Ocasio-Cortez Slams Tech Giants Over Climate Denial at Conference





(Bloomberg) -- Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. for sponsoring a conference in Washington that included a session denying the science behind climate change.

The New York Democrat and self-described Democratic socialist wrote to the chief executive officers of the companies Friday and said she was "deeply disappointed" in their sponsorship of LibertyCon conference.

"The example you have set promoting sustainability and evidence-based science is compromised by your implicit support of the session organized at LibertyCon," she said in the letter, which was joined by Democratic Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine.

Microsoft said in a statement that its presence at LibertyCon was a reception for student leaders to discuss topics such as rural broadband access and privacy, and noted that it has reduced emissions, invested in renewable energy and supported policies that address climate change.

"Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time, and our commitment to addressing it is unequivocal," the software maker said.

Google said it had long been a leader in sustainability, and said it reached 100 percent renewable energy for its operations in 2017.

"Google's sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn't mean that we endorse the organization's entire agenda or agree with other speakers or sponsors," the company said in a statement.

Facebook declined to comment.

The letter isn't the first time Ocasio-Cortez has targeted technology giants. On Twitter in response to layoffs at BuzzFeed and other news organizations, she singled out Facebook and said the biggest threats to journalism are "tech monopolies & concentration of ownership."

In their letter to the tech companies, Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree compared denial of climate change to the way tobacco companies once sought to deny that cigarettes cause cancer. They said it is "imperative to ensure" that the views expressed at the conference don't reflect the values of the companies.

The session that raised their ire was titled "Let's Talk About Not Talking: Should there be 'No Debate' that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?" The speaker was Caleb Rossiter, a member of a nonprofit called the CO2 Coalition, another sponsor of the conference that says its goal is to explain how Earth will be "improved" by additional carbon dioxide.

While the group says it supports control of hazardous pollutants, "more CO2 will benefit life on Earth. We invite you to look at the evidence and see for yourself."

The Heartland Institute was another sponsor of the conference, which took place earlier this month, according to the event's website. The conservative organization rejects the science behind climate change.

LibertyCon is an annual conference organized by Students For Liberty, a global libertarian student network that was founded in 2008, according to its Facebook page. Students for Liberty said in a statement that climate change denial is not a policy position of the group. Other sponsors included organizations that urge against increased C02 emissions, it said. Google, Facebook and Microsoft sponsored LibertyCon to participate in technology policy sessions, the group said.

Ocasio-Cortez is a vocal supporter of the Green New Deal, which envisions a transition by the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy. She was named to the highly visible Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has an environmental subcommittee. Whether she will have a seat on the subcommittee is likely to be decided by Tuesday, when the full Oversight committee organizes and holds it first public hearing in the new Congress controlled by Democrats.

(Updates with details of climate discussion in eigth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Mark Bergen, Dina Bass and Naomi Nix.

To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Jillian Ward, Andrew Pollack

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Politics and finance dog EU climate zero efforts
Politics and finance dog EU climate zero efforts

Momentum is growing across Europe toward a mid-century target for climate neutrality that UN scientists say the world must embrace to avert catastrophe. Ursula von der Leyen put the mid-century target atop her programme to the European Parliament before it confirmed her on Tuesday as the new European Commission president. "I want Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050," von der Leyen told the assembly, eliciting strong applause.

Hong Kong Protesters Who Stormed Legco Seek Asylum in Taiwan, Apple Daily Says
Hong Kong Protesters Who Stormed Legco Seek Asylum in Taiwan, Apple Daily Says

(Bloomberg) -- Dozens of Hong Kong protesters involved in the ransacking of the city's Legislative Council this month have arrived in Taiwan to seek asylum, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.About 30 protesters have already landed in Taiwan, while as many as 30 others -- and possibly more -- are planning to try soon, the Hong Kong newspaper said, citing unidentified people who assisted them.The fleeing activists were part of the group that smashed into the legislature on July 1, the paper said. The people who assisted the protesters told the paper they had been in contact with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island's relations with Beijing, to seek help.The council...

SAP Tumbles as Cloud Growth Slows, Push for Profitability Stalls
SAP Tumbles as Cloud Growth Slows, Push for Profitability Stalls

The decrease in growth in new cloud bookings, a keenly watched metric because it indicates future revenue, underscores the difficult transition to internet-based software as Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott challenges rivals such as Salesforce.com Inc. and Oracle Corp. Cloud sales can initially be less profitable than traditional on-premise installations, and while the company has pledged to increase its non-IFRS operating margin by 1 percentage point a year on average through 2023, profitability was flat in the second quarter. SAP's second-quarter performance was "underwhelming," Citi analyst Walter H. Pritchard said in a note to clients, citing "light" cloud bookings and...

Apple Chip Supplier
Apple Chip Supplier's Solid Performance Shows Resilience in Trade Fight

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. projected current-quarter revenue ahead of estimates, as the Apple Inc. supplier shrugs off a smartphone slump and U.S. sanctions on Huawei Technologies Co. to ride demand for cutting-edge chips.The world's largest contract chipmaker expects sales

AMZN and MSFT Are the Last Left Standing in the Battle for the JEDI Contract
AMZN and MSFT Are the Last Left Standing in the Battle for the JEDI Contract

In 2019, cloud giants Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are battling over a potentially $10 billion contract. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project could be the crown jewel of cloud contracts. The deal itself is worth $10 billion, which may not directly move the needle for Microsoft and Amazon stock.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.