Despite Google’s public statements that it supports political action on the climate crisis, the company contributes to climate-change deniers in Washington, the Guardian reported in October 2019. Among the “tax-exempt” groups that receive the most substantial contributions from Google are the State Policy Network (SPN), an organization that supports conservative groups including the Heartland Institute, a radical anti-science group, whose website claims that “our natural environment is getting better” and “there is no climate crisis.”
According to the Guardian, an unidentified Google spokesperson said: “We’re hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy.”
Political activists and critics are saying that it is unacceptable for a company that purports to support global action on climate change to make such donations. Four days after the Guardian’s report, nursing mothers protested against Google in London.
The Guardian’s story followed by one week an open letter from 1,000 Google employees calling on Google to take steps to reduce the impact of climate change, including producing zero emissions by 2030. The workers also want to see the company ditch contracts that “enable or accelerate the extraction of fossil fuels,” not work “with entities enabling the incarceration, surveillance, displacement, or oppression of refugees or frontline communities,” and stop funding politicians and think tanks that deny the existence of climate change.
After Stephanie Kirchgaessner’s story broke in the Guardian, several other primarily alternative and independent organizations republished portions of it, but those outlets credited the Guardian.
Source: Stephanie Kirchgaessner, “Revealed: Google Made Large Contributions to Climate Change Deniers,” The Guardian, October 11, 2019, www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/11/google-contributions-climate-change-deniers.
Student Researcher: Jaylee McInerney (College of Western Idaho)
Faculty Evaluator: Anna Gamboa (College of Western Idaho)