Google has continued to curry political favor with staunch conservatives by making substantial financial contributions to more than a dozen groups that deny that the climate crisis is real, as The Guardian revealed in a bombshell investigation.
The tech behemoth recently boasted about its net-zero emissions targets, its billions of dollars in wind and solar investments, and its CEO insisted that sustainability has been one of its earliest core values. However, that action has not stopped it from donating to organizations that have lobbied against climate legislation, questioned climate science or actively fought to reverse Obama-era environmental regulations.
A transparency document from Google shows that more than a dozen climate-science denying groups are among the organizations that "receive the most substantial contributions from Google's U.S. Government Affairs and Public Policy team."
One of the groups that have received support is the libertarian think-tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which was instrumental in convincing President Trump to leave the Paris agreement and has been critical of his administration for not dismantling enough environmental regulations, according to The Guardian.
Google has also made a substantial contribution to the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Committee, or CPAC — the conference where, earlier this year, Trump hugged a flag, called Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, insulted the Green New Deal and said Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez ranted like a lunatic, as USA Today reported.
The company is also a sponsor of the upcoming annual meeting of the State Policy Network (SPN), which is an umbrella for conservative groups like the Heartland Institute, which has denied climate science and criticized Greta Thunberg for "climate delusion hysterics," as The Guardian reported.
The Guardian also reported that SPN members recently created a "climate pledge" website that states, "our natural environment is getting better" and "there is no climate crisis."
These contributions stand in stark contrast to Google's public pledge to take urgent action on the climate crisis, according to The Independent. It also openly defies a 2014 statement from Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt who said on a radio show that it was wrong that Google supported a climate crisis-denying organization and that the company would not continue to do so.
As The Independent reported, a Google transparency statement distances itself from the entire ethos of the organizations it donates to. It states, "Google's sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn't mean that we endorse the organizations' entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions nor the views of its leaders or members."
In other words, Google will give money to groups whose climate science denial may be anathema to Google's position as long as those organizations do have some part of their agenda that is favorable to Google. In the case of these conservative organizations, Google supports their advocacy for deregulation.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr
In particular, Google wants to curry favor with conservatives to protect the Communications Decency Act, which was written in the 1990s and offers legal immunity to companies like Google and Facebook from third-party content that appears on their websites, according to The Guardian.
Essentially, it protects tech companies from being held liable for the content that appears on their websites.
Google's contributions to climate crisis deniers seem to be paying off. In a recent letter to members of Congress, CEI and other conservative groups called for the protection of section 230, arguing that it provided "new venues for conservative speech." It added that legislators who wanted to end the law are "well-meaning but mistaken."
In response to the revelations about where Google was making significant contributions, a spokesperson said to The Guardian, "We're hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.
- Experts Recommend Halving Global Fishing for Crucial Prey Species ›
- US Court Upholds Ruling on Vast Marine Monument Established by ... ›
A "major" natural gas explosion killed two people and seriously injured at least seven in Baltimore, Maryland Monday morning.
- Fatal Natural Gas Explosion Rocks Durham, NC - EcoWatch ›
- Gas Explosion Rips Through Maryland Office & Shopping Complex ... ›
Nearly 900 people across the U.S. and Canada have been sickened by salmonella linked to onions distributed by Thomson International, the The New York Times reported.
- Meat Producers Issue Massive Recalls after Salmonella, Listeria ... ›
- Salmonella Outbreaks Could Worsen with Decreased Poultry ... ›
- Major Salmonella Outbreak Exacerbated by Government Shutdown ... ›
In the coming days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to use its power to roll back yet another Obama-era environmental protection meant to curb air pollution and slow the climate crisis.
- Permian Basin Methane Emissions Found to Be More Than 2x ... ›
- Oil and Gas Operations Release 60 Percent More Methane than ... ›
- 'Extraordinarily Harmful' Trump Rule Would Gut Restrictions on ... ›
- Exxon Now Wants to Write the Rules for Regulating Methane ... ›
By Alex Kirby
The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.
Melt Ponds Crucial<p>"The prospect of loss of sea ice by 2035 should really be focusing all our minds on achieving a low-carbon world as soon as humanly feasible."</p><p><a href="http://www.reading.ac.uk/search/search-staff-details.aspx?id=10813" target="_blank">Dr. David Schroeder from the University of Reading</a>, UK, who co-led the implementation of the melt pond scheme in the climate model, says, "This shows just how important sea ice processes like melt ponds are in the Arctic, and why it is crucial that they are incorporated into climate models."</p><p>The extent of the areas <a href="https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/formation.html" target="_blank">sea ice</a> covers varies between summer and winter. If more solar energy is absorbed at the surface, and temperatures rise further, a cycle of warming and melting occurs during summer months.</p><p>When the ice forms, the ocean water beneath becomes saltier and denser than the surrounding ocean. Saltier water sinks and moves along the ocean bottom towards the equator, while warm water from mid-depths to the surface travels from the equator towards the poles.</p><p>Scientists refer to this process as the ocean's global "conveyor-belt." Changes to the volume of sea ice can disrupt normal ocean circulation, with consequences for global climate. </p>
- Strongest, Oldest Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up for First Time on Record ... ›
- Arctic Sea Ice Levels Hit Record Low After Unusually Warm January ... ›
- Why California Droughts Could Increase Due to Arctic Sea Ice Loss ... ›
Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Putin's Daughter Among Vaccinated<p>The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated and is feeling well.</p><p>"One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing," Putin said.</p><p>After the first vaccine shot, his daughter experienced a slight fever, 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F). Her temperature came down to just slightly above normal the next day. </p><p>"After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high antibody count," Putin said. </p><p>He didn't specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, received the vaccine.</p><p>Russian health authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to receive shots of the vaccine.</p>
Years of Work Reduced to Weeks<p>Russia is the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine. As <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/germany-coronavirus-vaccine-may-only-be-available-in-mid-2021/a-54362065" target="_blank">countries worldwide race to produce the first vaccine</a>, health experts warn that speed and national pride could compromise safety.</p><p>Scientists in Russia and abroad have questioned Moscow's decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people, but Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary trials and that vaccination will be voluntary.</p><p>Russian officials have said that large-scale production of the vaccine will begin in September, and mass vaccination may start as early as October.</p><p>Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, has <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/philippines-duterte-volunteers-to-be-putins-russian-coronavirus-vaccine-guinea-pig/a-54523030" target="_blank">lauded Russia's efforts in developing the vaccine</a> and said that the Philippines is ready to work with Moscow on vaccine trials, supply and production. Duterte volunteered to "be the first they can experiment on."</p><p>"I will tell President Putin that I have huge trust in your studies in combating COVID and I believe that the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity," Duterte said, adding that he thinks Russia's vaccine will be ready for the Philippines by December.</p>
- Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Enters Phase 2 and 3 Clinical Trials ... ›
- Trump Administration Buys up Nearly All the World's Supply of ... ›
- First Trial of Moderna's Coronavirus Vaccine Produces Immune ... ›
A powerful series of thunderstorms roared across the Midwest on Monday, downing trees, damaging structures and knocking out power to more than a million people.