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Google Raises Campaign Funds For Climate Change Denier 365

Posted by Soulskill
from the pi-is-exactly-3 dept.
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "Alex Altman reports at Time Magazine that Google recently hosted a fundraiser for Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the Senate's most conservative Republicans and a staunch opponent of EPA regulations. Inhofe authored a treatise called 'The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,' thinks the Bible disproves global warming, and once denounced the 'arrogance' of scientists who suggest that 'we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate.' What prompted Google to host a fund raiser where attendees shelled out up to $2,500 for lunch with Inhofe? A data center that Google operates in Pryor, Oklahoma. 'Google runs a significant operation that provides around 100 jobs,' says Rusty Appleton, Inhofe's campaign manager. 'The Senator had an opportunity to tour the facilities in May of last year, and is committed to ensuring that Oklahoma remains a great place to do business.' A Google spokesperson says the company regularly hosts fundraisers for candidates of all stripes, even when Google disagrees with some of their policies — as it does with Inhofe on climate change. This explanation didn't wash with the activists outside Google's D.C. headquarters near K Street. "
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Google Raises Campaign Funds For Climate Change Denier

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  • Imagine that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lithdren (605362) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:05PM (#44262639)

    Company acts in own self-interest, news at 11.

  • Don't be evil... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:06PM (#44262649)
    ...is starting to either redefine "evil" or "don't"... Haven't figured out which yet...

    I know that politics makes for strange bedfellows, but this seems to head a little out of the norm.
  • Do No Evil... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wazzzup (172351) <astromac&fastmail,fm> on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:08PM (#44262671)

    ...up until that point in which it becomes advantageous to do evil.

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:10PM (#44262695) Homepage
    Buying congress makes sense. If they're outspokenly against you, when you buy them, they stop doing that. It'll be fun to see if this congressman does a 180 once Google's money is up his sock hole, and starts spouting Google's corporate values as his new platform.
  • Re:So happy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fightinfilipino (1449273) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:10PM (#44262699) Homepage

    manufacturers of iOS devices, Android devices, Windows Phone devices, even Blackberries that still exist in the wild all do at least some of their manufacturing in China, where labor and environmental abuses are not just a daily occurrence but an accepted part of "doing business."

    calling one side hypocritical is naïve, flame baiting, and ultimately pointless.

  • Re:So happy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:11PM (#44262705) Homepage Journal

    And you think Apple and Microsoft are any less evil?? How many wind and solar farms [mercurynews.com] are they bankrolling? What kind of phone are YOU using, hypocrite?

    I have two words for you -- bribery and extortion. It's how politics work in the US.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:11PM (#44262713) Homepage

    A Google spokesperson says the company regularly hosts fundraisers for candidates of all stripes, even when Google disagrees with some of their policies â" as it does with Inhofe on climate change. This explanation didn't wash with the activists outside Google's D.C. headquarters near K Street.

    Why would that explanation lack credibility? It sounds a lot more forthright than I would expect. Let's frame it a little differently and I think it will ring quite true:

    "Google doesn't care about the policies of the politicians it supports, or whether those policies harm the nation, the planet, or the American people. Google will happily help channel money to any politician who can help us pay a little less taxes to maintain the system we benefit from, or who can influence laws so that we are not held responsible for our stalking or the government stalking we facilitate. Oligarchy rules!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:13PM (#44262739)

    I consider all climate change data, even the unpopular data showing the earth has been cooling the past decade even though carbon emissions are at the highest ever!

    LOLZ

  • Re:Imagine that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zordak (123132) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:16PM (#44262763) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, how is this news? A large company is schmoozing politicians. It's fine to think it's evil and corrupt and whatever. But news is generally something that you didn't already know. And the title is just trolling for True Believers who think that "Global Warming" is a single monolithic issue, with exactly one meaning and with exactly two sides ("Evangelist" and "Denier"), with no nuance or discussion possible. (As evidence, watch the flood of comments that will follow labeling me a "denier" because I used the words "nuance" and "discussion" in connection with Global Warming.)
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:23PM (#44262845) Journal
    Basically if you're going to wait for a candidate that matches all your beliefs, you're never going to get it, even if you become a senator yourself. So you have to decide what priorities you think are most important. Google chose theirs, which are different than the activists, which annoys the activists.

    And honestly I'm not sure they made the wrong priority decision. Whether they support climate change politicians or not, little is going to change in that area.
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:23PM (#44262853)

    When someone thinks a book written by people can refute data, their can be no discussion.

    Who do we contact at google to bitch about this?

  • Re:So happy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:25PM (#44262877)

    What about round earth?
    Or the earth being very old?

    Fun fact, reality does not care if you believe in it or not.

  • Investment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FellowConspirator (882908) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:35PM (#44262963)

    Buying the good graces of a member of congress is a good investment. Rates have never been lower, and congress has never bee more corruptible. Even if you're not evil, the purchase of congressional support means that they tend to watch your back when they're screwing the little guy. It's just good business.

    One thing I don't get about Inhofe and the other climate change deniers is this: why say the hoax is costing you millions when the hoax could just as easily be a business opportunity. I mean, real or not, it just means an opportunity for companies to cash in on environmental friendliness, sell people cures (whether they need them or not), etc. Even if you suppose Inhofe is receiving carnal pleasures from the petrochemical industry in exchange for his obedience, those same companies could turn around and make megabucks on carbon sequestration schemes, higher-priced fuel formulations that reduce emissions 1-2%, etc. People already swimming in cash are in a unique position to jump on opportunities of this sort. Hell, Exxon and GM ought to be able to get huge grants for "research" in making more carbon-neutral petro-fueled vehicles -- we're talking free money!

    That's the problem with corrupt politicians these days... They miss the bigger money-grubbing picture.

  • by bryanandaimee (2454338) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:39PM (#44263019)

    Inhofe sounds like a bit of a nut, but for me it's not about the science. I think the science of global warming is pretty well understood. But when it comes to political policy, the science of global warming is only ever used to promote thinly veiled marxism and anti-business, and even anti-human policies. If the global warming crowd ever got behind nuclear power, or ever admitted that technology is quickly erasing polution in our day, or ever even showed a small amount of restraint in the demand for all countries to cede large swaths sovereignty for the sake of cutting carbon emissions, I'd be a little less inclined to dismiss the rest of the agenda.

    I guess you could say I'm a climate change believer and a marxism denier. The two don't have to go together, they just alway seem to in the current political climate. So even though Inhofe may be a cook, that doesn't mean that his policy prefferences won't be better than the alternative. And even though some other politician may be very bright, that doesn't mean that the marxist policies he/she promotes in the name of science/global warming wouldn't be very damaging. (And yes, I do mean more damaging than the pro-growth alternative.)

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:41PM (#44263045)

    I don't think the issue here is right wing vs left wing, it is that he accepts myths over observable fact. I don't think magical thinking is a political thing.

    It is a sad fact that a significant number of Americans share that view. I still would not call that mainstream, unless you are in the bible belt.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:51PM (#44263169)

    Ok here is the lowdown!
    Everyone has their good and bad parts about them. It is not productive to ignore and not work with people just because of their bad points. It is productive to work with these people because of their good points.

    If you fully agree with everything the Republican or Democratic party says, then you are most likely a mindless shill who really should get out of politics because you are too stupid. You will tend to use most of your mental skills, trying to justify any inconsistencies in ideologies. Most likely you are not running for office, and you do not have anything at stake for not being Conservative or Liberal enough.

    If you are going to protest google, protest the policy/ideology/action that google does that you do not like. Not the fact they worked with a politician that you wouldn't vote for, because they liked something unrelated to the policy you're fighting against.

    Unless you are actually opposed to a Datacenter in Oklahoma.

  • by al0ha (1262684) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:10PM (#44263363) Journal
    Damn it everyone, stop referring to Corporations as if they are people. Corporations do nothing, the people that run them do.
  • They Need Both (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:26PM (#44263539) Homepage Journal

    To be a successful corporation in today's Amehrica, you cannot just spend all your time and money on a single party. You have to buy members of both parties in order to maintain your cozy relationship with the federal bureaucrats.

  • by lgw (121541) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:27PM (#44263557) Journal

    Seriously, politics is just like that. There will likely never be a candidate who's view you all agree with. Most candidates will likely have at least one view you strongly disagree with. Even if there were one, he go to the capital and form a coalition/caucus/committee with other politicians you don't like, if he's going to accomplish anything.

    Politics is about compromise. Getting anything done requires helping people you despise accomplish goals that aren't so bad, in order for people who aren't so bad to accomplish goals that you approve of. Don't like that? Stay out of the sausage factory.

  • Re:Imagine that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alef (605149) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:27PM (#44263561)

    Seriously, how is this news? A large company is schmoozing politicians. It's fine to think it's evil and corrupt and whatever. But news is generally something that you didn't already know.

    That's a bit like saying, we know air planes crash, therefore the recent crash landing in San Francisco is not news.

    I want to hear about events like these, and I think others should to, so that it gives Google the bad publicity it deserves. Because if it results in bad PR, it is less likely that companies will schmooze buffoons like Inhofe in the future.

    We shouldn't set our expectations on the behaviour of corporations so low that we are completely indifferent when they behave badly. Otherwise, those who are not will have nothing for it.

  • Re:So happy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:40PM (#44263715)
    The kind of asshole who still owns something.
  • Re:So happy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:54PM (#44263883)

    I don't see how it is evil to raise money for the campaign of a politician that helps you. I see how it *can* be evil, if the thing he/she is helping you to do is evil, or if the politician is evil.

    I don't think being a climate change denier makes a person evil. It probably makes them stupid. But in all honesty, how many politicians are *not* stupid? What percentage of politicians believe in God? This makes 99+% of politicians in America stupid, or at liars pretending to be stupid, or both.

    In a perfect world I would say that we should consider any kind of campaign contributions from anyone to be evil, but what's the alternative?

    Force people to donate to all campaigns (i.e. public funding)?

    Only allow donations from certain people (e.g. non evil people without agendas)?

    If we are going to step outside the world we live in when we start labeling people evil, I am going to say that anyone who doesn't donate 100% of their profits to charity is evil, and therefore 99.9999% of Americans are evil, including google. Every dinner out, or new phone is a wasted opportunity to save a child or children in Africa. Every item of luxury that you enjoy is at the expense of someone else's necessities going unfulfilled.

    We can either go through life constantly plagued with guilt even if we do our best, because it's never good enough, or we can just do something better than nothing and something less than everything, and try to enjoy ourselves before we die, and simply refuse to accept 100% complete responsibility for every bad thing that happens to someone else.

    I kinda sucks, but I would rather enjoy my life.

  • Re:Imagine that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent...jan...goh@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:36PM (#44264255) Homepage

    There's very little nuance to be had with 'The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.' I appreciate that in all of science there are spectra and good bits and bad bits, but Inhofe leaves no room for disagreement on subtle details. If you believe what Inhofe says, you're a Denier with a capital 'D'.

    He goes far beyond 'sceptic', which is something that all science enthusiasts should be--he's actively denying any and all science with his position. He's not your friend if you're the kind of person that reads and posts here.

  • Re:Investment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alaska Jack (679307) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:38PM (#44264273) Journal

    Rates have never been lower, and congress has never bee more corruptible.

    I'm not disagreeing with you -- mostly I agree with you -- but I think you skipped the most important thing. Government has never been more powerful, which means lobbying has never been so worthwhile -- indeed, necessary. Centralizing power and decision-making makes it obvious where wealthy parties should be making their investments: at the center. That's why of America's 10 wealthiest counties, six of them surround Washington DC.

    Also -- I thought it odd that every single thing you presented in your second paragraph as a hypothetical is in fact already happening all around us (carbon sequestration and other Solyndra-type debacles, higher-priced fuel formulations, huge research grants, etc.).

    lllll Alaska Jack

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:40PM (#44264291) Journal

    The 13th century would like their news back.

    "Heretic, burn them!"

    So much for freedom of thought.

    We're pretty much back to: Follow our religion or we will crucify you the best we can.

    Nice to know some things never change.

  • Re:So happy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:05PM (#44264543)

    I also realize that the fucking Sun has much more effect on the climate than we ever will.

    True, if there were no Sun, the temperature would be roughly 2.7 Kelvin [nasa.gov]. Right now it's 86 degrees Fahrenheit where I live, or 303.15 Kelvins, so about a 11,228% increase for where I live, at the moment. So yeah, humans have come up with no feasible method of heating up our own entire planet by that amount without using nearby star undergoing nuclear fusion. If that's how you want to look at it.

    Most people are fucking retarded when it comes to climate.

    Again, totally true. For example, if someone were to think a valid point to make in a climate debate was that the Sun is affecting our climate more than humans. Problem is, the Sun has reached a relatively static heat output for the functional purpose of generating and sustaining life. That is, temperature hasn't changed rapidly enough within the lifespan of any species to fundamentally alter their environment in a way that the species could not adapt through the natural course of evolution. The last Ice Age was over a period of 100,000 years [wikipedia.org], plenty of time for most species to adapt. But now we're talking about global warming, on a scale that can be felt within someone's lifetime. Earth's ecosystems have been fine tuned to a temperature equilibrium that is changing faster than they can adapt. And the Sun, of all things, is cooling [skepticalscience.com], so we know (for a plethora of other reasons, too) it's man-made.

  • Re:Imagine that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alef (605149) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:07PM (#44264557)
    But to call them out on it is "doing something". It taints their brand (like I explained in the part you didn't quote). Yes, it may only make a small difference, but it makes a difference nonetheless. A small contribution to a better world, if you will.

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