Google corporation finances climate denialists

This 2 August 2019 video from Fox Business News TV in the USA says about itself:

FBN’s Cheryl Casone on celebrities descending on Google‘s climate change conference in Italy via private jets and mega yachts.

I hardly ever link to any part of the extreme right Rupert Murdoch empire, like Fox Business News TV. However, in this case, the subject is interesting. Though the Murdoch empire uses it to suggest that supposedly anyone who more or less admits that climate change exists is supposedly a hypocrite, and ‘therefore’ we all should supposedly deny climate change.

Translated from Loes Reijmer in Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 11 October 2019:

Google climate conscious? The tech giant is really concerned about the political climate

More than a hundred private aircraft landed at the airport of Sicily at the end of July, luxury yachts from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Google CEO Eric Schmidt docked at the port. Mark Zuckerberg [Facebook boss] was there, [Scientologist] Tom Cruise, former President Obama. Reportedly, hey, because the annual gathering is surrounded by mystery. Perhaps conspiracy thinkers could spend their precious time googling “Google Camp”. After all, every minute that they do not devote to racist and anti-Semitic ‘great replacement’ theories makes things better.

Anyway. The invitees of Google did in Sicily what the well-heeled, recreational person usually does in 2019: conversing with a worried face about the climate. Then, they go back home in their private planes, something that right-wing media [like Fox Business News] especially did not miss. But let us admit: Google does more for the planet. … Seemingly very Greta proof.

All the more painful therefore is the news that The Guardian published on Friday. Google turns out to be donating large amounts to American organizations that deny climate change and are trying to reverse environmental measures. Among the lucky ones is the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a lobby group that is said to have played an important role in Trumps’s decision to get out of the Paris climate agreement. One of the directors likes to brag about his access to the White House, but at the same time thinks that the president is not going far enough in pampering the fossil fuel industry. …

The u-turn is revealing: Google is not only concerned about climate change, but especially about political climate change. Washington has started to look at the big tech companies with stricter eyes. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, currently in the lead in the Democratic race, had a large billboard placed at the beginning of June at a train station in San Francisco where many commuters take the train to Silicon Valley every day. “Break up big tech,” it said: break up the corporations. The market is only in the hands of a few players: Google, Facebook and Amazon. As a result, men like Schmidt, Zuckerberg and Bezos are far too powerful.

Zuckerberg cannot sleep at night because of this, a secret sound recording recently revealed. He called Warren “a real threat to his business“. According to The Guardian, Google is particularly worried that Washington will force it to become a media corporation, with all the responsibilities that go with it, rather than the neutral platform that it now claims to be.

Which lobby groups try to prevent all this? Indeed. On the site of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, they are typing their fingers blue about the dangers of more regulation. …

But the hypocrisy that The Guardian uncovered has much greater consequences. Google‘s pocket money not only influences decision making in the field of technology, but also about the climate. Collateral damage, they apparently think in Silicon Valley. Good to remember if we have to listen to their world-improving talks again.

From daily The Guardian in Britain, 16 October 2019

Nursing mothers and youths blockaded Google’s London headquarters on Wednesday in protest at the company’s funding of climate deniers, as Extinction Rebellion defied a police order by continuing to stage actions in the capital.

A Guardian investigation revealed last week that Google had made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington, despite its insistence that it supports action on the climate emergency.

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