Google Calls Global Warming Deniers Liars then funds them.

by David Pomerantz

July 10, 2013

Google is raising money for James Inhofe, notorious climate denier. Image from Flickr

Google is raising money for James Inhofe, notorious climate denier. Image from Flickr

The millions of people who are concerned about global warming and looking for upstanding allies in the business community are feeling awfully let down by Google right now.

Thats because Google a company that has done as much as any other to advance the causes of clean energy and climate action is also donating money to some of the worlds most nefarious climate deniers.

Early last month, Google held an all-day summit at the Googleplex in California called How Green is the Internet, where Googles Chairman Eric Schmidt focused on how the Internet can help us act to solve global warming an idea near and dear to Greenpeaces heart noting that You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you’ll be seen as a liar.”

Now, just a month later, The Guardian reports that Googles Washington, D.C. lobbying office is hosting a fundraiser tomorrow for Jim Inhofe, the biggest political obstacle to addressing global warming in the U.S. Senate (and thus possibly the world). Some of his greatest hits include saying that global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated and that carbon pollution would be beneficial to our environment and the economy.

Unfortunately, the Inhofe fundraiser is the second time in the past month that Google has decided to donate to climate deniers the company was also the largest donor at a Washington fundraising dinner last month for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), an anchor tenant in the climate science denial propaganda machine thats been funded by the likes of Exxon, the Koch Brothers, and Donors Trust, the dark money ATM for ultra-conservative moneyed interests.

Google wasnt the only tech company that bought a big table at the CEI fundraiser; Facebook also kicked $25,000 to CEI to join Googles $50,000. CEIs track record for denying and creating confusion around the science of global warming over the past ten years includes such as highlights as this ad where CEI coined the catchphrase: Carbon dioxide: they call it pollution. We call it life.

Google has built a well-earned reputation for acting on global warming by leading on clean energy advocacy, pushing utilities to provide more wind and solar energy in places where they use a lot of electricity like North Carolina and Oklahoma, and investing over $1 billion in clean energy. Earlier this year we ranked Google as tied atop our list of technology companies for their clean energy and climate advocacy.

So why has Google, which has repeatedly backed up Schmidts words with real money by investing in clean energy out in the real world, decided that in the snakepit of Washington DC, it makes sense to give big money to the Carbon dioxide is good for us crowd?

Were not nave; we dont expect that Google, a big company with many business interests, talk only to the politicians that say and do the right things on climate and we know that all companies try to buy politicians votes with money (a problem for a separate blog post). We get that Google needs to lobby Democrats and Republicans alike even if we think that corporations shouldnt be able to use their money to grease the wheels.

But the problem isnt that Inhofe is a Republican its that hes a liar about global warming, to borrow Schmidts term. And climate liars are the single biggest obstacle to having even a substantive debate on how to solve the biggest moral crisis of our time.

If Google continues to play this Beltway game in a way where theyre fundraising for clowns like Inhofe and CEI – CEI and Inhofe, two of the most pernicious liars about the effects of global warming the world has known, then the debate in Washington wont change, the laws wont change, and we wont be able to save our planet in time.

If you want Google to stop funding climate deniers and act like the clean energy champion theyve been in the past, sign the petition at Forecast the Facts and tell them to stop funding Jim Inhofe.

David Pomerantz

By David Pomerantz

David Pomerantz is a former Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace USA, based in San Francisco. He helps lead Greenpeace's campaign for an economy powered by 100% renewable energy.

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