Climate Scientists Fight Back: Google’s Support For Inhofe ‘Increases Risk To All Society’

CREDIT: Fox News/Screenshot

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), one of Congress' most outspoken climate deniers, has often claimed that global warming is a hoax.

Sen. Inhofe promotes the "Climategate" smear campaign on Fox News

As grassroots climate activists greet Google employees in Mountain View, CA, to protest Google’s support of climate deniers today, several of the world’s top climate scientists are also speaking out. Despite Inhofe’s long record of attacking climate science on behalf of carbon polluters, the professedly green Google is filling his campaign coffers. On July 11th, Google held a fundraiser for Inhofe at its Washington DC headquarters, despite widespread outcry from environmentalists and gay activists. Today, and Forecast the Facts members are rallying at Google headquarters and delivering a 50,000-signature petition to CEO Larry Page asking him to end his company’s financing of climate denial.

Among the many anti-science sins of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the most egregious is his McCarthyite witch hunt the “Climategate” smear campaign. He recommended the criminal investigation of 17 of the world’s top climatologists based on deliberate misinterpretations of their hacked emails. Even though repeated investigations found that Inhofe’s charges of fraud and misconduct were baseless, he has continued to promote such claims on the Senate floor.

Now, several of the climate scientists personally attacked by Inhofe are responding. In a statement given to Forecast the Facts, the scientists praised Google’s expressed corporate values but excoriated Google’s financing of Inhofe:

“As scientists and private citizens, we support Google’s professed belief in scientific inquiry, an open internet, and fact-based decision making. We know firsthand the costs of the political persecution of the climate science community by politicians such as Sen. James Inhofe. More important than any personal costs we have borne, however, are the risks to society of a political system that rejects scientific knowledge about climate change for short-term political or economic expediency. In our judgment, the decision by Google to support Inhofe is a rejection of principles of good corporate citizenship and increases risk to all society.”

Prof. Raymond Bradley, Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts
Prof. Michael E. Mann, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University
Prof. Jonathan T. Overpeck, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona
Dr. Benjamin Santer, Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
Professor Tom M.L. Wigley, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, and University of Adelaide, Australia
Dr. Philip Jones, Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

These signatories are widely renowned, having earned fellowships in the American Academy for the Advancement of the Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, MacArthur “genius” grants, and other accolades. They have also been singled out for relentless attack by the climate denial industry. Notably, Prof. Mann is presently pursuing a defamation suit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a particularly vicious anti-science group, also prominently funded by Google.

According to Inhofe, these scientists “violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, may have violated federal laws.”

“While we don’t agree with Senator Inhofe on several issues,” an anonymous Google spokesperson said in a previous statement, “we agree with him on many.” Google has not yet indicated whether the company agrees with Inhofe that these climate scientists should be the subject of criminal investigation for their work.

— Brad Johnson is campaign manager for Forecast the Facts, a grassroots science advocacy organization

35 Responses to Climate Scientists Fight Back: Google’s Support For Inhofe ‘Increases Risk To All Society’

  1. toby says:

    It is important for Google to know they cannot play both sides in something as important as this.

    Continued support for Inhofe should be met with a punitive response – boycotts for example.

  2. Zimzone says:

    Inhofe is the Head Priest of climate change denial.
    He wears this mantle proudly while collecting millions from fossil fuel fatcats.
    When one considers The Inquisition was a reaction by religious ‘leaders’ to emerging science, it’s remarkable that we appear to be heading down the same path.
    Fear of science, and therefore truth, will do nothing but lead to further negative consequences.

  3. Bart Flaster says:

    What is it that Google wants from Inhofe?

    How does that go without mention in the article?

  4. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    To send a message do what I did, when you remove google from you computer they ask you to fill out a survey which tries to find out why so I wrote in the comment section that I would not use their product as long as they supported climate deniers such as Imhof and I was recommending that all my friends do the same.

  5. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    My guess would be investment promises and money

  6. Martin says:

    Imhoff is one of those completely irrelevant arseholes who will die irrelavant deaths. Googles support is completely to do with local Oklahoma politics.

  7. Dave Yuhas says:

    I guess “Don’t be evil” is finally and irrevocably out the window.

  8. noah says:

    Google’s support of Inhofe = 50,000. Google’s renewable energy portfolio = >1,000,000,000

  9. Sasparilla says:

    Very true, but it is also important for citizens to realize that Google is a very large, powerful shareholder owned corporation that has many pieces of legislation it wants written to its desires, both at the Federal and state level – obviously it wants things from Sen Inhofe or forces he associates with.

    We’re lucky Google doesn’t need something from the Koch brothers or I’m sure they’d be good buddies as well.

    Google’s kind PR veneer that it builds & perpetuates for itself in the public arena is all well and good until push comes to shove of its own business interests. It’s just another massive corporation beholden to making money and concentrating power.

  10. Sasparilla says:

    It would be great if Google could be embarrassed into backing on publicly supporting Sen Inhofe – nice to see these steps being taken.

  11. Sasparilla says:

    I think “Don’t be evil” became little more than PR window dressing when they went public – once they went public, it was only a matter of time till they were making ends justify the means political choices like this one.

  12. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Search engine changed. Yahoo.
    Easy, one click.
    Change now
    Go on, do it.

  13. WrenchMonkey says:

    It’s been a good 5 years since I used anything google. Wouldn’t touch em with a barge pole.

  14. WrenchMonkey says:

    Cogent observation Zimzone. I agree.

    Know what scares me even more than a totalitarian, neofascist police state? A radical fundamentalist theocracy.

    Actually, now that I think about it, seems they’re pretty much the same thing with different costumes and rituals.

  15. WrenchMonkey says:

    In today’s surveillance state you’re probably better off with duckduckgo or StartPage.

  16. AlexR says:

    Oh, well never mind the biosphere as we know it, then. Isn’t that essentially what Google is saying? Intensive agriculture, holocene ecosystems, and the stability of populous societies etc. are secondary, or at least on an even keel with their near-term wants.

  17. Herwig says:

    Just removed google-earth and google-chrome from my laptop.
    Changed search-engine to IXQuick wich should the most privacy-friendly search-engine. (no ip-address transferred).
    Google can’t have it both ways, a green image and support a climate-change denialist.

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Google, in my opinion, played a cynically clever game by pretending to be ‘good guys’, while they remain forever what they are- businessmen bent on profit and power.

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Inhofe, in my opinion, is simply that type that is inevitably thrown up by societies dominated by the Right. We in Australia, have numerous Inhofes in politics, and the corresponding type in business and the MSM are more numerous than flies on a dead dingo.

  20. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Collaborating with the NSA to spy on humanity doesn’t fit with my opinion of not being evil. I’d bet that there are skeletons a-plenty in the Google closet.

  21. B Waterhouse says:

    I used to have faith that smart techies, like those at Google, would understand and accept the science of climate change and the need to reduce GHGs. I wonder if they are a new varient of denialist — they generally accept the science but, because they have been so successful so quickly with their business model, they assume technological fixes easily can be developed to reduce GHGs before the effects of climate change become severe? Or have the MBAs just taken over at Google?

    As a very early adopter of Google’s search engine, Google’s support of Inhofe has been a huge disappointment. I have to assume many of Google’s own employees are also unhappy with it.

  22. In less than a decade, Google has gone from progressive iconoclast to reactionary entrenched interest. It is unconscionable that they should have anything to do with this right-wing, science-denying, sneering sack of selfishness and paranoia.

  23. Lee Overbeck says:

    Google knows that Inhofe is for sale and they want something from him. This is really nothing but a bribe that Inhofe is all too willing to accept.

  24. AlexR says:

    How much might the obstructionism of folks like Inhofe cost in the longer term?

  25. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Google is a company isn’t it? Companies only have one goal regardless of the slogans and PR and eventually, that fact becomes obvious, ME

  26. Jan Moore says:

    Ask the American Meteorological Society, the American Chemical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and many, many others. Climate change is a reality.

  27. TGriz says:

    Time to divest from Google, stop using Chrome browser and move to Mozilla, and so on…that is, unless they start to walk the walk.

  28. TGriz says:

    Agreed on all fronts! Good moves!

  29. timg56 says:

    All-Star team or usual suspects?

    BTW – where is the outage over the Sierra Club taking $26 million in gas money?

    Update – 10 meter sea level rise watch:

    satellite data showing rate of rise per year going from ~ 3 mm/yr to ~ 1.7 mm / yr.

    (for those who are unit conversion challenged that is from approximately 10 inches by the end of the century to less than 6 inches.)

    Going to need a whole lot of land subsidence to make up the different to 10 feet, let alone 10 meters.

  30. timg56 says:


    Are you referring to the five folks the local NBC affiliate camera crew showed?

    That’s five Brad. You can drink your coffee and still be able to total up the number of protesting activists.

  31. Martin Vermeer says:

    > satellite data showing rate of rise per year going from ~ 3 mm/yr to ~ 1.7 mm / yr

    Surely not this satellite data?

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, and don’t retreat when the inevitable PR campaign of ‘apologies’ (for getting caught) and ‘promises’ to change come flooding out of some PR lie-factory.