Google has made a big show over the last few years of being active in reducing CO2 emissions and trying to avoid the worst of global warming. This is of course commendable, they have made an effort to offset all of their CO2 emissions.
However what seems to have come to light is that they have been funding significant announce of global warming denialism.
Of the hundreds of bodies that they have given donations to, there are about who are actively involved in denying that humans are causing global warming. These, generally conservative, think tanks are a problem. A significant amount of what they put out is misleading to put it mildly, if not outright lying. This group includes the competitive Enterprise group, a group which played a leading role in getting Trump to abandon the climate Paris agreement ( and does not feel that Trump’s bonfire of climate regulation has gone far enough). They have also also indirectly supported the heartland Institute through an organisation called the State Policy Network.
Their argument on these problematic donations is that they sponsor politicians from across the spectrum are getting for conservative technological laws. However, even if this is true, given how strongly they have talked up their climate change credentials these groups should be out of bounds. They also pointed to to organisations such as Amazon that, like them, have a good climate change policy and yet have supported these groups. My feeling is though I believe it would be a popular idea, is that a company like Google should be living up to the the view they give the world and should not be pointing at others and say well they’re not yet so we don’t have to
Google has taught for many years about being open about what it supports, however these organisations declined to say how big is donation was, no given how it was listed on the receivers websites many of these donations were substantial.
It would appear that Google’s support of these companies is because of its reliance on section 230 of the communications decency act. This law protects companies such as Google and Facebook from the sort of libel issues that occur with newspapers. Some Republican politicians such as Ted Cruz and stated that this should be rolled back, though no only because he thinks that at these organisations are using section 230 to protect themselves from allegations that they lean towards the Democrats and are not fair platforms.
While it is certainly true that changes in laws like this could cost Google billions, it is time for companies like Google to put its money where its mouth is. It is totally unacceptable to be publicly against global warming denialism, and yet funding it. Google must clean up its act.