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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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  • In today's news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by crashcy (2839507) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:05PM (#44262633)
    Corporation places self-interest over popular hot-button issue. Stay tuned for more.
  • 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.

    • 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.)
      • Seriously, how is this news?

        It is news because the good 'ol days of handing politicians $5,000 in an envelope are clearly gone.

        • by Salgak1 (20136)

          It is news because the good 'ol days of handing politicians $5,000 in an envelope are clearly gone.

          . . . which is why I gave up on politics ~20 years ago. Waay too much work for too little graft !!!!

      • by Cenan (1892902) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:32PM (#44262935)

        Denier! Nuance is for pussies. Besides, the title says "Climate Change" (as in, we know it's changing), that's completely different from "Global Warming" (as in, we know it is changing, and we know it is becoming warmer). Since I have now proven you wrong, Slashtiquette allows me to make fun of your spelling, grammar, lack of paragraphs and, perhaps if cocky, make fun of the way you sleep wrapped in a Soviet flag.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:38PM (#44263003)

          Since I have now proven you wrong, Slashtiquette allows me to make fun of your spelling, grammar, lack of paragraphs

          You're way out of touch with Slashtiquette. Making fun of his spelling and grammar allows you to claim he's wrong, not the other way around. Try again, and this time focus.

      • 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:Imagine that (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent.jan.gohNO@SPAMgmail.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.

    • by plover (150551)

      They'd be better off acting honestly than entering politics. If OK won't give them what they need, move next door to TX or somewhere they'll get the concessions they seek.

      Jumping in bed with a politician can only give you the venereal diseases they have - it can't cure any problems you started with.

      • by Lithdren (605362)

        Because we all know a massive global company like Google will never need to operate in a place like Oklahoma, right?

        Sorry, being in business sometimes requires you work with people you really dont like. I dont see Google as supporting anything this idiot says, they're just stuck dealing with the idiot because the morons who live there keep voting for him. Clearly they like the guy, so what can you do? You cant just move everything because the current blow-hard in congress has some loonie ideas. Geez if

    • by matrim99 (123693)
      Do No Evil. Unless it make good business sense.
    • the company has a huge impact on our daily lives. This isn't some manufacturer no one ever heard off outside of small town USA. This company is intertwined into our daily lives and its in our interest to know about their ethics and political support/interference.

  • 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.
    • by khallow (566160)

      I know that politics makes for strange bedfellows, but this seems to head a little out of the norm.

      They want something in Oklahoma and he's an Oklahoma politician. I think the chain of custody is clear.

    • ...is starting to either redefine "evil" or "don't"... Haven't figured out which yet...

      The definition of "evil" has always been relative. For example, I'm sure Mr. Inhofe sees nothing evil at all about what Google did for him.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      Has it crossed your mind that Senator Inhofe might be the lesser of two evils? (I can't believe I am defending Google and a bible-thumper at the same time!)
    • Not that I'm defending google here, but which strategy do you think is more effective in getting what you want?

      - Fight against "the system" and "the man", making their lives as difficult as possible.
      - Play the game.

      • Re:Don't be evil... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TWX (665546) on Friday July 12, 2013 @02:30PM (#44263597)
        Okay, what do they want that they have to set up shop in Oklahoma to get it?

        Can they not afford the installation if they're not subsidized?

        Why not just avoid Oklahoma, or is this an attempt to get something at a federal level and this is basically a combination of campaign contributions and lobbying?

        Which brings us back to "Don't be evil" again...
  • Do No Evil... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wazzzup (172351) <astromac@fastma i l . fm> on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:08PM (#44262671)

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

    • Maybe they're taken an idea from their Energy conservation efforts, and are now Net Zero Evil? Do a little good when the light is shining on them, and then spread a little evil when it's dark?

      As long as it all evens out, they're ok with it.

      • by Newander (255463)

        Negative evil is evil after all.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:09PM (#44262685) Homepage Journal

    and don't try to hide it by doing a doodle of flowers growing.

  • 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.
  • 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 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 brit74 (831798)
        To be fair, the public can have one of two attitudes: it can say, "Well, google's priorities (or the priorities of any particular corporation) are different than mine, and I respect their right to their own opinion" which gives corporations the ability to act that way, or the public can say, "There are certain lines we don't want you to cross, and you'll face social disapproval (and potential revenue loss) when you do those things (whether those things are 'cynically support anti-global warming politicians'
  • It's just business (Score:5, Informative)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:12PM (#44262725) Journal

    Q: How do you change the world?
    A: With money.

    Q: How do you get more money?
    A: Make sure you have influence with those in power.

    Q: What do you when you have enough money?
    A: Anything you want, including discarding the trash you used to get to the top.

    Q: Isn't that dishonest?
    A: This is business, not kindergarten.

    Wars are won one battle at a time. You must choose how to win each battle if you ever hope to prevail in the war.

    • Q: What do you when you have enough money?
      A: Anything you want, including discarding the trash you used to get to the top.

      That can be read at least two different ways:

      (a) trash = scummy politicians who took your bribes
      (b) trash = idealists who believed your promises

      I think that the closer you get to having "enough money" the more the definition of "trash" changes from (a) to (b).

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      Wars are won one battle at a time. You must choose how to win each battle if you ever hope to prevail in the war.

      No they aren't. Wars are won by being smart enough to avoid them in the first place.

      The ends do not justify the means. Buying those in power ensure they stay in power. By the time you eventually get enough money and power to actually undo all the damage they have done, you have either become them or so much damage has been done that it is nigh impossible to fix it.

  • Out of touch much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by siphonophore (158996) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:15PM (#44262743)

    When Google lobbies one right winger, it's news to Slashdot? Is anyone here aware that his views are shared with a significant portion of the population? This isn't David Duke's final term, this guy is mainstream.

    He's probably wrong about Global Warming, I'll grant that. But I daydream about one day when the coin is flipped and Google's lobbying of a left winger (who's antipathy toward free enterprise and economic globalism lead to more human suffering around the world than that of a global warming denier) is shocking news.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      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 BergZ (1680594)
        I think XKCD summarizes the topic pretty well:
        http://xkcd.com/154/ [xkcd.com]

        "A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them"
        "But he's a US Senator!"
        "Ah. Then yes, we do have a bit of a situation."
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Good catch, I totally forgot that one.

        • A Global Warming Denier may let bad thinking affect 1 / 100 bills. A Economics-and-Human-Nature Denier lets bad thinking affect 100 / 100 bills. The latter is much more damaging, but only the former raises ire on Slashdot.

      • There are exactly zero politicians who can be said to generate only data-driven policy.

        Inhofe's climate change stance is polluted by bad thinking, which isn't good, but can only result in limited damage. Climate change may influence 1 out of 100 bills.

        The 28 democratic CA state assembly members' stance on public unions is polluted by bad thinking, which results in far-reaching damage. Budgetary concerns influence 100 out of 100 bills.

      • I don't think the issue here is right wing vs left wing, it is that he accepts myths over observable fact.

        Really? Like the left wingers in siphonphores post "who's antipathy toward free enterprise and economic globalism lead to more human suffering around the world than that of a global warming denier"? They also accept myths over observable facts. Maybe it's just myths that you also happen to believe?

      • by brianerst (549609)

        How is that any different from the 11 US Senators (9 Democrats, 1 Independent Democrat and 1 Republican) who signed an anti-GMO salmon letter [foodsafetynews.com] even though there is a wide scientific consensus built over 15 years that they are perfectly safe?

        Politicians have all sorts of wacky ideas (or claim to have them due to having a wacky constituency, or because it actually helps them for an entirely different reason). I'm 100% sure that a number of the signatories of the anti-GMO salmon letter have no idea whether it's

    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      This isn't David Duke's final term, this guy is mainstream.

      That's probably part of the problem.

  • Can you say it any plainer, that large companies have to do favors for politicians to make sure the state remains a "friendly place to do business".

    Is this any plainer than politicians shaking down business for bribes? Or is google doing something even more shady that they need his silence on?

    some really creepy quid pro quo here, blatantly obvious quid pro quo.
  • Nice to get that cleared up.

  • 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?

  • My guess is the bible also says it's your right to transfer your patents to Ireland so you can squirrel away your money without paying US Corporate Taxes. Do no evil meets the bottom line.

  • by bkr1_2k (237627) on Friday July 12, 2013 @01:33PM (#44262945)

    Google is a big corporation. As such they are going to hold varying views and will play both sides (if you actually consider there to be only two) of the political fence. This is business as usual.

  • 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.

    • 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 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.)

  • Inhofe...once denounced the 'arrogance' of scientists who suggest that 'we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate.'

    When your argument contains a logical fallacy [wikipedia.org], it's time to consider the possibility that you're on the wrong side of the truth.

    The world needs more people on both sides of every argument pointing out these kinds of reasoning flaws.

  • If you want to know that Global Warming is real, simply look at the main goal of every Geo-Engineering project running. "control weather and cool planet". Never mind the part where the metals they are using cause more harm than good and don't work like they think they do.. those people are idiots and truly believe that they are always right. Point is, if there is no Global Warming why are they dumping aluminum and barium particles in the air?

    To continue the global warming debate is useless! I have poin

  • What google means is this republican gets a hard-on for big business and will help their bottom line so they're willing to put their supposed beliefs to the side because what good is a clean environment if they're sitting on an even bigger pile of cash.
  • 'we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate.'

    Well, I guess he completely forgot about Chlorofluorocarbons and how their creation and use by us created the Antarctic ozone hole?

    So, for anyone who insists and can't fathom that our actions could possibly have an effect on something as large as the atmosphere, All they need to do is set their Wayback Machine to 1985, when this was discovered and reported in 1985.

    How can people's memories be so short?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oz [wikipedia.org]

  • 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 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.

    • by Tom (822)

      Laughing about people isn't the same as killing them.

      Especially not when it's the kind of people who tell you the sky is pink when you just need to open your eyes to see that that's not the case.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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