchant writing on Motherboard, points out that Google was the largest donor to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's recent fund raising dinner, writing a check of $50,000 to the  anti-science conservative think-tank. 

Forecast the Facts is collecting signatures for a petition asking CEO Larry Page to cancel the lunch: Hey Google! Don't Fund Evil!

Foremski's Take: 

A Google representative told the Guardian newspaper that throwing fund raisers for politicians doesn't mean the company supports their views. I'm pretty sure it does. Money talks and money is Washington's "like" button,  it gets counted and it's given for a reason. To claim otherwise is absurd.

What type of "green" is Google committed to? Dollars or planet? Its cynical hypocrisy over a lunch party will derail the many carefully planted PR stories of a caring corporation. 

Google never refers to its "Do no evil" mantra anymore. A smart move but what has replaced it? "It's complicated" is a more realistic company slogan. 

The biggest risk Google faces is internal

Google's thousands of engineers won't be pleased -- they are young and want to be part of an organization that is unique and working to "do things that matter" as Google says in its recruitment drives.  They are also mostly male and mostly interested in meeting females -- and hypocrisy is not sexy.

If it fails to retain top talent or is unable to recruit it, the cost to Google will far outweigh any short-term tit-tat-back-scratch gains it hopes to win from its two-faced lobbying. 

Yahoo suffered greatly for its compromises with the Chinese government that led to ten-years of hard labor for one of its email users a journalist. Reporters without Borders named Yahoo as Chinese informant, founder Jerry Yang was summoned to Congress and had to face the weeping mother of the imprisoned young man.

Yahoo insiders told me the rank and file were deeply unhappy with the amoral, and immoral behavior of their company.

Google risks alienating its most important constituency - not shareholders or users, but its own people. They notice things and they are motivated by a chance to make big changes. They can see that global warming is changing the world but Google isn't. 

 - - -

Forecast the Facts | Hey Google! Don't Fund Evil!

Lunch for Inhofe should be unthinkable for Google - San Francisco Chronicle

Why Is Google Raising Cash for the Nation's Biggest Climate Change Denier? | Motherboard

Google hosts fundraiser for climate change denying US senator | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Story link | Subscribe free | Categories: A Top Story, Silicon Valley, Tech Policy




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