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Google’s Support For Climate Change Denying Senator Angers Scientists

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Google has shown a growing commitment to renewable energy investment and cutting emissions in recent years, but the tech giant’s latest support of a climate change denying Oklahoma politician has left its own group of climate scientists none too pleased.

In 2011, Google started the Google Science Communication Fellowship, which brought in 21 scientists to help the company develop a more comprehensive sustainability dialogue. Now, that same group of scientists has written a letter to Google in opposition to its support for Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe’s reelection, which they are calling a “troubling alliance” that “forces us to seriously question the company’s commitment to climate change leadership.”

Inhofe is one of the biggest deniers of climate change in the senate, and has referred to climate change as the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” He has gone as far as assembling a “Truth Squad” of deniers to present their view of climate change at the Copenhagen climate summit back in 2009; unsuccessfully, he was the only squad member (womp womp).

The letter to Google says the efforts of Inhofe have a lot to do with the “political gridlock that has derailed efforts to address climate change in the US.” They added that “his denial of the problem and fact-free assaults on the scientific community are designed to promote political dysfunction, to destroy the reputation of scientists, and to undermine our ability to find common ground.”

Well, that’s awkward. I’m not sure why Google would choose to support a senator with such an outlandish agenda, especially since the company is usually on the more realistic side of things. According to ThinkProgress, a group called Forecast the Facts will be crashing Google’s new smartphone release on Tuesday in opposition to this odd move, so we will have to wait and see if it has any sort of impact.

Image CC licensed by John Johnston: Living wall at Google office in Sydney, Australia

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