Green Speech

by William Yeatman on April 1, 2008

So Fox called at 6 a.m. – always lovely when there are babies in the house – eager to talk in a few hours about Google’s latest environmental activism. That is of course their plan, working with environmental activists, to arrange 1 million phone calls to Capitol hill on “Earth Day” – which Google regularly celebrates, for example with a melting Google-in-ice. The calls are in support of “eco-friendly measures”. We can only assume by the target audience this means the mandatory sort, pending before Congress in the form of legislation.

The University of Virginia, from which I regularly did television hits for over two years, for the fifth straight time refused me access to their satellite uplink, not just for Fox but Glenn Beck and as I recall one of the GE/NBC cable networks. This practice initiated on the heels of a rare description of me on air as coming out of Charlottesville. Living here, I can assure you that such tawdriness as global warming skepticism doesn’t sit well with the local powers. Just ask son-to-be-former UVa prof. Pat Michaels. Of course, this is speech, and a public university. More on that later.

So Fox apparently really wanted to talk about this. And, by telephone, I hear myself announced as someone “who has issues with” Google enabling 1 million phone calls. Well, no, I don’t really, and that article that got their attention makes clear that IMO they’re just increasingly annoying in their left-wing activism but that’s life. Kathryn Lopez has covered Google’s selective celebrations over at The Corner, as has NewsBusters.

There are however red flags by this now that the “60 Minutes” interview with Al Gore revealed that he somehow got involved in this company in the early days, explaining how his fortune grew from under $2 million when he left office to something over $100 million now. Google of course was made possible not just by a better mousetrap but Silicon Valley investment funds. With which Gore also works, enabling said fortune, and which are heavily invested in companies that only gain real value upon adoption of, well, let’s just call them “eco-friendly measures”. So what followed was a rather confused interview in which I attempted to steer the conversation there, and a resistant Bill Hemmer sought instead to learn what it is I am trying to “do about this.” Which suggestion of course was cut from whole cloth.

Here’s a quick rundown. Google has managed to note St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of Spring, the birthday of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the start of the World Cup, Shichi-go-san being celebrated in Japan, the Persian New Year, Louis Braille’s birthday and Korean Liberation Day. But they have a history of snubbing Easter (a bunny or an egg for one of the Os would have been nice), while seizing upon left-wing causes like Earth Day (yes, Lenin’s birthday), and the global warming black-outs. It took being embarrassed by their refusal to recognize Veterans’ Day for that to change just last year.

As Fox reported in February, a journalist had his writings disappear from Google when he persisted in pursuing stories about corruption at the United Nations. Google even sent him a letter saying he was a non-person as far as they were concerned.

When Google found themselves shut down in China, rather than simply refuse they chose to work with the censors on a selective version of the search engine, to keep annoying stories like those about the Dalai Lama and such away from hardworking people who are better off without such distractions. They failed to understand how thugocracies are fought, or appeased and enabled.

Now, that would be nice to “do something about”.

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