An Open Letter to Google

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dear Googlefolk;

Recently, you have decided to take sides in a scientific debate. That in itself is very foolish. Why would Google want to take either side when there is a disagreement between scientists? I thought your motto was “Do No Evil.” For the 900-pound gorilla to take sides in any tempestuous politically charged scientific discussion is an extremely stupid thing to do, and in this case definitely verges on the E-word.

In fact, that’s why up until now I trusted Google, because I always felt that I was being given the unvarnished truth. I always felt that Google could be trusted, because you didn’t have a dog in the fight. I believed you weren’t trying to slant your results, that you were neutral, because you had nothing to prove.

So what did you guys do? You’re now providing money to 21 supporters of the CO2 hypothesis, funding them as “Google Fellows” to go and flog their scientific claims in the marketplace of ideas. Is this the new face of Google, advocating for a partisan idea?

You have chosen to fund policy people as Google Fellows. You have a specialist in “strategic communication in policymaking and public affairs” among them. You have a bunch of scientists whose careers depend on the validity of the CO2 hypothesis. And you are paying them all to push your ideas. In other words, Google has put into place a public relations campaign for the CO2 hypothesis … and people in your organization actually consider this a good idea?

I mean people other than Al Gore, who sits on your Board and who stands to make big money if the CO2 hypothesis can be sold to the public. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. If it can be sold to the public, Al makes big money, even if it’s later shown to be false. So sure, he’s in favor of your cockamamie scheme … but the rest of you guys have truly decided to hitch your wagon to Mr. Gore’s dying star? Really?

Man, Google doing PR work shilling for the CO2 hypothesis. I thought I’d never see the day.

It’s not even disguised as a scientific effort. It’s a sales job, a public relations push from start to finish, no substance, just improved communication. I’m surprised that you haven’t brought in one of the big advertising agencies. Those mad men sell cigarettes, surely they could advise you on how to sell an unpalatable product.

The problem is, now Google has a dog in the fight. You’ve clearly declared that you’re not waiting until the null climate hypothesis gets falsified. You’re not waiting for a climate anomaly to appear, something that’s unlike the historical climate. You have made up your mind and picked your side in the discussion. Here’s what that does. Next time I look up something that is climate science related, I will no longer trust that you are impartial. No way.

Let me make it very clear what I object to in this:

GOOGLE IS TAKING SIDES IN A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR POLITICAL/SCIENTIFIC STRUGGLE

Don’t mistake this for a partisan entreaty. This is not because of the side you’ve chosen, despite the fact that I’m on the other side. I don’t care which side Google takes – it’s wrong and stupid for Google to be in any scientific fight at all, on either side. I’d be screaming just as loudly if you had picked scientists who were on my side of the debate. In fact, I’d scream even louder, because I don’t want Google Follows doing a big PR dog-and-pony-show for skeptical science. Unlike you, I think that’s bad tactics. Your presence, and the desperation that it reeks of, can only damage whichever side you support, so I’m glad it’s not my side.

But sides are not the point. Supporting either side in the debate involves Google in a high-stakes, multi-billion dollar, long-festering, dog-ugly political/scientific battle, with passions running high on both sides, accusations thrown, reputations attacked  … and putting your head in this buzz-saw, jumping into this decades-old scientific Balkan war, this is a good idea for Google exactly how?

Truly, are you off your collective meds or something? You don’t want the good name of Google involved in this, there is no upside. All it is going to do is get your name abused in many quarters. I’ve read dozens of people already who said they were switching to Bing or Alta Vista. You’ve lost my trust, it’ll be trust but verify from here on out for me.

And all for what? Guys, you are so far out of touch with the issues that you appear to be truly convinced that it is a communications problem.  So you’ve hired all these scientist/communicators to fix that problem. Let me put it in real simple terms.

People don’t believe AGW scientists because they have been lied to by some of the leading lights of the CO2 hypothesis. They’ve seen a number of the best, most noted AGW scientists cheat and game the system to advance their own views, and then lie and deny and destroy emails when the sunlight hit them.

That, dear friends, is not a failure to communicate. Your problem is not the lack of getting your message across. You’ve gotten it across, no problem. The message was obvious – many of the best AGW scientists are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to push their personal AGW agenda … the same agenda that your Google Fellows are now pushing. That was the message, and by gosh, we got it loud and clear.

The only cure for that kind of bad science is good science. It will not be cured by communication. We’ve already gotten the message that your side contains a number of crooks among its most admired and respected members. We’ve gotten the message that most of the decent climate scientists won’t protest against anything. They’ll stay quiet no matter what egregious excesses their leaders commit. They’ll pretend that everything is just fine. Indeed, a number of them even find excuses for the malfeasance of their leaders, that it’s just boys will be boys and the like. No recognition of the gravity of the actions, or how they have destroyed the public’s trust in climate scientists.

If you think the cure for that widespread scientific rot is a clearer explanation of how thunderstorms form or how the greenhouse effect works, I fear you are in for a rude shock. Communications will not fix it, no matter how smart your Google Fellows are … and they are wicked smart, I looked at the bios of every single one, very impressive, but that doesn’t matter. That’s not the issue.

The issue is that the side you’ve picked conned the public, and afterwards refused to admit it. Until they and climate science face up to that, your side will not be believed. There’s no reason to concern yourself with hiring scientists to analyze why your message isn’t getting across. It’s because people hate to be conned. They’d rather be wrong than be conned. And once you’ve conned them, and the Climategate emails show beyond question that your side conned the public, that’s it. After that, all the honeyed words and the communications specialists and the Google Fellows with expertise in “strategic communication in policymaking and public affairs” are useless. Clearer scientific explanations won’t cure broken trust.

And yes, perhaps I’m being paranoid about whether you will skew your search results against skeptics … but then I look at what happened in 2009/10 with “Climategate” as a search term, when for a couple weeks Google wouldn’t suggest it in the Auto Suggest feature. People claimed back then that it was deliberate, you did it on purpose, and I accused them of being paranoid, I didn’t believe it. Looks like instead of them being paranoid, I may have been being naïve.

Anyhow, you can be sure that I won’t defend you again.

So I entreat you and implore you, for your own sake and ours, stop taking sides in political/scientific debates. That is a guaranteed way to lose people’s trust. I’m using Bing for climate searches now, and I’m wondering just if and where you’ve got your thumb on the information scales.

Perhaps nowhere … but I’m a long-time Google user and Google advocate and Google defender. For me to be even wondering about that is an indication of just how badly you screwed up on this one.

Since you seem to have forgotten about your “Do No Evil” motto, I have a new one for you:

You are not wanted there. You are not needed there. You have no business there. Get out, and get out now, before the damage worsens.

Because the core issue is this – you can either be gatekeeper of the world’s knowledge, storing gigabytes of private information about me and my interests and likes and dislikes and my secret after-midnight searches for okapi porn and whale-squashing videos … or you can be a political/scientific advocate.

BUT YOU CAN’T BE BOTH.

You can’t both be in politics and be hiring scientific experts to push a trillion-dollar political/scientific agenda, and at the same time be the holder of everyone’s secret searches. That’s so creepy and underhanded and unfair and wrong in so many ways I can’t even start to list them. I can’t even think of a word strong enough to describe how far off the reservation you are except to say that it is truly Gore-worthy.

Your pimping for the CO2 hypothesis is unseemly and unpleasant. Your clumsy attempt to influence the politics of climate science, on the other hand, is very frightening and way out of line. You hold my secrets, and you held my trust. If you want it again, go back to your core business. Your actions in this matter are scary and reprehensible and truly bizarre. It’s as bizarre as if J. Edgar Hoover was hiring shills to flack for the Tea Party … you are the holder of the secrets. As such, you have absolutely no business involving yourself in anything partisan. It is a serious breach of our trust, and you knew it when you started Google. That’s why your motto is Do No Evil. Get back to that, because with this venture into advocacy you have seriously lost the plot.

My best to you all, and seriously, what you are doing is really scary, I implore and beg you to stop it. Your business is information and secrets, and ethically you can’t be anything else. You hold too much dangerous knowledge to be a player in any political/scientific dogfight, or any other fight. You not only need to be neutral. You need to seem to be neutral.

w.

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309 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Google

  1. I detest all the personal information collection by these big corporation giants anyway. They are all as bad as each other, so I don’t trust Bing (Microsoft) either. For example, Windows live mail which replaces the old free Outlook Express – is now a remote system where your emails are stored not on your computer but at microsoft where presumably they could be read? (as THEY know your password, etc).
    Information may be king – but the way they collect this stuff is quite reckless.

    But I agree with Willis’ stance on this – it is unaceptable for such a major player to take a political role in any of this kind of stuff – it’s bad enough that the search results can be ‘altered’ to promote the higher paying companies, etc – but if they are going to alter results based on political standing – that’s way of base!

  2. I too WAS a big fan of Google. This “proclamation” is deeply disturbing for all the reasons you cite. Most disturbing is the recognition Google can – and may indeed – skew their “service” to their ideological agenda. This should not be surprising as our media has routinely done exactly this. So now too Google.

  3. Maybe you could start up your own internet company in opposition.

    You could call it Giggle.

  4. There’s got to be a project here for someone with a search bot and a training in statistics to identify and demonstrate relative bias between search engines across a range of subjects. Trust is never enough.

  5. Willis,

    Maybe they have forgotton that there is a big difference between “Do no Evil” and “Do Good.” Much Evil can be done can be done trying to promote even a true Good. However, the side they are taking sometimes seems bent on the destruction of civilization as we know it.

    How far the mighty have fallen.

  6. I remember very well how Climategate or Hide the decline suddenly stopped auto-filling in Google/Youtube from during the November 2009. Google sux.

  7. Do you remember when they tried to pretend they were the “Little guys” up against the mightiest industrial/commercial enterprises in the world cynically distorting the argument to fit with some political agenda?

    All that google will do by becoming part of the climategate team is to undermine its own dubious claims to be an impartial provider of information.

    You cannot have your cake and eat it. You can’t be trusted as impartial and also have a political agenda, and if Google are stupid enough to undermine their reputation like this then they deserve the consequences.

  8. Whew Willis, you got your blood pressure up on that one! You got a little long winded because I thought you got your point accross pretty quickly. Personally I don’t trust very many people and I don’t trust any organizations, because life has taught me well.

  9. Hugh Pepper says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
    This is utter nonsense! Paranoid rant!

    _________

    This is not that to which I responded Hear Hear! My response was to what Willis wrote. The comment above wasn’t there when I wrote mine. I should have added Willis’s name to it. I just want there to be no misunderstanding of my meaning.

  10. Willis: “You need to seem to be neutral.”

    Is there a typo there? Perhaps: “You need to be seen to be neutral.”?

  11. Then again you can always use a Metasearch engine (one that searches the search engines) like Dogpile

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    Who knew one search engine could do so much? We did. In fact, we published a study about how little search results overlap across the various search engines (less than 1%) and how metasearch provides a better Web search experience. Click here for full study. Don’t take our word for it. Dopgile was ranked highest in customer satisfaction by J.D. Powers and Associates in 2006 and 2007.

    Dogpile is easy to use, providing better results with more coverage of the Web, and you don’t need an advanced degree to make it work. All you do is enter your search and click “Go Fetch!”. The great results will take care of themselves! Search more engines, get the best results from more of the Web and do it all easily. That’s what metasearch is all about!

  12. For all Willis has said he is yet only skirting around the edges.
    The implications of this foolishness by Google are huge.
    Google helped in the present uprisings in the Arab world; and earned the gratitude and respect (even awe) of thousands — maybe even millions.
    Google fought the good fight, putting its reputation on the line for the sake of humanity.
    Google did things (for good) even kings, presidents and prime ministers could not do.

    Imagine the results if Google really does go rogue.

  13. Although a touch long and repetitive, I can’t fault the logic or the intensity of the emotion. I switched to Bing last year because of Google’s clear “fudging” the climategate search. They showed themselves to be hypocrits to their fundamental raison d’etre: Do no evil.

    I live in Silicon Valley and virtually all of my friends have advanced degrees — so they’re not uneducated. And yet I don’t have words to explain to those who not familiar with the SF Bay Area how truly confused people here are about many things, climate being only one. Folks here do not understand political history or economics. A horrible combination.

    They are driven by what seems to me are two deeply rooted impulses: (1) repressed guilt from the wealth they have amassed and (2) a belief that their “humanistic” values are truly redemptive and all must acknowledge that.

    What they do not and cannot understand are:
    — (2) will not expiate the sins of (1)
    — (2) is fascist at its core and so self-contradictory as to be morally bankupt
    — (1) can be remedied if it is only acknowledged (but it cannot be acknowledged because they cannot face the existential ramification)

    It’s so sad a whole generation has grown up (mine) with so much potential to do so much good, and in its misguided efforts to do so is wreaking such havoc on our civilization.

    Some would argue this consition is the inevitable consequences of secularism. I would argue that is only half-true. There are secular value systems that can make our lives whole and our civilizations good. Trouble is, my generation utterly failed to produce philosophers who could put together a thoughtful understanding of man in society, without metaphysical religion at its core, that affirm individualism and altruism as our foundational to freedom and justice.

    The result? Environment, or rather “Gaia,” as religion. Talk about anomie! It’s sad, so sad.

  14. Hardly surprising. There’s something about our age that seems to flush out the Left. It’s like suddenly they discovered that Conway Twitty’s “It’s only make believe” isn’t working as well as it once did.

    Since the narrative isn’t working and people turn to actual facts, the Left has become desperate to the point where they’ve deluded themselves that they need to “get their message” out in a stronger, more asserted way. Imho, it just won’t work and will further diminish them. For example, there are still some that watch Oprah but all that do now know her agenda. Once aware of folks that deceive and mislead one never, ever goes back to believing whole heartedly.

    All in all, this explains why the Left oriented media has experienced such rapid decline since it’s easy to do your own fact checking. Folks that are nor drooling partisans become disillusioned in their honesty. Once that’s lost, it can’t be regained without a lot of effort because it’s just too much effort to fact check them each time.

    Google has lost some trust due to their pushing their advertizers. Now they will lose the trust of large groups.

  15. 100% with you, Willis.

    Google, you have just done hari kari.

    As Answers.com. notes, “Obligatory hara-kiri was abolished in 1868, but its voluntary form has persisted”

    Yep, it’s a voluntary ritual where you self-disembowel, as in stick your knife in your guts, then die.

  16. This is indeed a very frightening move. You will never be sure anymore that the search-results are based on neutral criteria. Their algorithm may get contaminated with a bias towards pro-AGW.

    Anthony,

    I already mentioned in a comment half a year ago that when searching for ‘wattsup’ you ended up on page two of the results. That was a test apparently. But that’s what may happen soon to all skeptical websites.
    If I notice one more of such an ‘accident’ or see the bias at work in another way, I will stop using Google and there services forever.

  17. That Google does this should worry everyone.

    Why stop at this issue. This runs to the heart of free speech. Regardless of anyones stand on AGW, this makes explicit great power is concentrated in the hands of a few.

    It’s too late now, I can’t trust them any more.

  18. It is ironic that Google who have for so long fought hard against censorship and for freedom of speech and expression is now nailing it flag to the mast. Google should stay out of this fight, science is an adversarial system and has ZERO to do with consensus.

    Willis
    Truly, are you off your collective meds or something? You don’t want the good name of Google involved in this, there is no upside. All it is going to do is get your name abused in many quarters.

    Google have you ever wondered what if you win the PR fight but temperatures trend downwards for the next 30 years? How foolish will you look then? Stay out of this fight as you have NOTHING TO GAIN and everything to lose. Google is supposed to be about freedom of speech and expression. Remember your fight with China over freedom of expression? Now you take sides! This is a dumb move, keep out.

  19. Don’t forget that during the height of the CLIMATE-GATE SCANDAL, Google altered the auto-suggest feature.

    See:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/28/climategate-surpasses-global-warming-on-google-autosuggest-still-blocked/

    I also remember article where Google was pruning the # of climate-gate searches located

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1943

    http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2009/11/googles_contrib.html

    In my opinion, they have already taken sides.

  20. My open letter to Google:

    Dear Google: thank you for engaging in an issue that is desperately crying out for rational contributions. As the world engages in perpetrating the greatest multi-generational injustice we’ve ever seen, and as many of our leaders close their eyes to the charge of culpability that future generations will certainly lay at our feet, I am pleased to align my actions with yours on this particular issue, to be able to one day say to my grandchildren “I did what I could”. When I am old and asked, why were we so selfish and short sighted, when we barely responded to even the relatively short term tragedies like the Rwanda/Burundi genocide, or the festering Sudanese hunger, let alone climate change, when we only acted once our personal comforts were threatened, I want to be able to say I was not part of that, I did what I could. And I will say, on behalf of everyone else of my generation, I can only ask for forgiveness of our stupidity.

  21. “Do No Evil” has been a PR slogan as compared to a corporate ideal for sometime now. Google has shown too much disregard for common sense and respect of others for their slogan to be part of their culture.

    I had been a Google fan but I use fewer of their products and this recent announcement has motivated me to begin the process of migrating my gmail account.

    As always, a well thought out essay Willis.

  22. johnmcguire says:
    March 19, 2011 at 3:14 am
    Whew Willis, you got your blood pressure up on that one! You got a little long winded because I thought you got your point accross pretty quickly. Personally I don’t trust very many people and I don’t trust any organizations, because life has taught me well.
    ————————————————————–

    I agree. Trust is something that is earned, not expected. Climate science (is that becoming an oxymoron?) is akin to gangbangers demanding respect prior to any obvious reason for said respect.

    Climate science has its turf…..it demands our acquiescence.

  23. Please, all of you do not forget GMAIL.

    Google mail (gmail) is free for a reason. Google can and do search your email.

    If you don’t want big brother watching over you, then NOT using gmail is a good first step.

  24. The mighty are often humbled. Marconi went from the 4th biggest telecoms co. in the world in 2000 to nothing in 2001. The company’s value tumbled to £50 million from £35 billion. Thousands lost their jobs. Shareholders lost 99.5% value.

    It could happen to Google. Hungry competitors will seize the opportunity.

  25. Thanks Willis for this well written open letter. What you said sure needed to be said but will they take any notice? – I shall look forward to read their “open answer” but I shall probably be separated from my computer for a couple of weeks so I may miss it on the day they do write.

  26. until now I trusted Google

    They turned to the dark side a long time ago… my guess is that was their brief right from the start… their slogans are just Newspeak


    He who controls the present, controls the past.
    He who controls the past, controls the future.
    George Orwell

  27. These large rich high-tech California “hip” organizations are very vulnerable to lobbying efforts by hip advocacy groups, especially when they are guided by professional persuaders and backed by big bankrolls. When a team of them asks for an invitation to sit down and discuss the issues, are the recipients going to say No? It would look bad if it came out–and it would, as they realize.

    Once they “sit down and discuss,” the warmists seem to have all the answers, and present a convincing reasonable/concerned patina. How can the targets say No at that point to instituting various green programs (solar panels, recycling, etc.)–especially when 90% of their employees are on the Advocates’ side?

    Then, once they’re in for a dime, it’s easy for them to get in for a dollar–particularly when they have so many dollars. The warmist lobbyists present a picture of a crank (or worse) minority of “skeptical” scientists and bloggers disrupting the normal processes of science with populist appeals, and hence of the need to push back in public against them.

    This is an A-1 PR blunder by Google. Maybe they’re so myopic that they have swallowed the greenshirts’ caricatures of their opponents being unworthy-of-consideration deniers, so there is no downside in ignoring their negative reaction. Or maybe they’re so sure about the warming trend that they think history will vindicate them.

    If its founders (both intense progressives) were wise and wanted to fund this, it should have been done by them personally, or by their foundations. That’s what Gates has done. But I guess they wanted to lend Google’s credibility to the effort—the brand-name is half its power in making a public impression.

    Here’s a tip: Don’t Be Oval (don’t lie on one side).

  28. As I said previously, facts and science don’t matter anymore as google has entered the arena with a PR campaign so massive that it will dwarf anything we have seen to date.
    I wonder how the top guys at google would feel about arranging an actual serious debate about climate change, with both sides present??? … but I seriously doubt it… google doesn’t have the guts and they have made up their minds and won’t believe or want to hear form the other side, just in case “the others” happen to have evidence of fraud or arguments that their elected side can’t answer. I have one word for people/companies like that: cowards. Stupid move google.

  29. Google are only trying to protect the billions they make in Adwords through the whole global warming – environmental fraud, it is a huge revenue stream for Google, so they have made a concious decision to say to hell with the science in favour of promoting fake advocacy for dollars.

  30. Changing your search engine provider is rarely done, just like one’s bank. This is because we love our comfort zone.

    Willis you just took me out of my comfort zone.

    Is there a better search engine?

  31. There is an article in Bloomberg,

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-shows-how-60-billion-u-s-revenue-lost-to-tax-loopholes.html

    and also Huffington Post,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-callahan/googles-tax-avoidance-so_b_772080.html

    which describes how Google avoids paying US taxes by running their income through Ireland, Netherlands and Bermuda. They are not alone as Microsoft and Facebook have similar operations. Surprisingly, if I google “google tax evasion,” I get these two articles, so they can’t be totally bad. I still use Bing.

  32. I’ve already removed all traces of Google from my machine. Now you must refuse the auto adverts on your sites which I also have done.

  33. Bit of a quandary over this one Willis. Scroll down a couple of articles on the home page and there is a Youtube vid of the nuke plant in Japan. Who owns Youtube?

  34. Google has access to data on everyone and is like an octopus with many tentacles. Many people have worried that Google would be capable of using its position in the information stream to effect outcomes, rather than be a neutral conduit for information. Google itself recognized the justifiable concerns by its early “Do no evil” message. Yet Google is run by humans and humans seem unable to resist taking sides in an issue, whether for monetary or power gain. Google executives want to play with the big boys at Davos and other world stages and are compromising their foundational product to do so.
    Google already has “green industry” investments and this use of their core industry to support their green industry investments is a natural progression for a public corporation. Once Google started funding green energy research, they had a dog in the fight and now they have compromised the integrity of their core product. At least Microsoft’s Bill Gates plays his power games with his own money in his charitable trusts. “Do no Evil” Google is using its stockholders and search engine users to play power politics. Maybe not evil, but definitely slimey.

  35. Google also makes the Android operating system found on Android phones and Android tablets.
    I personaly use a Windows Phone 7 device, and am looking forward to what Microsoft will be creating for phones, tablets and desktops with the Windows 8 platform currently under development.
    Please Microsoft, don’t pull a Google.

  36. Actually, I’m all in favor of Google funding these so-called “Google Fellows” (wow – what distinguished title THAT is – heh). Then, we can argue that these people (and the organizations they represent) do not need our tax dollars any more. Google bankrolls all of their climate research! Free enterprise at work…

  37. By the way Google, WUWT just won the best science blog award beating the likes of Wired despite Wired have far greater traffic. The public is split in two over AGW. Don’t let money and celebrity blind you to what has been happening over the BIGGEST SCIENTIFIC FRAUD ever perpetrated on the people of the world.

    Read about Lysenkoism.
    Read about the global warming religion.
    Read about how global warming causes warmer winters and colder winters.
    Read about the ice-free Arctic ocean within the last 11,000.
    Read about Co2 amplification.
    Read about how the weather isn’t getting weirder.
    and on and on………………… Get off the bandwagon, you have arrived at the closing stages. Al Gore is a money seeking hypocrite who has no problems about buying his new beach front villa. Pachauri has no problem helping big oil. CRU has no problem accepting money from big oil. Wake up and smell the coffee!
    /END RANT

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  39. In fact, that’s why up until now I trusted Google, because I always felt that I was being given the unvarnished truth. I always felt that Google could be trusted, because you didn’t have a dog in the fight. I believed you weren’t trying to slant your results, that you were neutral, because you had nothing to prove.

    Willis,

    this is slightly OT but I couldn’t help bringing it up after reading the paragraph above.

    I trusted and admired your assessments in every one of your generalist articles until very, very recently. Your article, Why a “Revenue Neutral” Energy Tax Isn’t, has firmly breached the trust. I no longer believe that I’m getting the unvarnished truth in your articles. I think you are guilty of precisely the kind of ideological advocacy you’re accusing Google of. I am sure both you and Google will respond the same way; that you’re only ‘advocating facts’, or something like that.

    Carbon/Energy Tax is a purely political issue. Although I am a climate skeptic, I fully support carbon tax because it’ll help reduce the government deficit and fund social programs. I am honest enough to admit that my support for the tax is based purely on political and ideological considerations. Your objections to the tax were also political and ideological, yet you attempted to present it as though it was some unvarnished economic truth. The photo accompanying that piece showed money changing hands under the table, as though there is something secret, illegal or immoral about taxation.

    Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose, I guess. Just to illustrate the point, after your previous post for on WUWT, I couldn’t read your this Google piece any further than the second paragraph, the one I quoted above. This is complete reversal of the high esteem I used to have for your articles, mate. I can only assume that you do have a dog in the fight some of the time, and we have to work it out for ourselves in which ones.

    Sorry for going a little OT on this. Trust appeared to be a major issue and trust is what I wanted to talk about.

  40. Well.

    I just reset my home pages in Firefox and Explorer to DogPile and DuckDuckGo.

    I should have done it, on principle, long ago.

    At the same time the google folk surprise me. Don’t they think, read? Can they not
    discern facts from opinions? There is a long comment on RC about the new GFDL
    blogger by someone extolling the wonder of RC and Climate Progress and a host
    of other repetitive blogs pumping out The Theme. The commenter thanks Gavin
    and commends himself on his own ability to sift intellectual wheat from chaff, since the
    late ’90′s on a wide array of subjects.

    I found myself wondering: is a mindset like that hard-wired? Is he truly unable
    to discern the difference in intellectual quality and content from this or ClimateEtc
    or ClimateAudit, etc. from another “attaboy” tossed to Gavin from the likes of
    tamino?

    Whew!

    Anyway, google is toast in my world. …..Lady in Red

  41. “Do no evil” is not a simple thing to live up to. For example, doing nothing can in many circumstances be considered evil. Standing by and watching a child run into the road for example.
    Google has decided that climate change is a problem. So does that mean that, in its own view, if it does nothing it is doing evil? Is it going the let its children blindly run into the road? If it decides that doing nothing is evil then here are a couple things it could do.

    1. Skew google searches so results against AGW appear lower down. They could, for example, ensure that all searches for climategate presented RC and others as the first hits.

    2. Skew google scholar searches.

    3. Only update google earth with satellite images that tell the “correct” story. For example, depending up the time of your they could make mountain ranges always look devoid of snow and make fertile land look infertile.

    4. Provide insider information to those on the “right side”. Having knowledge of what your opponent is searching for and finding gives you a massive advantage over your opposition.

    The above are just examples of what they *could* do, not what they will or are doing.
    Ultimately it will depend upon whether they consider doing nothing is evil.

  42. No doubt there is either bias or plain incompetence in many searches, but Bing is probably a lot worse than Google in this respect. Do a simple search for the words “climate blog” (without quotes) in Google and Bing. In my search, Wattsupwiththat comes next to last at the bottom of the first page in Google, and it doesn’t come up at all in Bing, as far as I can see (neither on the first page nor on subsequent pages). In both cases, Real Climate is the top choice.

    It’s impossible to imagine any kind of reasonably objective search criteria that shold produce such results.

    Anyway, that Google is heavily pro-CAGW is not that surprising, and it isn’t exactly recent news. Al Gore has been on its senior board of directors since at least 2003, and Al Gore is a fairly influential man who has had only one thing in mind for the last decade: promote CAGW.

    Google results for the words climate blog

    http://tinyurl.com/4pbqcjb

    Bing results

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=climate+blog&go=&form=QBRE&filt=all

    [Google - WUWT Page 1; Bing WUWT Page 14! interesting ~jove, mod]

  43. Totally agree with you Willis, but your point about their core business is actually off target. They provide an amazing search technology but their core business according to them is advertising. That’s where they make the big bucks. So advertising the AGW swindle is just business as usual, a point not lost on their big board member. Big board member, I crack me up. But yeah, they advertise themselves as the every-man, do no evil crowd, but it should be obvious that no longer obtains.

  44. “Hugh Pepper says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
    This is utter nonsense! Paranoid rant!”

    Hugh, just give this some thought for a moment. Regardless of your feelings on this particular subject [CAGW] do you not agree in principle that the librarian shouldn’t have a bias?

    Troll feeding over.

  45. Willis,

    In nearly every facet of our government, large corporations line up and take sides on important policy issues. Like it or not, our so-called democracy in the U.S. comes down to a matter of who has the largest bank-roll. The much beloved Koch Bros. on the “other side” of the CO2/AGW debate are pretty much doing the same thing as Google…putting their money where their convictions and financial interest rest. Google also has been doing battle and putting their money on the side Net Neutrality, where they are squared off against the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

    I find it most interesting that you didn’t write a letter to the Koch Bros.

  46. Willis,

    Wow! Great thoughts, but do you want the Googlers to actually read and heed? As Mark Twain never (but should’ve) said, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

    Take the time–after some time has passed.

    Ed

  47. I’m slightly puzzled why anyone would have assumed Google was ever playing with a straight bat (as we Brits say). From its inception, Google News was clearly leaning in one direction, to the extent that I quickly judged it useless. From that point on, what had been a suspicion became a growing certainty.

    Would Google skew its results on AGW? Why not? Who could prove it and who could stop it, anyway?

    Right now, Google thinks it is unassailable. It is wrong. All empires die – more quickly than ever these days.

    No flowers please.

  48. I have always informed my students that Google, alas, is a biased profit first business and not the open seach engine it pretends to be.
    It is just more biased in certain things now.

  49. Willis, Willis, Willis. You are just being paranoid, let me show you, I’ll just google Willis Eschenbach. Google suggests completions of bio, wikipedia, credentials, biography, qualifications, email, and climate. Let’s try bio. Top hit is RealClimate, an article on peer review where one commenter mentions your E&E viewpoint piece on Tuvalu in a not flattering way. Ok, a fluke maybe. Let’s try wikipedia. AHA, top hit is WUWT, sense and sensitivity. Second hit is skeptical also. Ok, credentials: top hit is “W.E. caught lying about temperature trends”. Hmm.

    Next: biography. Top hit is “What do you make of the “Willis E” analysis of Hansen’s 1988 global warming projections?” The “best answer” chosen by the asker was written by “J S” and politely critiques your climateaudit piece arguing, among other things, that “improved” datasets are better which we should be a little skeptical of when we’re talking about Hansen. What is the biography connection? Further down in the answers, commenter EMT-B says “to be fair Willis Eschenbach IS A REAL NOBODY. As he has no published biography on the internet”

    Qualifications? “W.E. caught lying…” again. Email? One of your WUWT climategate pieces. And finally climate: “W.E. caught…” again. That “computer scientist” in Australia who writes the “W.E. caught lying” blog must be a REAL NOBODY since he consistently gets top ranking on google.

  50. Hugh Pepper says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
    “This is utter nonsense! Paranoid rant!”

    Please explain why this in your opinion is ‘utter nonsense’ and a ‘paranoid rant’?

    We are exchanging real arguments here.
    So please, come up with some arguments.

  51. Can be done gradually by the way how could i save all my google mail onto another non-google browser?

  52. Eric Schmidt (ex CEO of Google) and his wife set up The Schmidt Foundation which is one of the primary funders of that extreme warmista, Heidi Cullen.

  53. sHx says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:03 am

    ‘Carbon/Energy Tax is a purely political issue. Although I am a climate skeptic, I fully support carbon tax because it’ll help reduce the government deficit and fund social programs. I am honest enough to admit that my support for the tax is based purely on political and ideological considerations’.

    That is exactly the point.
    Science is bend and busted to serve a political agenda set to create a new elite, steel money from the people and wreck our economy.

    Have you any idea how dangerous your view is?
    What’s next, taxing the air we breath?

    You are no skeptic and the ideology sucks.

  54. Not used Google for some time now. If your looking for a good, fast, minimalist Google replacement try Yandex…

    http://www.yandex.com/

    It has the feel of Google back in the old days before money grubbing in the trough, at the expense of principles, took over the farm. Shame!

  55. You’re quite right to point this out, Willis, and IMO this story deserves a much wider audience even than it will get here on WUWT. However, as someone once said, fine words butter no parsnips.

    What does butter parsnips, of course, is Google’s new, quick-access route to the gigadollars of internationalist money fronted by those running the AGW project, and as far as Google’s business plan is concerned that beats any objections raised by you or anyone.

    We’ve known for ages that they “fine-tune” their search results, not least of course to try to proof them against those trying to “game” searches in their own favour. To Google, this is merely another of their ‘hidden tweaks’ which, although certainly a large and intrinsically dishonest one by any dispassionate standards, clearly has considerable value.

    Let’s be honest, Google is just as “neutral” as Wikipedia, and “Do No Evil” was never more than a barker’s shout to bring in the trade.

  56. Speaking of “smelling the coffee,” while the letter is properly indignant and makes several good points, it strikes me as coming from a place that’s a little behind the info-curve with regard to the nature of the Google operation.

    This is not about economics. Many of us have known for a good while that Google is now a tool of the emerging globalist corporate/banking one-world government. Google = NSA. Google = CIA. There is nothing that is done through Google in its various forms that is not data-based for the purpose of social control. The “New World Order” does not allow an organization that becomes as big and influential as Google to go un-controlled.

    The slogan, “Do No Evil” is simply par for the course in our Orwellian age of Doublespeak where is war is sold as humanitarian and ‘business as usual’ is sold as “Change.”

    The comment above regarding this being an issue of free speech is right on the money. It’s an issue of the attempted execution of free speech and the elevation of “perception management.”

    I disagree with the comment from sHx above when he says, “…as though there is something secret, illegal or immoral about taxation.” That is radically naive! As though there cannot be anything secret, illegal or immoral about taxation!!! HA!!! That is exactly the kind of slave-thinking they wish to create. sHx should read the history and legal track of our “income tax.”

    Love “Goebbels” above!

  57. I haven’t used Google for over a year and I don’t miss ‘em.

    I also tell my friends about the problems with Google and many of them are abandoning that Left-slanted company.

    John Brookes says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Go Google! There is evil being done, but not by you!

    Wake up, John.

  58. Sergej and Larry have always been typical Silicon Valley liberals; “evil” for them always meant “the other side”. “Don’t be evil” was always to be understood this way IMHO. “Don’t be unliberal – read HuffPo” (see Google News – half of it comes from HuffPo).

  59. sHx says:
    “Carbon/Energy Tax is a purely political issue. Although I am a climate skeptic, I fully support carbon tax because it’ll help reduce the government deficit and fund social programs. I am honest enough to admit that my support for the tax is based purely on political and ideological considerations.”

    It is important to keep in mind, sHx, that when you support any tax, you are essentially saying, “I want the police to force some people (who would not do so voluntarily) to give up some of the money they have earned (for whatever reason you believe is worthy enough to take from others at gunpoint).

    That’s what government is, fundamentally: police power. I’m not paranoid, nor am I an anarchist. It’s just that so few people truly understand what they’re saying when they say, “I’m in favor of this or that tax.” Using government — i.e., using police… meaning forcing some people to do something at gunpoint — is something we all need to think very long and hard about before we say, “Yes, we should do that.”

    If you do not believe what I am saying is true, try paying only some portion of your taxes with a note to the IRS saying, “I don’t believe I should be paying money for (you pick what you don’t think government should be doing).” Then, see if, eventually, someone with a gun doesn’t come to encarcerate you (unless you give them then money).

  60. Google is banned, they took a side.

    My harpoon. Google is banned in school. Just a search engine.

  61. Tenuc says:
    March 19, 2011 at 6:02 am
    “Not used Google for some time now. If your looking for a good, fast, minimalist Google replacement try Yandex…

    http://www.yandex.com/

    Just tested them with some obscure 80ies punk bands… They’re good! Thanks!

  62. You trust a search engine to be an honest broker. Bad enough if their business model is “pay for play”. When it crosses the line to agenda driven stuff of any sort, I cannot feel but that their search results are now totally worthless. Sorry Google, you just clog danced on your genitals imo.

  63. R. Gates says: something that reveals his true colours.
    March 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

    What you are describing is Corporatism. It has no place in proper society.
    The two sides of the battles you describe are Socialism and Capitalism. One redistributes wealth, while the other creates it. The Koch Bros. are on the side of creating wealth.
    I personally don’t mind seeing the Koch Bros. supporting institutes that want to inform people with proper science and facts.
    Google is backing the side of junk science.

  64. Tilting at windmills?

    It will take more than a letter to alter the religious beliefs of the ones so sure of their knowledge.

    This is a harbinger of what we will see. As the enlightened wish to develop a direction for the world to follow.

    We can hope their direction is less mortifying than the directed populations we have seen in the last sixty years. But with religious beliefs the ends justify the means.

  65. Hugh Pepper says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
    This is utter nonsense! Paranoid rant!

    Annei says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:48 am
    Hear Hear!

    Hugh and Annei,

    You evidently don’t understand where Google is these days, and that is a shame. I would recommend that you open your eyes. This is by no means the first of this kind for Google, and I am sure it won’t be the last. Google has steadily been increasing its political and ideological views within their search results for quite some time. I am an SEO expert, perhaps one of the best in the country, and I can tell you emphatically, Google results are tainted and have been for several years now (getting worse). I have not trusted their results on any controversial topics for quite some time. They have become another Wikipedia.

    Further, Google is playing a very dangerous game, and I don’t believe they fully understand this. They seem to feel that they are so big that they above reproach. I can assure you that they are not. I predict that Google will fall from their “king of the hill” position within the next 5 years. Mark your calendar. Once you have begun the journey down the road they have chosen, you cannot turn back. It will bite them in the end.

  66. Yer have a crack at honest open science commuciation yer dance a duel to the death.

    In our history none have won.

  67. Surely this is illegal for such a large monopoly corporation that controls information to suddenly become biased re freedom of speech act USA?

  68. The only leverage I have is economic means. So, much as I despise Microsoft, I’ll be switching to bing and altavista, and from now on when I get the question, “where is the best place to look up ‘X’ ?”, which I do a couple times a week at work, I will no longer be recommending g00gle.

  69. Guys/gals… don’t worry the world simply ain’t warming most people will come to realize this over time it does not really matter what google or anyone does.

  70. I will never forget how Google made “Climategate” disappear from one day to the next.

    This company is run by a younger generation with fascist tendencies. (those who know what’s good for us)

    This company is so pervasive and unethical that it has become extremely dangerous.

  71. The Joke is Google.

    Just search engines. They all do it the same, just the front end.

  72. You’d need to do a lot more than switch search engines and avoid GMail, Willis. Sounds like you’re pretty late to this party. Here’s a mere taster. Park it alongside your honey pot, spam and ICMP frequency correlations are interesting things to analyse. ;-)

  73. fredb says:

    March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am
    And I will say, on behalf of everyone else of my generation, I can only ask for forgiveness of our stupidity.

    Well, I fully support your request for forgiveness for your stupidity.

    Many of the rest of us are fairly smart and speaking for myself and perhaps some others, we will join you in that personal request of yours for your forgiveness.

  74. fredb says:
    March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am
    - – -
    “… I can only ask for forgiveness of our stupidity.”
    - – -

    That would be the stupidity of passing even more debt to our grandchildren for no return.

    John M Reynolds

  75. Thanks Willis. Keep repeating this. Summarize it. Number your points with highlighted headers in between. There is no more important understanding than this for all WUWT readers. Clearly we can see what crony corporations are up to — and they believe they are going to make a s&&tload of money off us taxpaying, fee paying, “enhancement” paying, “special project” paying fools.

    Yes, Google has been evil by not being neutral, not only in science, but in politics. They were “all in” supporting Obama in 2007-2008, wiping out as much evidence of who he was as possible and slanting searches towards his idolization. How can this happen in a “representative democracy”, which requires absolute commitment to the scientific method? Or is Google in favor of fascism, The Third Way, where a few elites control us all, managed by a Dear Leader or an Il Duce?

  76. Steve C says:

    March 19, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Let’s be honest, Google is just as “neutral” as Wikipedia, and “Do No Evil” was never more than a barker’s shout to bring in the trade.

    Perhaps – but for them to actually come out and admit their lack of neutrality is surprising.

    Maybe they should change their motto to “We know what is best for you to know”.

  77. R. Gates, let me Koch on what you are saying. Nope, no Koch brothers search engine, can you give me another hint? I googled Koch Brothers and got “how the Koch brothers fund the climate denial machine”; where’s my check??

    Tenuc, I ran the W.E. searches with Yandex. W.E. bio yielded WUWT (Tim Lambert lying was #3). W.E. wikipedia yielded Sense and Sensitivity just like Google. Credentials yielded lying like Google. Biography yielded a pipl profile (good result). Qualifications yielded “Trust and Mistrust” unlike lying Google. W.E. email yielded the WUWT author page for W.E. (another good result). Finally, W.E. climate yielded a CA mirror site article followed by the WUWT author page. Conclusion, Google is biased towards warming alarmists.

    I Yandexed koch brothers and Yandex popped me into a captcha page in Russian. I typed in the numbers and got redirected to results which were a New Yorker article on the KB’s war against Obama (no mention of his targeted EPA hit on their Texas refinery) followed by a Koch industries link. More evidence of Google bias.

  78. No letters of Credit. Yer bankrupt, yer can’t meet yer payments.

    Get back on yer bikes and if yer mum and dad care go back to yer garage.

    Yer got got no credit. Yer lost it on the Ponzi.

  79. I used the search engine in question (GXXXXX) to search for search engines and am happy to report that I did not become trapped in an infinite self-referencing loop, ala Kurt Goedel. :)

    This link, however, was listed in the top five:

    http://www.thesearchenginelist.com/

    There are quite a few alternatives.

  80. I don’t argue so much with the intent of the post, that 1) the AGW v. Skeptic issue is in fact an attempt to put into place more taxes, or 2) your contention that google should not be taking sides in scientific disputes.

    I would suggest, however, the post is entirely too long and begins to resemble a rant rather than calm discourse, therewith actually supporting the contention that those of us who want the science to be foremost, are actually cranks standing in the way of recognition of a problem (which is the way AGW supporters would have us be seen).

    I would caution all, science is foremost, but in these unenlightened days ( and the anti-science tact of the AGW folk is unenlightened) we also have to be aware of the need to been seen as calm and rational.

  81. Google like Sir Branson honestly donot believe the AGW tripe. If you deeply honetly believe that CO2 is doing harm you would stop doing anything that contributes to adding CO2, but they don’t.

    Branson has not shut down Virgin Airlines and Google assists people use more elecriticity which is mostly made by coal or gas both of which add CO2. These are folks that like control of others and see this as another avenue to control.

  82. Corporate and private businesses are free to stand next to any allegiance they want to. I have no problems with that and hope it never changes.

    I also believe in my right to stand next to any allegiance I want to. If I want to buy snake oil, send my children’s inheritance to some slick megachurch or commune, or am readily prompted to send chain email lest I call a spell upon myself, I should be allowed to wallow in whatever brilliance or stupidity I choose.

    At issue then, is not what my choice is, but whether or not I have access to both brilliant AND stupid information so that I can use my own discernment, be it likewise brilliant or stupid.

    In our history, we have many examples of destroyed offices and mangled printing presses as a result of attempting to disseminate information contrary to powerful dominating opposition. That time will come round again and free people must fight for the right to disseminate information contrary to accepted belief.

    If Google is filtering information, then game on, but the target needs to change. The line of connection extends upwards beyond Google. To get to Google, we must get to Internet Providers.

  83. Facts are facts.

    We are carbon based life forms. There is a roughly 40% increase in plant growth and yield of food crops with a doubling of CO2.

    An increase in atmospheric CO2 causes the biosphere to expand not contract.

    What scientific issue does Goggle plan to communicate to the general public?

    Is the planet’s response to a change in forcing negative (planetary cloud cover increases) or positive? There is scientific evidence to support the negative hypothesis. Should we hide the scientific evidence?

    There are multiple papers that show a significant portion of the 20th century warming was due to solar heliosphere modulation of GCR which in turn modulates planetary clouds via two mechanisms: Direct modulation of planetary clouds by GCR level and by solar wind bursts that remove cloud forming ions by the mechanism electroscavenging. Should we hide those papers also?

    If there is no risk of danger global warming, should we spend trillions of dollars to fund corrupt governments and companies? What does Goggle advocate should been done and why? There are multiple issues. Is Goggle advocating the “communication” for all issues?

  84. sHx says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:03 am

    A lot about trust.
    ———————————————————–
    Sorry sHx, but if anyone thought this a purely scientific discussion, they were simply misleading themselves.
    To your broader question. Are taxes moral? No, but they are necessary for some of the reasons you stated and more. The problem is, currently, there is no more money to be had. Unless you haven’t noticed, our GDP isn’t setting the world on fire. Our debt is around $15 trillion with the only end in sight is a default. Inflation is right around the corner with food and fuel prices leading the way. The reason why we’re here is because of people’s inability to understand that while there is no limit to the amount wealth to be generated, governments don’t generate it. They take from it. We need various social programs and we need the debt payed down and we need to provide for a healthy functioning government and to provide for the defense of this nation. The only way this can be accomplished is through lifting the restraints on economic growth, and it certainly won’t happen with additional constraints. My trust is placed among the people that can see how this alarmist science adversely effects our ability to care for the needy and hungry. Both here and abroad.

    James Sexton

  85. The left has taken over a substantial number of trust funds that were founded to spend the money of their founders to benefit humanity. Think the Carnegies and the Rockefellers and the Fords. I don’t think the Mellons have fallen yet.

    Now, they are going after the really big money – Gates and Soros and Buffet and the guys who own Google. And, to boot, Google has control of the main information supplier to the world. It is truly a wondrous thing to control the machine that everyone goes to whenever they have a question.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

  86. Harpoon aint about questions its about answers.

    Blow the gas out of mermink any day.

  87. Google is successful because they make finding information easy and if they screw over users for any reason by impeding their search then they will lose customers and in turn profit. If they depend on government for profit, that profit could vanish in one election.

    Speaking for myself, the idea of an advocacy search engine for any reason defeats the primary purpose of the service.

  88. By the way, online forms of “hands, feet, and facebooks” and circle of friends stuff is an area I avoid like the plague. I get invited to join online “you have been invited to be a friend of [enter name I don't know]” sites all the time. I plunk that email right into my blocked group and send Norton a “spam” alert. Those sites are just another way for the developers to develop address and information lists for sale.

    I am not for sale.

  89. Francisco says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:09 am

    WUWT is a science blog – not exclusively a climate blog?

    REPLY:
    read the masthead graphic – Anthony

  90. I’m a bit shocked at how many people didn’t know Google had already hitched their wagon the CAGW. I still use it sometimes when I’m looking for something obscure, but Bing is my default. There are many others out there. Livemail replaces gmail. Bing maps works just fine. I MS is making strives toward the cloud productivity suite. But remember, MS too, is a politically charged company.

  91. Let us take a lesson from this and promote the free market at every turn. We must have as much choice as possible. I just changed my home page to Bing.

  92. R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:17 am
    Willis,
    In nearly every facet of our government, large corporations line up and take sides on important policy issues. ………I find it most interesting that you didn’t write a letter to the Koch Bros.

    I am surprised you did not mention Exxon, Shell and BP who fund global warming scientists.

    By the way the Koch Bros. is not a search engine that claims its results are democratically driven.

  93. Google has a perfect right to fund an organization that is going to educate the public about the science of global warming.

    Objecting to that, Anthony Watts proposed a boycott of Google as payback. He is hitting them in the pocketbook. I don’t see why Google shouldn’t be allowed to retaliate. Prior to yesterday’s WUWT post proposing a boycott of Google, WUWT appeared at or near the top of many of my searches on climate change topics.

  94. sHx says:
    “Carbon/Energy Tax is a purely political issue. Although I am a climate skeptic, I fully support carbon tax because it’ll help reduce the government deficit and fund social programs.”

    But the vast increases in energy costs (and therefore the cost of pretty much everything) will disproportionally hit the poor. It won’t be Al Gore who dies from hypothermia and it won’t be Bill Gates who wonders if he can afford his next meal.

    sHx says:
    “The photo accompanying that piece showed money changing hands under the table, as though there is something secret, illegal or immoral about taxation.”

    For me, there isn’t when, after given the honest facts, the majority of people agree that a tax is generally fair, generally beneficial and generally well used – there is ” something secret, illegal or immoral” when it is based on falsehoods and/or wasted on pointless, damaging and inefficient projects.

  95. Me I throw me arm, I take em down.

    To be quite honest, ISPs do churn. None own a search engine, me corn cob virgin, they sell travel. Media tryouts.

    There briny works as it works that search stuff is old hat.

    That tech can be start up any day. Me I can find a thing.

    THey said it search engines would be market dominators but they are not. Gate keepers, they all say.

    Yer give me a star a friendly smile and me and Lady Grey in her paddock, we all be safe a while.

    They say gate keepers, we run it like neighborhoods.

    We run it clean as we can. We seen ogres on bridges, we chuck em off the bridges and we don’t ask questions.

    Been doing it 11 years I know of. No gate keepers we heard of. Hit and kill reported, beagle brothers don’t kill us. We keep the gates clear fer safe travel pretty much.

  96. Just searched “hide the decline” on Google and it come up with the youtube videos and lots of science blogs such CA, Steve Goddards,etc strangely WUWT is on the second page!? so at the moment they are still doing what there supposed to do.
    Lets see what happens over the coming months with regard to climate sceptic sites when being searched for.If it changes i for one will not use Google or you tube again.

  97. stupidboy says: March 19, 2011 at 4:24 am

    “The mighty are often humbled. Marconi went from … It could happen to Google. Hungry competitors will seize the opportunity.”

    The one thing that history teaches us is that it happens to everyone! From the Romans to the West India company they all fall eventually. What however is not beyond their control is how quickly they fall.

    And unlike big companies in the past which secured vast manufacturing plants which were so costly that few competitors could afford to take them on, these days in the virtual world the cost of competition is dirt cheap … and all that keeps them ahead of their competitions is their reputation. A reputation they don’t seem to value at all.

    Which really doesn’t bode well if you are an investor in google climate scares inc.

  98. Well put Willis. I gave up on Google with their finagling of the climategate search results. But truly, have we not been hearing for a couple of years that it is the ‘message’ that just needs adjusting, that we mentally-impoverished-masses might be enlightened, on health care, climate, et al, ad nauseum? Seems like the new framing for interfacing with the proles.

  99. fredb says:
    March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am

    My open letter to Google:

    Dear Google: thank you for engaging in an issue that is desperately crying out for rational contributions. As the world engages in perpetrating the greatest multi-generational injustice we’ve ever seen, and as many of our leaders close their eyes to the charge of culpability that future generations will certainly lay at our feet, I am pleased to align my actions with yours on this particular issue, to be able to one day say to my grandchildren “I did what I could”. When I am old and asked, why were we so selfish and short sighted, when we barely responded to even the relatively short term tragedies like the Rwanda/Burundi genocide, or the festering Sudanese hunger, let alone climate change, when we only acted once our personal comforts were threatened, I want to be able to say I was not part of that, I did what I could. And I will say, on behalf of everyone else of my generation, I can only ask for forgiveness of our stupidity.

    You can speak for yourself, fredb.

    However, despite your claim to be their spokesmodel, you are not entitled, authorized, or smart enough to speak “on behalf of everyone else”.

    w.

  100. Google is just another mainstream media propaganda machine. It’s the internet version of the Soviet Union’s mouthpiece Pravda. Google doesn’t care for truth, fairness or honesty; they believe in brainwashing, misinformation, lying and distortion. They want to stifle any group of people that doesn’t conform to their agenda. Big brother is Google.

    I mourn for democracy, freedom of speech and unbiased science. They’re all dead. We’re reverting back to the dark ages.

  101. Google has me trapped. Time to disentangle. Canceling AdWords account. Never click a google banner ad. Cancel Gmail account. Move away from blogspot account. Need to find an alternative to Google Earth…………….

  102. Local news gets the local news.

    Ads in yer letterbox, we are not postie police. Sheila offered a penile implant we dont care

  103. sHx says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Willis,

    this is slightly OT but I couldn’t help bringing it up after reading the paragraph above.

    I trusted and admired your assessments in every one of your generalist articles until very, very recently. Your article, Why a “Revenue Neutral” Energy Tax Isn’t, has firmly breached the trust. I no longer believe that I’m getting the unvarnished truth in your articles. I think you are guilty of precisely the kind of ideological advocacy you’re accusing Google of. I am sure both you and Google will respond the same way; that you’re only ‘advocating facts’, or something like that.

    Nope. I’m going to respond that if you believe that, you have your head up your fundamental orifice so far that if you pull it out quickly you’ll go snowblind.

    Plus, Google’s spending millions on their vision of “ideological advocacy”, where I spend … well, nothing. So we can’t be guilty of the same thoughtcrime, I’m too poor to commit theirs.

    w.

  104. I’m really pissed at Google. A search engine should provide BOTH sides of any issue without the political filtering. IF that’s what Google wants to do, then I don’t have to use them.

    I encourage others to switch search engines. BLEEEEP Google!!!!

  105. R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Willis,

    In nearly every facet of our government, large corporations line up and take sides on important policy issues. Like it or not, our so-called democracy in the U.S. comes down to a matter of who has the largest bank-roll. The much beloved Koch Bros. on the “other side” of the CO2/AGW debate are pretty much doing the same thing as Google…putting their money where their convictions and financial interest rest. Google also has been doing battle and putting their money on the side Net Neutrality, where they are squared off against the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

    I find it most interesting that you didn’t write a letter to the Koch Bros.

    You miss the point. If the Koch Bros knew about my midnight secret searches for okapi porn and whale squash videos, I wouldn’t want them in the public arena either.

    But then, they’re not claiming to be neutral purveyors of information like Google is.

    w.

  106. What about Google’s potential conflict of interest with their investment into the East Coast offshore wind farm energy initiative?

  107. to Willis; note, Google is a creation of and wholly owned subsidiary of the US National Security establishment. Same as Micro Soft Corp. That is all.

  108. cedarhill says:
    March 19, 2011 at 3:46 am
    Hardly surprising. ……………..
    How true, and well said.

    Willis ;
    I agree with you wholeheartedly along with the other commenters about using another search engine.
    I have Google News as my Homepage, and the Google toolbar.
    For quite some time now, Google News is only slightly changed from day to day.
    This plan that Willis talks about is enough to make me switch to another Engine.

    Thanks for that Willis.

  109. Oh, great. Now we have RC Google Science!

    This kind of propaganda didn’t even work in the USSR.

  110. garymount says:
    March 19, 2011 at 6:25 am

    R. Gates says: something that reveals his true colours.
    March 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

    What you are describing is Corporatism. It has no place in proper society.
    The two sides of the battles you describe are Socialism and Capitalism. One redistributes wealth, while the other creates it. The Koch Bros. are on the side of creating wealth.
    I personally don’t mind seeing the Koch Bros. supporting institutes that want to inform people with proper science and facts.
    Google is backing the side of junk science.
    _____

    Actually, Corporatism is much more akin to Fascism, as in Mussolini’s sense of it (and certainly he was the expert) See

    http://thinkexist.com/quotation/fascism_should_more_appropriately_be_called/163211.html

    I actually resent the corporate control and influence of our democracy by these very rich and powerful people. As an Independent voter, I long ago abandoned either party as big money (i.e. corporate influence) had taken over both. Hence, I support a complete overhaul of our campaign finance system so that big money influences can be forever severed from the election of the best men and women to serve (and not the best financed.) But alas, if you accept the fact that we do live under corporatism, then you must also understand that there is no way the corporations (and their servants– the elected officials) would ever willingly give up their cozy relationship of power.

    In short, Willis seems to have no problem with the Koch Bros. spending big bucks to gain political influence and spread their perspective on the climate issue, but would like to complain about Google doing the same. This really just comes down to which Corporate horse Willis rides along with. His claim of “junk science” when talking about AGW is just his perspective and the Koch Bros. support his perspective, and so he’s got no issue with their influence of the hearts and minds of the electorate.

  111. Billy Liar says:
    March 19, 2011 at 7:49 am
    WUWT is a science blog – not exclusively a climate blog?
    ——————–
    In the context of this discussion, that’s a quibble. WUWT is a sience blog with a very strong focus on climate.
    In any case, the search results are the same. If you search for the words science blog in Google, WUWT will show up in the first page. Try the same with Bing, see how far you need to go to see this blog.

  112. Why is this so surprising? It’s the internet. It can be an excellent source for information, but a cautionary source. If people want an impartial, trusted source for research, they need to go back to the library.

  113. fredb says:
    March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am
    “And I will say [to my grandchildren], on behalf of everyone else of my generation, I can only ask for forgiveness of our stupidity.”

    If you are fortunate, someday you will achieve a level of awareness that enables you to understand that no one has the power to forgive you; that is, no one including yourself. At that point, you will have come to understand the problem of forgiveness and your new search for a solution will lead you to a higher plateau. There, if you are fortunate, you will become able to struggle for forgiveness. But you will never be able to forgive yourself or others.

  114. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 19, 2011 at 8:30 am

    R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Willis,

    In nearly every facet of our government, large corporations line up and take sides on important policy issues. Like it or not, our so-called democracy in the U.S. comes down to a matter of who has the largest bank-roll. The much beloved Koch Bros. on the “other side” of the CO2/AGW debate are pretty much doing the same thing as Google…putting their money where their convictions and financial interest rest. Google also has been doing battle and putting their money on the side Net Neutrality, where they are squared off against the likes of Comcast and AT&T.

    I find it most interesting that you didn’t write a letter to the Koch Bros.

    You miss the point. If the Koch Bros knew about my midnight secret searches for okapi porn and whale squash videos, I wouldn’t want them in the public arena either.

    But then, they’re not claiming to be neutral purveyors of information like Google is.

    w.
    _____
    Willis,

    Google, like all large corporations has the right to support causes of their choice. It is more indicative of the side of the AGW “debate” that you come down on that you would choose to pick on Google for putting their money behind their beliefs. In terms of them being a “neutral purveyor of information”, they are a search engine first for foremost, and they have the right to operate that service any way they want to. Your decision to use Bing as your choice of a climate related search engine simply reflects your position on the climate issue, and not whether or not Bing or Google is being more neutral on the issue.

  115. James Sexton says:
    March 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Yes. I sensed the growing megalomaniacal trend in Google almost a year ago now, and I switched to Bing.

  116. If you Bing “climategate” or Google “climategate” they both come up with the wiki article as the #1 hit. As this seems to be the biggest topic for skeptics over the past few years, it is hard to say that one search engine is more neutral than another. Again, it would just go back to your own personal preference and beliefs and nothing at all to do with the neutrality of the search engine.

  117. Time is going to tell who’s is wrong.
    Just let them be wrong.
    Besides which, google says their aim is to improve the way that the science of CO2 is communicated. Debate is the established process for exploring and communicating ideas. I don’t see why WUWT shouldn’t be clamoring for a debate and applying for its own grant – just based on numbers of hits it gets. Sadly, Michael Crichton is gone but there are many able skeptical communicators out there who could handle themselves very well in a debate.

    If money is going to Realclimate is google going to stand behind the kind of censorship that goes on there? Let’s have a google sponsored debate, and lets have a google inquiry into blog censorship. Let’s see the Realclimate numbers on the number of posts they delete.

    I very much enjoyed the “Gobal Warming is Not a Crisis” debate over at “Intelligence Squared.”

    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/past-debates/global-warming-is-not-a-crisis/

    The world needs to know that not all skeptics are anti-science boobs but have comprehensible arguments on their side. To me, the greatest weakness of the so called global warmers is that they let their sentiments govern their understanding of the science. They feel important moral matters are at hand with a lot of popular support and they let just that govern their thinking. Personally, while I find the warmer’s arguments superficially plausible: they are far from conclusive; they don’t demonstrate anything dire; there is a great over-reliance on tunable models; they are oblivious to the possibility that more dangerous cooling trends could materialize; they have a demonstrated willingness to toy with graphs; and they have a defiant attitude about FOI law. Perhaps the first issue that google should confront is the question of whether they will institute an FOI policy for their fellows.

  118. It seems that Al Gore not only sits on the Board of Google but also directs public outreach. Only Al could have come up with a rebranding scheme for Google that is as stupid as this one. What is Google’s New Brand?

    Third Grade School Teacher.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Google is now going to sermonize us on virtue, all the while standing there with foot tapping, arms crossed, peering down at us with that smirky frown which screams “You are fit to learn obedience but fit for nothing more.”

  119. R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 9:40 am
    “If you Bing “climategate” or Google “climategate” they both come up with the wiki article as the #1 hit.”

    You are way into self-parody. You look at the first item that comes up and that is all your evidence for comparing search engines?

  120. R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

    “Google, like all large corporations has the right to support causes of their choice. It is more indicative of the side of the AGW “debate” that you come down on that you would choose to pick on Google for putting their money behind their beliefs.”

    Will is not criticizing Google for putting their money behind their beliefs. He is just calling them on their pretense that they are a neutral search engine. If ever they were neutral, now they are not.

  121. Google could start their campaign by persuading people to cut down their use of computers, the internet and…Google:

    “…millions of people tap into Google without considering the environment, a typical search generates about 7g of CO2. Boiling a kettle generates about 15g.

    “Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power,” said Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist whose research on the environmental impact of computing is due out soon. “A Google search has a definite environmental impact.”

    “A recent report by Gartner (2009), the industry analysts, said the global IT industry generated as much greenhouse gas as the world’s airlines – about 2% of global CO2 emissions. “Data centres are among the most energy-intensive facilities imaginable,” said Evan Mills, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Banks of servers storing billions of web pages require power. ”

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5489134.ece

    Google didn’t like this and required that The Sunday Times insert a correction:

    “We are happy to make clear that this does not refer to a one-hit Google search taking less than a second, which Google says produces about 0.2g of CO2, a figure we accept.

    “In the article, we were referring to a Google search that may involve several attempts to find the object being sought and that may last for several minutes. Various experts put forward carbon emission estimates for such a search of 1g-10g depending on the time involved and the equipment used.”

  122. Thank You Willis
    R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Actually, Corporatism is much more akin to Fascism, as in Mussolini’s sense of it .

    Socialism Government owns industry and controls the folks
    Fascism is National Socialism Government Control or regulate industry and the folks.

  123. ” Google has put into place a public relations campaign for the CO2 hypothesis … ” , Willis , I am shocked, deeply shocked.

    Tell Horner to round up the usual suspects at once, and take them to the Climate Depot for interregation. And have this place boarded up until further notice.

    Ah. here come my fishy chips !

  124. I went to Startpage and entered “Science Blog”, “Climate Blog”, “Global Warming Blog”, “Climate change blog” and got nothing about WUWT. I entered “Global Warming Sceptic Blog” and on the second page got a link to a post on WUWT last November or so.
    Also, lots of “ads by Google”.
    So Startpage goes overboard to join Google (which I have never used anyway).

  125. R. Gates says: “If you Bing “climategate” or Google “climategate” they both come up with the wiki article as the #1 hit.”

    Truly not surprising given the following:

    http://www.tathya.net/2011/02/02/microsofts-bing-caught-using-google-search-results-googles-experiment/

    That Google is worried about CO2 is not really surprising given the uber leftist liberal moronic bent at the top. Their arrogance is amazing. Every search on google uses enough electricity to boil a cup of water. Tea any one?? At least their building them next to hydro dams so they can’t easily be called the hypocrites they actually are. Remember that “ideas” program they were running?? People would submit ideas to so the world some good and the search engine gnome would pony up the cash. Guess where the money went. Climate change advocacy,promoting tax discounts for citizens who participate in socially beneficial works; and world tours to whine about land mines. http://www.project10tothe100.com/ideas.html It’s scary. Very scary. This company never had a moral compass owing to the liberal illness that infected the company. My advice to share holders is to dump the stock in the next few years. Once a company begins to focus on social brain washing it’s a bad investment.

  126. Google is a tool and front operation of the global elite….Is no wonder they would push the agenda of the globalist. You don’t join Bilderberg or go to meeting unless you are a willing participant to the agenda. Part of that agenda besides a one world government is CAGW. Through CAGW these globalist will extract money and power on to themselves and reduce those that pay it to worker slaves….It’s time people wake up. You have a choice RED pill or BLUE pill. Which one do you take?

    MDIvey> Right on the money.

  127. Gates says:

    “The much beloved Koch Bros. on the ‘other side’ of the CO2/AGW debate are pretty much doing the same thing as Google”

    *sigh* Wrong again, Gates. Way wrong.

    The Kochs are in the energy business. If they were operating the Google way, they would make it hard if not impossible for people they don’t agree with to get their energy products. “You need gas? Sorry, gas is only available for people who think like my brother and me.” That’s the Google mindset and business model. The Koch brothers sell their products to everyone at the same price, and with no regard to their political beliefs, while Google plays favorites based on its politics. You’re conflating good with evil in your false comparison of Google vs Koch.

    Google is insidiously misusing its search engine to advocate a hidden agenda. Is there any doubt at all that Google is compiling an enormous databse on everyone, by collating their comments and searches? Since they’re dishonest in their search practices, you can be certain they’re just as evil throughout their entire organization.

    The Big Brother aspect of Google’s spying and personal information gathering is of great concern. To compare them with two honest brothers who have built a successful, law abiding business without being evil like Google or in bed with China, shows how badly cognitive dissonance has affected your mental (v)acuity.

  128. —————————————————————————-
    Where’s Google Putting Its Money?
    From Solar to Geothermal, High-Altitude Wind to Hybrids

    http://solveclimatenews.com/news/20100205/wheres-google-putting-its-money

    —————————————————————————-
    “Google, for one, is putting its money where its mouth is”

    Google is putting its mouth where its money is
    Al Gore is putting his mouth where his money is
    Science is putting its mouth where the money is

    Follow the money

  129. Smokey says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Gates says:

    “The much beloved Koch Bros. on the ‘other side’ of the CO2/AGW debate are pretty much doing the same thing as Google”

    *sigh* Wrong again, Gates. Way wrong….
    ____

    Hmmm…Koch Bros.- puts their money and influence behind their beliefs, Google – puts their money and influence behind their beliefs. Pretty much the same. AGW skeptics are just upset because there happens to be a company with deep enough pockets to match the deep pocket of the beloved Koch Bros. and put it behind their belief in AGW.

  130. Jim K says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Thank You Willis
    R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Actually, Corporatism is much more akin to Fascism, as in Mussolini’s sense of it .

    Socialism Government owns industry and controls the folks
    Fascism is National Socialism Government Control or regulate industry and the folks.
    _____
    You’re quite confused on this issue Jim, and don’t apparently know much about how Washington D.C. actually works. Having spent a wee bit of time there, I can tell you that it works just the opposite way you attempt to describe. In reality, corporations and groups of corporations (i.e. industry trade associations) pay for their candidates to get into office. Their candidates then vote for and sponsor legislation that makes rules favorable to the continued wealth, power, and influence of those very same corporations. The U.S. is a Corporate controlled country, and this is the true form of Fascism as Mussolini meant it…it is not a control of corporations by the government, but rather, a control of government by corporations. Washington D.C. and American national policy is dictated by large, wealthy, and very powerful multinational corporations. These corporations do battle every day between each other for bits and pieces of that control, and hence the reason that lobbyists in D.C. outnumber politicians about 100 to 1.

  131. So, Gates, you would have no problem with the Koch’s refusing to provide you with energy based on your climate alarmist views? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. Google denies honest page placement to sites like WUWT and CA, based entirely on their scientifically skeptical views. You have a major moral blind spot, and you don’t even know it. Or you do know it, but the end justifies the means.

  132. Smokey says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    So, Gates, you would have no problem with the Koch’s refusing to provide you with energy based on your climate alarmist views? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. Google denies honest page placement to sites like WUWT and CA, based entirely on their scientifically skeptical views. You have a major moral blind spot, and you don’t even know it. Or you do know it, but the end justifies the means.
    ____
    Since I am not a climate “alarmist”, your question doesn’t pertain to me. But, in principle, I think a company should be able to refuse service to anyone for any reason, so long as that company does not derive any of their income from the use of the “commons”. Are you familiar with this term? The bottom line is– if the Koch Bros. or any company, such as Comcast for example, use publicly owned land to conduct their business, then they must provide service to everyone in their coverage area, and may not differentiate for any reason.

    More broadly though, I am actively taking steps to remove my home and business property from needing energy from the grid. In less than 2 years, I will be selling excess energy back to the grid, and to people, perhaps like you and others, who wish to light up their Christmas lights in protest of Earth Day…so cha-ching to me!

  133. Gates and others, re corporatism.

    If you believe in free speech, then you have to allow the free speech of corporations too. Corporations really don’t overly control or influence anything, I’m free to ignore whatever they say and I can go a look for counter opinions whenever I want.

    That said, Willis does have a point about ‘Don’t be Evil’ Google and their intentionally deceptive practice. But then again, I really doesn’t surprise me, Google has acted this way all along.

    MikeEE

  134. I just switched my search engine to Yahoo and removed my Google toolbar. The latter action prompts a survey from Google, so I gave them the URL of Willis’s post to explain my action.

  135. Welcome to the “climate disruption/industrial complex”!

    Let’s see….members include GE/Jeff Imelt with their unsold windmills, GM with their Chevy Volt, Google, Apple, Bill Gates, all major research universities, Goldman Sachs, Ecosecurities (i.e. J.P. Morgan Chase, see http://www.ecosecurities.com/), CNBC and on & on.

    And these guys complain that Koch brothers make legal political donations?

  136. JohnM says:
    March 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

    They’re just taking part in a money-feast, just like all the other “warmists”

    And going beyond global-warming (I wish):

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/18/google_review_google_speaks/

    Seems they want it all: For themselves.

    I think the word is “Arrogance”
    ___

    Isn’t that what Capitalism is all about? A “money feast”? I didn’t see many complaints from the skeptics when the Koch Bros. passed out millions to get their candidates into office and influence energy policy. The world is controlled by the rich and powerful. Basically, in terms of control of the the climate-change dialog you have the Koch Bros. et. al. versus Google et. al. Big $ vs. Big $. They are all “arrogant” in their own way. Why is this so surprising?

  137. Smokey says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    So, Gates, you would have no problem with the Koch’s refusing to provide you with energy based on your climate alarmist views? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. Google denies honest page placement to sites like WUWT and CA, based entirely on their scientifically skeptical views. You have a major moral blind spot, and you don’t even know it. Or you do know it, but the end justifies the means.

    As far as I can tell Google provided fair page placement to WUWT and CA, despite their “skepticisim” of AGW, until Anthony Watts proposed a boycott of Google by skeptics yesterday. This call for boycotting Google this hits their bottom line. Why shouldn’t they retaliate with a kind of boycott of their own?

    REPLY: Eadler, as I said before, you are totally delusional about this. You really need to get out of your home and into the real world more. – Anthony

  138. Gentlemen,

    This is about money and propping up failing investments, IMHO.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/tag/bloom-energy/

    Google is heavily invested in GREEN…as is Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

    Their favored tech, like BLOOM ENERGY and both PV and Thermal Solar are heavily dependent on Government and SGIP Money to even be barely competitive with Natural Gas derived power.

    SGIP (the self generation incentive program) is stalled here in California, and BLOOMs biz models rely HEAVILY on these funds (and the creative use of limited amounts of things like ‘directed biogas’), especially since I suspect they are still trying to cope with things like a $12/watt cost and what I suspect may be a short stack life (see Greentechmedia write-ups).

    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/bloom-update/

    http://gigaom.com/cleantech/bloom%E2%80%99s-carbon-neutral-claim-relies-on-scarce-biogas/

    These boys at Google also have an Energy group that is heavily involved in all things green & energy trading, so I think all this Carbon hype and ‘PR’ is directed to propping up business models that will fail without carbon taxes/credits, heavy government subsidies, artificially high energy costs and a stimulated thirst for ‘green energy’…..whatever that is…….(think rare earth toxic processing and solar processing wastes fouling farming fields in China).

    Note 2 of their 5 pet projects are in energy.

    http://www.google.org/projects.html

    They are also heavy into Solar, another subsidy hungry business model:

    This particular investment probably won’t do well with falling nat gas prices (or subsidies/carbon taxes):

    http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/04/solar_thermal

    And:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/09/google-custom-solar-technology-will-reduce-costs-by-60-percent.php

    ….which was tagged for trouble with the ailing economy:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/09/solar-power-industry-in-crisis-solar-panels-manufacturers.php

    …Which has continued to decay:

    http://wealthcycles.com/blog/2011/03/09/labor-force-participation-rate-drops-indicate-more-discouraged-workers-in-the-us-eco

    Then you have Germany, Spain and other markets slashing solar feed in tariffs and carbon as cheap as dirt (cow manure is worth more per ton, FYI).

    You have stranded projects galore and the Gubmint has no real money left to support crony-carbon-loving and green tech….so they are in trouble.

    What do you do when you are caught between a failing green market failing economy and failing subsidy dependent technologies?

    =====>You say/do anything to can to save your @$$.<======

    One linked article commentator asked if Google was the next Enron.

    I've been wondering that myself lately…

  139. MikeEE says:
    March 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Gates and others, re corporatism.

    If you believe in free speech, then you have to allow the free speech of corporations too. Corporations really don’t overly control or influence anything,
    _____
    Mike, if you could spend just a few days in Washington D.C. as a fly on the wall so to speak, you’d think far differently about this. This is not a free speech issue at all. This is an issue of pure money and power. Government by “We the People” is now (and has been for quite some time) Government by “We the Corporations”. It was warned about by Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, and Eisenhower. The fact that Ike was the last to really warn about it tells you how silent and consenting Washington D.C. now is the situation.

  140. Stephan says: March 19, 2011 at 6:58 am
    Guys/gals… don’t worry the world simply ain’t warming most people will come to realize this over time it does not really matter what google or anyone does.

    ————————————————————————–
    Stephan: How right you are. We might have to go down a painful path to learn the truth – like freezing a bit in winter and feeling a bit hungry for awhile but in the end we will learn. And ultimately humans overturn charlatans – it might take a little time – but it happens – even to the likes of Kaddafi . Google might be ‘puffed up’ and mighty now – but……….

    Douglas

  141. ‘In fact, that’s why up until now I trusted Google, because I always felt that I was being given the unvarnished truth’

    Why would you trust anything owned by Microsoft?

  142. I’m not defending Google but I wonder how much pressure the Obama crowd can, or has applied to Google AND Microsoft to promote the party line. I’m sure Obama’s trained monkeys could litigate Google to a complete standstill if Google refused to promote/defend the CO2 – Cap and Trade – AGW nonesense.

  143. If you think google isn’t invasive, pervasive, and meddling in every aspect of your life, block google.com in your firewall and disallow cookies from google for a few days and watch how much of the internet becomes unavailable.

    Open the source view of just about any web page and count the entries for google. Including the home page of WUWT. And just for fun, google – oops, Bing “web beacon”. I’ve used a proxy server here for years and google has more entries in it than any other entity. It is amazing how fast pages load when you don’t have to drag google analytics and google ad services around with you.

  144. Skeptic says:
    March 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I’m not defending Google but I wonder how much pressure the Obama crowd can, or has applied to Google AND Microsoft to promote the party line
    ____
    You are confusing the dog and the tail.

  145. Ixquick is totalky trustworthy. They destroy your search and personal info after every search. Ixquick.com.

  146. Ixquick is totally trustworthy. They destroy your search and personal info after every search. Ixquick.com.

  147. Gates says:

    Government by “We the People” is now (and has been for quite some time) Government by “We the Corporations”. It was warned about by Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, and Eisenhower. The fact that Ike was the last to really warn about it tells you how silent and consenting Washington D.C. now is the situation.

    Eisenhower’s comments are being misrepresented. He specifically warned about Big Government’s intrusion into science, and how money corrupts companies and universities alike:

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal Government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

    Eisenhower was very prescient. His predictions have come to pass with a vengeance. The government subsidized system has now been hijacked by cliques of self-serving pseudo-scientists and unelected bureaucrats intent on destroying the country through insane laws, rules, regulations, ever higher taxes, and the deliberate elimination of cheap energy, based on anti-science.

  148. Is Bing any different?

    Google is big. They’re like the phone company. As far as Anti-Christ corporations go, I rate them below GE, Government Motors, Berkshire-Hathaway, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Weyerhaueser, and Georgia Pacific (which, btw, is wholly owned by the Koch Bros).

    Google may not be without political flaws, but they are not responsible for crappy climate science, CAGW alarmism, or the general stupidity of the Body Politic. If anything, the Internet (of which Google plays a major developmental role) is the cure for epidemic fatheadedness.

    The real insult is that Google is giving some their of their ample fat to people who are already well-paid sponges and trough suckers.

    Spread the wealth, Google!!! How about a healthy endowment to the Best Science Blog in the Blogosphere? I mean, if you want to explore the digital communication of ideas, what better model than right smack here?

  149. “…and seriously, what you are doing is really scary, I implore and beg you to stop it.”
    Willis, as usual an excellent piece, I applaud you.
    What is ‘scary’ to me is the possible infiltration into Google from those with more money than they know what to do with, agenda that are at the least horrifying, and at best anarchical; I give you the UN, followed by the EU, along with all their sundry green painted sychophants.

  150. Google’s been in this one for a long time, it’s just that now that they see their side going for the dirt-nap that they feel they need to try to throw some muscle around.

    It’s a bad move, of course; some of us detest the rent-seekers among the ‘Climate Action Partnership’ but we accept that some firms have had to be there for PR reasons. This, on the other hand, is naked activism.

  151. Smokey,

    You are correct. It seems Ike feared both the undue influence of industry on the “councils of government” as well as the influence of government money on dictating the nature and direction of research, etc. As a good and true conservative, I would expect nothing less from him.

  152. It used to be when you Googled “Global Warming” in the news section, the skeptical stuff was always on the top, you wouldn’t get the propaganda pages till the second page. Then I noticed about a year that shifted and the skeptical stuff was on page two. It was weird timing too, because Climategate was finally getting traction Copenhagen was a failure we had them on the ropes and suddenly the search engines went their way. HHHMMMM!!!

  153. I have always suspected that Google is holding back on climate searches that might embarrass the establishment. Here is an example that I have fruitlessly tried to google. It involves an article I read about Stephen Schneider and how he got his MacArthur fellowship. It was in a popular science magazine in the middle or late nineties and explained that he got his genius award because he influenced some crucial wording in the 1990 IPCC report he worked on. The article gave both the original wording and his wording for comparison and I thought that both of them were wishy-washy. But I was not really interested in climate at that time and forgot the source until I started doing my own climate research in 2008. I tried to find it because now I realized the significance of this but no matter how I Googled it I did not get it. In the article he also said that the award arrived at a time when he really needed it because he was in the middle of a bitter divorce and had spent all his resources. There is no record of this divorce in his CV or anywhere else. He is said to be married to Terry Root and if you Google him and divorce you get a list of divorce lawyers. And this hide-the-facts game continues despite his demise last year. To me this is not an accident and indicates a deep and hidden effort by Google to make the CO2 advocates side look good. The Google scholar project only makes it official.

  154. Squidly says:
    March 19, 2011 at 6:42 am
    Hugh Pepper says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:44 am
    This is utter nonsense! Paranoid rant!

    Annei says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:48 am
    Hear Hear!

    ___

    Squidly: You missed my further comment further down. I was NOT saying ‘Hear Hear’ to that rant by Hugh Pepper. I WAS saying it about Willis’s article, and I wrote it before any other comments had been posted. It was a great misfortune that it then appeared below that rant. A lesson to be learned…make sure that one’s answer includes the name of the person addressed!

    Please rest assured that I DO agree with Willis and most decidedly not with the ranter.

    Annei.

  155. [stop posting this Goebbels cartoon, it will not be published - and since your email is bogus, you are banned. Part of UEA there in Norfolk? - Anthony]

  156. I can’t help but notice that a number of social issues have become more visible since Larry Page replaced Sergey Brin in the senior policy/CEO role. The Egypt Google director helped precipitate a regime change with the protection of Google who involved President Obama. The prioritizing of web search listings on Google has always been a source of contention by those not at the top. Skeptical sites are now “page 2.” Prominent climate change believers’s sites: ie, Stephen Schneider’s have been edited to provide a favorable view of the person. It seems that over the recent past, there has been a climate change in the Corporate governance at Google such that Do No Evil has morphed into Do No Harm, and recently morphed into Do What We Believe is Right. Their power is in their information trove. As happened with Senator McCarthy in the 1950′s, using such power against one’s enemies, inevitably gets used against someone more powerful who then strikes back. My guess is that that treasure trove of personal information amassed by Google will become regulated and the whole reason for Google’s power will be dissipated.

  157. I use Ixquick for ordinary searches, Bing for anything complex or if Ixquick fails. Google, almost never. Not to be trusted under any circumstances.

    All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  158. Be very wary of Google email I would not be surprised if they have a tag on anyone on the web who is known to be antiAGW LOL. I left them today

  159. Who do we know that is committed to the anti- CO2 green-money pit and believes that CO2 os the bane of human existance?

    Nov 30th 2010
    “EU launches antitrust probe into alleged Google abuses”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11876443

    Feb 24th 2010
    “Google faces European competition inquiry”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8533551.stm

    Nov 30th 2010
    “Google v Regulators: The battle begins:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/rorycellanjones/2010/11/google_v_regulators_the_battle.html

    There are hundreds of such new stories, and they have become more frequent.

    I’m sure that Google was under “No Pressure” to make this decision.

    The question is, how does what Google has chosen to do change the course of these ‘investigations’?

    Intel, why didn’t you think of this?

  160. I’m not seeing any kind of boycott works for a de facto world leading internet company that has the users by the balls with already integrated search features and email what ever.

    As many people who get it into their heads to boycott Google because it turned out to become a science Goregamel, a hundred times more users joins the internet every day for the first time.

    Ridiculing them is probably gonna have more of an effect since no company want to have their so called trademark linked to what they think is negative.

  161. Re Tax & IRS – I think the ‘correct’ wording on the form before sending it back minus taxes is “no contract”. The IRS is a private company and iirc it requests you to pay, it does not demand because it can’t, don’t sign it… Americans can’t be taxed on income earned for labour, or something like that. http://www.mind-trek.com/practicl/tl16a.htm

    Also, “To lay with one hand the power of government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it on favored individuals.. is nonetheless robbery because it is done under the forms of law is called taxation.” U.S. Supreme Court – Loan Association v. Topeka (1874)

    “In a recent conversation with an official at the Internal Revenue Service, I was amazed when he told me that, “If the taxpayers of this country discover that the IRS operates on 90% bluff, the entire system will collapse.”” Senator Henry Bellmon, 1969.

    http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl16a.shtml

    The IRS is the collection agency for the Federal Reserve which is a private company and having wangled control of the US dollar, it lend money and charges interest, i.e. it prints notes and charges the US government for these, taxes go to pay the interest.

    Technically illegal, it didn’t have a quorum pass this originally.

    Interesting titbit I learned of recently, that an American jury sits not only in judgement of the alleged criminal, but also of the law – that a jury can rule a particular law unfair and throw out the case, for example. What an amazing constitution, no wonder it’s kept hidden…

  162. Tesla_X says:
    March 19, 2011 at 11:38 am
    “BLOOMs biz models rely HEAVILY on these funds (and the creative use of limited amounts of things like ‘directed biogas’), especially since I suspect they are still trying to cope with things like a $12/watt cost and what I suspect may be a short stack life (see Greentechmedia write-ups).”

    That would be the typical problem of hydrocarbon-burning fuel cells. Thanks for the links!

  163. When Climategate started, I was astounded to find that after showing approx 50 million in Google search, the numbers started to go backwards. Fascinated, I did the search daily for weeks and weeks, and found that Google eventually one day showed less than 10 million. I did some research and found that Al Gore was one of Google’s advisors.
    As far as trust in anyone is concerned, trust has to be earned.
    And Willis, time to trim the verbosity in your posts, and the emotion. Keep it short and snappy. Maybe you need a little holiday.

  164. Gee you trust a firm that has a motto of do no evil. In todays world that is an admission you do evil.

  165. Pamela Gray says:
    March 19, 2011 at 7:34 am
    Corporate and private businesses are free to stand next to any allegiance they want to. I have no problems with that and hope it never changes.

    If Google is filtering information, then game on, but the target needs to change. The line of connection extends upwards beyond Google. To get to Google, we must get to Internet Providers.

    Pamela, I would agree with you that businesses are free to do as you suggest. I’m not sure there are many (if any) here suggesting otherwise. I don’t believe that is within the scope of this topic. It is not weather or not Google can be biased, it is whether or not they should. I believe that Google is making a grievous mistake going down this road, especially considering the nature of their business. I also believe that this sort of action can (and possibly will) be their ultimate demise. Their business relies heavily on trust. Once they lose our trust, they lose their business.

    As for the “game on”, the “target” and the “get to the Internet Providers”, are you kidding me? What fricken planet do you live on? Your sounding too much like a leftist, Marxist sort of person here. Thankfully, the Internet (and service providers) is still free wheeling, and I honestly hope that it stays that way (I believe it will regardless of the attacks by such folk as the FCC by the way).

    It is information such as this post that “get the word out” to people that may not be aware of the shenanigans that are or may be taking place without their knowledge. I find this sort of post more as informational and more of a “spread the word” piece. It is exactly this type of post that helps in the “self” regulation of an unregulated arena. It is for posts like this that allow us to forgo regulation and enable the environment to regulate itself far more effective than any manufactured regulation by government agencies could ever do. This is what is termed “free market”. And when the arena maintains transparency (ie: free speech, etc…), a free market can better regulate itself than governments can. This post is yet another fine example of how things like Net-Neutrality are such a dumb idea, and why your last paragraph is so incredibly stupid.

  166. R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

    “The U.S. is a Corporate controlled country, and this is the true form of Fascism as Mussolini meant it…it is not a control of corporations by the government, but rather, a control of government by corporations. Washington D.C. and American national policy is dictated by large, wealthy, and very powerful multinational corporations. These corporations do battle every day between each other for bits and pieces of that control, and hence the reason that lobbyists in D.C. outnumber politicians about 100 to 1.”

    ————-

    Wow, do you learn history from Wikipedia? Corporatism does not mean run by private corporations, it means a country run like a corporation – in which most employees have very little freedom if they want to keep their jobs. But were you to actually take a real history course, you would learn that Mussolini pretty much used the word “fascist” (meaning ‘bundle of sticks’) to mean whatever he had in mind at the time. When he created fascism, it was not a well-defined idea; it was just a term with constantly changing meanings as a method of keeping himself in power. Mussolini was a demagogue.

    Your laughable argument that attempts to portray the US as fascist actually describes the antithesis of fascism, as power is not concentrated in the hands of the government under the rule of a dictator, but rather in extra-governmental corporations. I would agree that the government and corporations are too tightly linked in many modern democracies, with many unfortunate results. However, the name for that is not ‘fascism.’

  167. I’ve just permanently removed Google from my list of search engines.

    I replaced it with ixquick.

    About time too, really.

  168. Lets just assume that for a minute CAGW is finally exposed as a fraud perpetuated by those making a living out of it and those with a political agenda in its favour – quite a possible outcome. Where will Google sit against angry citizen victims of this fraud. Google has lots of money and as a promoter of the fraud may well face a multitude of class actions all because it took sides instead of merely facilitating access to information. Or has it realised it is already in this hole and is digging itself in deeper?

  169. Am I the only one to notice that the “2″ in the graphic “Co2 ogle” looks very much like a banana peel? How appropriate for the “900 pound gorilla” :-)

  170. They showed their bias directly after the Climategate was broken. They quite clearly kept removing it from their search results for days (weeks?) until they had to give up.

    It was called Googlegate, remember?

  171. Google has often thrown their Integrity under the bus and they done so more then once.

    During the week of climate gate when media and elites started circling wagons in a state of panic, they still believed they could subdue the scandal. Not only did we see Arnold Schwarzenegger pretty throw his integrity under a bus that week as he Stated his unabridged support for global warming policies, that week during climate gate, Al Gore who is a special adviser to the Google board had this video running in Canada on the front page of Google.

    If you watch the above video, it is rather remarkable since I do not type in ANY KIND OF search. ONLY needed is ONE MOUSE CLICK from the front page of Google and you then hear Al Gore speaking and spewing out propaganda!

    Imagine that, ONE simple mouse click from Google front page. I repeat, no searching, no typing, no doing nothing but one single click and we hear Al Gore speaking!. It never happed before….

    The above lesson is remarkable, because when these crisis is break out, we often see some of these institutions show their true colors for a very short while.

  172. Theo Goodwin says:
    March 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    Oh, excuse me. What is the best browser? Foxfire?

    As a Flash programmer, I have an issue with the way Google Chrome has implemented Flash.

    To me it is obvious that Google, Apple and many more companies have decided to use their power to destroy Flash.

    This is a small point in the context of the discussion.

    But it does demonstate how Big Business does business.

    Here is my Chrome test page here:

    http://trilogymedia.com.au/chrome_test/

    Google needs to be sent a message that we are not happy!

  173. Smokey says:

    “Eisenhower was very prescient. His predictions have come to pass with a vengeance. The government subsidized system has now been hijacked by cliques of self-serving pseudo-scientists and unelected bureaucrats intent on destroying the country through insane laws, rules, regulations, ever higher taxes, and the deliberate elimination of cheap energy, based on anti-science.”

    Not quite right. It is not the pseudoscientists. They are just useful idiots being funded by the real culprits who are those in charge of the Far Left, which is a sall minority, but which has a great deal of power right now because of money, smarts, and position. And they are making their move now “while the “gettin’s good”. And this relatively tiny minority of wealthy far-left elitists are supported by a large mob of useful idiots, like members of “labor unions” and the millions on the dole–folks who don’t have a clue about what is going on, but who swallow the hypocritical class welfare propaganda and promises of government-guaranteed security (does any thinking person still believe that the far left really champions the “down and out?). The Far Left is pushing for all it is worth right now, becauise it’s tyranny is being rapidly uncovered and understood by the majority thanks mainly to the internet . It’s now or never in their minds. The Google crap is one part of this “soft tyranny.” Let’s pray it won’t work!

    This is my conspiracy theory, and I’m sticking with it!

  174. Willis Eshcenbach

    Nope. I’m going to respond that if you believe that, you have your head up your fundamental orifice so far that if you pull it out quickly you’ll go snowblind.

    That response is beneath the Willis we came to know and admire. If that is the best you could come up, you’ve had a hard winter.

    Plus, Google’s spending millions on their vision of “ideological advocacy”, where I spend … well, nothing. So we can’t be guilty of the same thoughtcrime, I’m too poor to commit theirs.

    What you’re saying is that your not rich enough to pay others to do your dirty ideological work for you. You still have to do it yourself.

    Pity the lowly paid father who has to work 12 hours a day and who is too buggered to get on his son’s PC, or the ‘bum’ out of a job and too poor to go to an internet cafe, so they could say, “Willis, what do you know about poverty?”

  175. Willis

    The problem is the progressive mindset – not Google – I’ve never really trusted Google from the start when it commenced business – its basically a liberal organisation.

    The problem with progressives/liberals is that, as their political positions are founded on a rhetorical basis, rather than an empirical physical one, they then conclude that it, their view, “has” to be correct since everyone “they know” agrees with it. But as the journalist Bernard Goldberg pointed out in his two books Bias and the second, Arrogance, in the MSM, progressives don’t mix socially with others outside their circle, so they never get exposure to other ideas and hence have the hermetically sealed worldview we are so familiar with and which creates so much consternation as well.

    Hence they believe our scepticism is the result of not getting their message right, and if they could do that by the means that caused you to post this opinion, then all will be OK. Well no, instead they seem unable to accept that their group think might be in error, since everyone they socialise with also agrees.

    The larger problem, of which the Google action is a symptom, is the progressive/liberal mindset that has taken over the “State”, the education systems, the Universities both here in Australia, the US and Europe.

    They really truly believe they are right – it’s sincere as well, which makes it a little frightening, hence some of the posts in the comments here.

    So railing against Google is not going to change much – though I do share your distrust of its search engine – but the climate change battle isn’t so much over science per se, as over the state itself.

  176. To the folks upthread who suggested Dogpile as an alternative – thank you.

    I just tested Dogpile vs. Google on these searches:

    H.R. 1 – Dogpile gave a clean list of hits (on the House Continuing Resolution) leading off with the Thomas website “Text of Bill” page for the current session – perfect. Google also offered this, but you had to wade through some unrelated fluff to see it.

    Agency Conflict – both sites delivered mostly the same results.

    Frankfurt School – both sites delivered mostly the same results.

    Conclusion: based on some search test topics that just sort of came to mind while reading Willis’s fine open letter :-) is that with Dogpile you lose nothing vs. Google, while you gain a cleaner search experience and you avoid the Google nonsense. No downside.

    So Dogpile it is…

    Thanks again for the info and thanks again Willis for providing the catalyst for this change.

  177. vigilantfish says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    You have just learned that for RGates, Fascism is anything that is not yet controlled by the totalitarianism that pervades the Left. So, for example, the existence of Obamacare means for Leftists that healthcare in the USA has just passed from Fascist to “Good.” Leftists don’t actually have terms for their own desired end states; instead, they simply substitute “Good.”

  178. R. de Haan says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Have you any idea how dangerous your view is?
    What’s next, taxing the air we breath?

    Dangerous for some American minds, perhaps. The US is the only place on the face of the planet where taxation is considered as dangerous and immoral.

    Governments could tax thin air if they needed the money, if they were so willing, and if they could get away with it. They tax income, profits, goods, services, petrol, tobacco, alcohol, and all other good things in life. They even tax the privilege of hiring labor (payroll tax). But for some reason they don’t tax death, as I believe they should. Why shouldn’t the governments take a share of the wealth the dead people leave behind as they move on to the Great Beyond where no worldly currency is of any use?

    Nobody likes paying taxes, of course, but nobody likes dying either. Tax is just a fact of life. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay taxes should move to China, because only in communist countries you may live a life without paying a cent of tax.

    Australia, the UK and the rest of the Europe aren’t doing any worse than the US in terms of prosperity, even though taxation levels are higher than those in the US. And the life in those states isn’t any more dangerous than the life in the US. In fact, it is a lot safer. People don’t sleep with a pistol under their cushion in those countries because they are not afraid of ideologues, revolutionaries and/or otherwise hopelessly needy people barging in to steal away lowly-taxed property.

  179. Google, like all large corporations has the right to support causes of their choice. It is more indicative of the side of the AGW “debate” that you come down on that you would choose to pick on Google for putting their money behind their beliefs. In terms of them being a “neutral purveyor of information”, they are a search engine first for foremost, and they have the right to operate that service any way they want to. Your decision to use Bing as your choice of a climate related search engine simply reflects your position on the climate issue, and not whether or not Bing or Google is being more neutral on the issue.

    This completely misses the point.

    Of course corporations can invest their money in advocacy projects they believe in. However, it is not wise for all corporations to do so.

    If mass media companies started putting money into PACs, would you be trust their product? Would you not protest their actions by accommodating their competitors? Since I believe you are a thinking person, I am going to be presumptuous and assume your answer is “no” to the first and “yes” to the second question.

    If Wikipedia suddenly started funding the People’s Republic of China’s campaign against Tibet, would you trust anything Wikipedia had to say on the issue?

    The fact is that purveyors of information must remain neutral, else they are not to be trusted. And what, I ask, is Google, but a purveyor of information. This is especially troubling since Google posits itself as a neutral such purveyor. They are no longer to be trusted.

    I have learned long ago not to trust Microsoft. That company is as underhanded as they come, and there success came not from their own innovation, but from stealing the innovation of others. So for me, Bing is not an option.

    Yahoo and startpage are my primary search engines now.

  180. I stopped using all things Google quite some time ago. It was the CEO’s attitude toward personal privacy that did it for me. This is just further confirmation that this company is on the wrong path.

  181. vigilantfish says:
    March 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    R. Gates says:
    March 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

    “The U.S. is a Corporate controlled country, and this is the true form of Fascism as Mussolini meant it…it is not a control of corporations by the government, but rather, a control of government by corporations. Washington D.C. and American national policy is dictated by large, wealthy, and very powerful multinational corporations. These corporations do battle every day between each other for bits and pieces of that control, and hence the reason that lobbyists in D.C. outnumber politicians about 100 to 1.”

    ————-

    Wow, do you learn history from Wikipedia? Corporatism does not mean run by private corporations, it means a country run like a corporation …

    ____
    Nope. You are way off base. I would think that the biggest fascist of them all would know exactly what he meant, since he helped to create the basic fascist principles. You may want to read up on Mussolini and his concept of Fascism. It was a melding or melding together of government and corporate power. Here’s a nice quote that summarizes this:

    http://thinkexist.com/quotation/fascism_should_more_appropriately_be_called/163211.html

    It clearly does not simply mean government run LIKE a corporation, but in conjunction with corporate power. In this sense, Corporatism and Fascism are very similar, and Mussolini knew exactly what he was talking about.

  182. DirkH says:
    March 19, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Sergej and Larry have always been typical Silicon Valley liberals; “evil” for them always meant “the other side”. “Don’t be evil” was always to be understood this way IMHO.

    For many years prior to Google’s founding, Microsoft was known, in the trade, as “the evil empire.” What “Don’t be evil” meant was, “don’t be like Microsoft.” This was well understood by software techies and other people who followed the microcomputer industry.

    This project of theirs is probably the result of lobbying by warmist advocacy organizations that have Google’s ear, plus Gore’s efforts, plus the mindset of most of its employees, especially those “concerned” enough to agitate about it. I don’t think the impulse came from the top. The top is reacting mostly, IMO. Basically, the top is unarmed when it comes to having rejoinders to the alarmists’ nudgings, and has been “pushed” into this action, just as the warmist advocacy groups have nudged the rest of the corporate world into their corner..
    ——

    I don’t think switching search engines will do much good. It won’t harm them. Using their searches actually imposes a cost on the company. (And Google is too far ahead of the competition technically for them ever to be displaced.)

    What would be more effective would be a pledge to avoid clicking on their ads. (This would involve the extra step of right-clicking on an ad you want to see to copy its URL/link, and then pasting that URL into the command line to go to the site, thus depriving Google of its ad-click cut.)

  183. Kev-in-Uk says:
    March 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

    For example, Windows live mail which replaces the old free Outlook Express – is now a remote system where your emails are stored not on your computer but at microsoft where presumably they could be read? (as THEY know your password, etc).

    I’m not fan of Microsoft, but Live Mail can certainly store e-mails locally on your own machine without signing up for any remote account.

  184. If you want to erode Google’s gathering of personal information ( one of the bases for their revenues) while still using them (and using their ressources), use the plug-in “Google Sharing” on Firefox. The Firefox Addon for the GoogleSharing system. GoogleSharing ultimately aims to provide a level of anonymity that will prevent google from tracking your searches, movements, and what websites you visit.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/googlesharing/

  185. “Why would Google want to take either side when there is a disagreement between scientists?”

    Because the few, the exceedingly few, the insignificant, doddering minority of holdouts will die eventually and then there’ll be none.

  186. Mein Fuh…I mean Herr Google,

    Whether the science behind the IPCC was fraudulent or not is the basis of the crux of the argument between skeptics and alarmists. Alarmists beleive the whitewashes because they don’t look at the actual emails. Skeptics have read the emails and the science and the analaysis – how is your propaganda going to convert someone who knows full well everything that went on with the whitewashes and reads real information like Wattsupwiththat, ClimateAudit and Bishop Hill?

  187. I tried a search for something that should absolutely obviously put WUWT high in the results:

    best science blog

    StartPage : listed 5th (excl sponsored results)
    Yahoo! : not on page 1
    Duckduckgo : 3rd
    ixquick : 6th
    Google (the things I do for science!) : not on page 1
    Dogpile : 17th

  188. ShaneCMuir says March 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Have you ever considered that maybe Adobe needs to be sent a message about the quality and security of its products?

  189. ShaneCMuir says:
    March 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    “Google needs to be sent a message that we are not happy!”
    ____
    Wow, collectively the readers of WUWT represent some whopping .ooooo1% of the users of the Google and the internet. Your message to them should cause them to quake in their boots!

  190. I really appreciate this important article. As the trusted gatekeeper of information, Google’s potential for evil is truly(truly) frightening. (I wonder what attracted Gore to this company?).

    It is not until you want to make a complaint to Google that you realize how arrogant and insular the organization is. There is virtually no mechanism to make a meaningful complaint (so kudos for the open letter). They clearly have no interest in any form of criticism and this level of arrogance should be a concern for us all.

    This next bit may be exposing too much of my own paranoia but after I did find an avenue to complain to Google about filtering auto-suggestions, my google searches did not work for quite sometime (returned no results at all for months). I do not even know if it is technically possible for them to ‘punish’ me in this way, but it did make me wonder.

    Google has been a force for great good making information accessible to the masses but they now have extraordinary power and even a hint of misuse/abuse should be unacceptable to us all.

  191. I have to disagree on one point Willis. Sergey Brin and Larry Paige do have dogs in the fight … they were $7.5 billion dollar dogs a couple years ago:

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/article5816774.ece

    Who knows how big the dogs have grown to be by now… Of course Bill Gates has a $26 billion gorilla in the ring, so I don’t know that Bing will be any better, depending on how hands on Bill choses to be.

    I made the point about the Google founders on the Google forums when the discussion about Googlgate started.

  192. I’m amazed anyone belives the Google “do no evil” propaganda.
    After sending out the black vans to photograph everybodies street and incidently sniff everyones wi-fi (surprisingly everyone was all up in arms about the sniffing and not many were worried that Google can now tie wi-Fi packet info to an adress)
    After their soon to depart CEO said “If theres things your doing you don’t want Google to know about, then perhaps you just shouldn’t do it” (from the soon-to-be US Secretary of Commerce)
    After sufferring through about 20 lawsuits last year where they buried pages they didn’t like in the name of “Improving the search algorithm”
    After rolling over for totalitarian govenments like China and the United States (you guys have got to get rid of the Patriot act)
    Speaking of the US…Erics Schmidts inpending nomination makes 5 Google execs in the Obama executive team…maybe theres a merger coming..the United States of Google!

    Google in a decade has managed to do what most technical areas thought was impossible, they proved that Microsoft wasn’t that bad after all.

  193. R. Gates says:

    … Google, like all large corporations has the right to support causes of their choice. It is more indicative of the side of the AGW “debate” that you come down on that you would choose to pick on Google for putting their money behind their beliefs. In terms of them being a “neutral purveyor of information”, they are a search engine first for foremost, and they have the right to operate that service any way they want to. Your decision to use Bing as your choice of a climate related search engine simply reflects your position on the climate issue, and not whether or not Bing or Google is being more neutral on the issue.

    Are you dense, or just pretending to be? You claim I’m against Google entering the fray. However, I said:

    Let me make it very clear what I object to in this:

    GOOGLE IS TAKING SIDES IN A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR POLITICAL/SCIENTIFIC STRUGGLE

    Don’t mistake this for a partisan entreaty. This is not because of the side you’ve chosen, despite the fact that I’m on the other side. I don’t care which side Google takes – it’s wrong and stupid for Google to be in any scientific fight at all, on either side. I’d be screaming just as loudly if you had picked scientists who were on my side of the debate. In fact, I’d scream even louder, because I don’t want Google Follows doing a big PR dog-and-pony-show for skeptical science. Unlike you, I think that’s bad tactics. Your presence, and the desperation that it reeks of, can only damage whichever side you support, so I’m glad it’s not my side.

    I don’t think I could make it clearer than that. So you can stuff your claim about my motives up your fundamental orifice, it’s cousins are in their waiting to come out.

    The issue is that Google is the keeper of the nations secrets, as well as the purveyor of what claims to be neutral information.

    Certainly they have the rights you assert. I never said they didn’t. They have the right to put their full weight behind anything they choose, including the full weight of all of their secret information. Would you want them running against you when they know about your midnight searches and can read all of your email? Because as you point out, they have the right to do that. They can target you exactly, they have your emails, they know what you were searching for and when. But do you think that’s a good idea?

    I never said they didn’t have the right. My point was that it was as UNETHICAL for them to be in the public arena as it would have been for J. Edgar Hoover to form an action group to push his ideas. Certainly, as you claim because you haven’t bothered to actually read what I read, Hoover and Google have the right to do that … but ethically? Not on my planet, although YMMV.

    Finally, is Google doing that? Are they slanting their searches? Are they using their information for their own ends?

    That’s the heart of the problem. We don’t know. We don’t know if Al Gore, as a Google Director, ever looks at thing that he shouldn’t. We don’t know if Google is going to utilize their secret knowledge to help push their agenda, or not.

    But I don’t trust Al Gore, and after the Climategate flap, I don’t trust that Google is not putting its thumb on the scales. It has before. And since there is no way for us to know the answer to any of those questions, I say that it is unethical for Google to be an advocate for anything.

    They realize it too, or they did. R. Gates, why do you think their motto is “Do No Evil”?

    Because they have the power to do immense harm with both their secret knowledge, and their ability to hide anything that they want to …

    w.

    PS – You say:

    Your decision to use Bing as your choice of a climate related search engine simply reflects your position on the climate issue, and not whether or not Bing or Google is being more neutral on the issue.

    Your claim that you can read my mind and see why I make my decisions is pathetic, R. Gates. And your constant attacks on my motives and my decisions are a measure of your desperation and your lack of personal integrity. You are an unpleasant man, and I hope you take your ad-hominem accusations elsewhere. You are certainly not going to get an answer from me again, don’t bother trying. When I explain something to you twice, and then you come back and make the same untrue and unpleasant personal accusations, you’ve used up all of your second chances.

    Bye …

  194. e. c. cowan says:
    March 19, 2011 at 11:43 am

    ‘In fact, that’s why up until now I trusted Google, because I always felt that I was being given the unvarnished truth’

    Why would you trust anything owned by Microsoft?

    What makes you think I do? In general, I don’t trust anyone. Trust but verify.

    w.

  195. mcfarmer says:
    March 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Gee you trust a firm that has a motto of do no evil. In todays world that is an admission you do evil.

    Not for me. For me it was a very encouraging admission that the Google founders understood the awesome power that they would have if Google succeeded, and they were determined not to misuse it.

    Unfortunately, it seems the folks running the company now understand the awesome power that they have and are determined to misuse it.

    w.

  196. sHx says:
    March 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Willis Eschenbach

    Nope. I’m going to respond that if you believe that, you have your head up your fundamental orifice so far that if you pull it out quickly you’ll go snowblind.

    That response is beneath the Willis we came to know and admire. If that is the best you could come up, you’ve had a hard winter.

    You accused me of being as bad as Google, and said I was not giving the “unvarished truth”, viz:

    I no longer believe that I’m getting the unvarnished truth in your articles. I think you are guilty of precisely the kind of ideological advocacy you’re accusing Google of.

    Where I come from, that’s calling a man a liar. Politely, to be sure, but a liar nonetheless. If you expect me to blow in your ear after you call me a liar, or to apologize for my words, you picked the wrong man to call a liar. You deserve what you got and more. I went out of my way to be nice to you, I made it all humorous, I should have handed you your head on a platter. I don’t respond well to random internet posters who are hiding behind an alias making slimy accusations that I am lying, without putting forward a single fact to back it up their fraudulent claim. In response to your ugly accusation, I said that if you believe I’m a liar, you have your head up your fundament, and I stand by that. So sue me.

    Plus, Google’s spending millions on their vision of “ideological advocacy”, where I spend … well, nothing. So we can’t be guilty of the same thoughtcrime, I’m too poor to commit theirs.

    What you’re saying is that your not rich enough to pay others to do your dirty ideological work for you. You still have to do it yourself.

    I don’t have any “dirty ideological work” to do, that’s your fantasy, and not a pretty one. I think you must be confusing me with someone else, perhaps even yourself. Nor do I have all of the secrets of people’s midnight searches and all their gmail, so it is impossible for me to do what Google is doing. You sure you understand this “analogy” thing? Because “Willis = Google” just won’t fly.

    Pity the lowly paid father who has to work 12 hours a day and who is too buggered to get on his son’s PC, or the ‘bum’ out of a job and too poor to go to an internet cafe, so they could say, “Willis, what do you know about poverty?”

    What do I know about poverty? Probably more than the “lowly paid father” whose son has his own PC knows about poverty. A man whose son owns his own computer is not poor on my planet.

    Me, I grew up broke and spent much of my life that way. Retiring early and often is hardly a blueprint for financial success … and then I worked for some years in some of the poorest villages on the face of the planet, working to alleviate that poverty however I could. In addition, I lived in third world countries for 18 years, including nine years in a “Least Developed Nation” (the poorest of the poor nations). So I know poverty myself, and I have lived around it and worked to lessen it for years.

    So that’s what I know about poverty … what do you know about poverty, sHx?

    w.

  197. The bias of Google first appeared to me whith the press release from the Ida fossil, which Google turned into a doodle. The doodles are uses for historic events and anniversaries only and not for news items. Apparently, the Ida news hit the Google folks hard enough to make a one time exception here. Something they never did again, not even for big news items like the Arabic revolution or the Japan earthquake. That is: As far as I know. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  198. R. Gates said “More broadly though, I am actively taking steps to remove my home and business property from needing energy from the grid. In less than 2 years, I will be selling excess energy back to the grid,”

    Uh huh. Looks like you are prevaricating again. Either you are removing yourself from the grid or you are selling “excess” energy back to the grid, it can’t be both. Most likely, you are screwing taxpayers like me to install some uneconomical solar, then you are taking advantage of other ratepayers (and bragging about it no less) by selling your “excess” energy to them during peak solar when it is not needed. Later when your precious panels are producing nothing (peak power use is after sunset) you will buy energy from the grid that will be generated with the most expensive peak power generation. You will of course demand to pay regular prices for that energy while getting the same for your non peak power. Let me know when you buy some batteries then maybe we can take you seriously.

    I’ve noticed you’ve given up defending the non-neutrality of Google. Note my comparison to Yandex above, clearly Google raises alarmists like Tim Lambert above other sources.

  199. I choose to add a news section about theses subjects so that Google see what people want to read and be informed about :
    - global warming skeptic
    - climate change skeptic
    - global cooling ice age
    - climate cooling

    In fact I double the first 2 sections. Share your own news sections.

    Show Google what you want to read about. What you want is worth money. Google likes money.

  200. good article….. ..I will use bing for searches now too.

    your point is excellent. google has inserted itself into political discussions for a long time and must say they are not on the side of freedom or individual rights.

    they have what appears to be nefarious relationship with the obama administration and their efforts in china are more then suspect.

  201. For those that want to concede that Google can do whatever it wants, I say not so fast. First of all “Google” doesn’t decide to do anything. People decide things. Specifically the officers and board of directors of Google decide what will be done.

    Google Inc. is a publicly traded company. NASDAQ – symbol GOOG

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GOOG+Key+Statistics

    Given that Google Inc. is a publicly traded company the officers and directors of Google have 2 primary duties:
    1. Maximize shareholder value
    2. Obey the law
    All other strategies, programs, tactics, activities etc. are subordinate (and indeed must support) those 2 primary duties. For the officers and board to utilize company assets to engage in activities that do not support these primary duties is an example of “Agency Conflict” – Google this term, (actually don’t Google it …. Firefox it, Yahoo it, Dogpile it….. :-) there are alternatives, and that is the crux of the matter – more on that shortly.)

    A quick look at Google Inc. financial stats shows a share price that trades at about 21 times earnings with very high current earnings growth – so superficially not bad. However a closer look reveals no dividend, so the current valuation is based on significant continued growth expectations combined with continued high profit margins. What will drive this profitable growth? A better product? High barriers to competitive entry? Not really, we have seen upthread that there are many perfectly acceptable alternatives available.

    So where is the value? Answer – it is the brand.

    Remember “Google it”. Sort of like Kleenex – which is really just facial tissue, Google is really just a commodity web browser. But the brand Google (or Kleenex or Coke) has equity and that (and pretty much that alone now that the business has matured) drives the market/ consumer behaviours that create better long term financial performance and justify higher valuation.

    Now brand equity doesn’t just happen, it is built and nurtured. In other words it is managed. Here is where we come to the concept of agency conflict. The custodians of the Google brand are associating the brand in a controversial program, completely unconnected to their core business. The postive PR return from this is likely to be minimal (are more people going to click Google Ads because of this ?!?) and the potential risk is, well, non-zero. So the risk adjusted return from this activity renders it unsound. Yet they have done it.

    This is prima facie evidence of agency conflict. The officers and board of Google Inc. have subordinated the interests of their stockholders to their own personal / political whims. The board and officers of Google Inc. cannot be trusted as custodians of these assets. This, in concert with the commoditisation of the industry, is a sell (profit take) signal.

    That btw was a long winded way of saying that they are getting cute …. time to dump ‘em.

  202. This is ridiculous. Climate change is not a “partisan” issue, it’s an issue of people on one side who actually pay attention to and understand the scientific literature, and people on the other side who cherry pick and skew for I-don’t-know-what-reason. Anthropogenic climate change is no more a political issue than whether you believe in AIDS is a political issue, despite all of the effort that some people put into convincing themselves otherwise. 98.5% of publishing climatologists (from EOS survey) believe that anthropogenic climate change is real and is occurring. Google is not being political here, any more than they would be if they gave money to cancer patients even though 2% of practicing doctors write silly books about healing through homeopathy. You can feel free to get all uppity and switch to Bing–it’s no loss to me if your searches suck–but don’t pretend that Google is doing anything wrong.

  203. This should have been kept as top post for a very long time: reason hurt google as much as you can until they get message. By removing this post from top we show weakness.
    LOL

  204. I have feeling Google mail is going under anyway. Again their email has crashed for two days (or anyway I haven’t received any emails which I know people had sent). The idiots taking it over are probably going to destroy it.

  205. I just watched a show about the planets and listened to someone, supposedly educated, that claimed that the reason that Venus is 30 degrees warmer than the Earth is, yes, you guessed it “Global Warming.” His assertion was that even though Venus was the approximately the same mass, density, and size, that due to runaway “global Warming” Venus was 30 degrees warmer that the earth. Am I to assume that the fact that Venus is about 1/3 of the distance closer to the Sun has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Venus is warmer than the Earth. And the AGW Ministers claim they do not spread falsehoods! Oh, that’s right, I forgot, the Sun has nothing to do with global warming!

  206. dkkraft says:
    March 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

    For those that want to concede that Google can do whatever it wants, I say not so fast. First of all “Google” doesn’t decide to do anything. People decide things. Specifically the officers and board of directors of Google decide what will be done.

    Google Inc. is a publicly traded company. NASDAQ – symbol GOOG

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GOOG+Key+Statistics

    Given that Google Inc. is a publicly traded company the officers and directors of Google have 2 primary duties:
    1. Maximize shareholder value
    2. Obey the law
    All other strategies, programs, tactics, activities etc. are subordinate (and indeed must support) those 2 primary duties.

    I couldn’t disagree more. You have a very narrow view of the duties of a corporation.

    Corporations have an ethical duty as well, to be good corporate citizens. Having had a seat on the Board of a corporation worth a couple hundred million dollars, I say this not as a theoretical claim, but as something I have personally ensured that our corporation did.

    The current paradigm is that corporations are “persons” under the law. As such, they have a responsibility to do more than simply enrich their owners by any legal means. If you want to pretend a corporation is a person, then they must also pay attention to the ethical duties incumbent on every citizen.

    Nor are these social responsibilities “subordinate” to making money, or else corporations would never, ever make charitable donations … but since in fact corporations of all types spend their hard-earned money on all kinds of charitable and community projects, the people running those corporations obviously don’t agree with your claim that the highest goal of a corporation is to amass every penny they legally can …

    w.

  207. I quit googling a while back due to their incideous political bs. WUWT?

    I suggest the usual treatment. Take away their money and the problem goes away.

    I easily convinced a person who sets up all the pc’s for a large state agency to no longer default to google. Thousands of pc’s times thousands of searches lost to competition. :)

    Good man Willis!

  208. Dave C-H says:
    March 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    This is ridiculous. Climate change is not a “partisan” issue, it’s an issue of people on one side who actually pay attention to and understand the scientific literature, and people on the other side who cherry pick and skew for I-don’t-know-what-reason. Anthropogenic climate change is no more a political issue than whether you believe in AIDS is a political issue, despite all of the effort that some people put into convincing themselves otherwise. 98.5% of publishing climatologists (from EOS survey) believe that anthropogenic climate change is real and is occurring. Google is not being political here, any more than they would be if they gave money to cancer patients even though 2% of practicing doctors write silly books about healing through homeopathy. You can feel free to get all uppity and switch to Bing–it’s no loss to me if your searches suck–but don’t pretend that Google is doing anything wrong.

    Thank you for your opinion. If you had buttressed it with an occasional fact, I suppose it might have been convincing … as it stands, however, it merely reveals you haven’t done your homework.

    Better luck next time,

    w.

    PS – the EOS survey was not a survey, it was merely an on-line poll of self-selected climatologists. How many climatologists? Well … 79. Like I said, you haven’t done your homework.

  209. The emphasis on “communication” of the “unequivocal science” rather than an effort to advance the retarded state of the understanding of the basic physics evident in the “climate science” community is totally telling .

    I would think this would cause somewhat of a civil war within Google where some of their more numerate employees , of which they have lots , would rebel against this nonscience .

  210. It is depressing that one has to write these sorts of letters in the first place. Even more depressing is the sugar coated condescending non-sequitor of a reply that is likely to follow, extolling how 97% of the worlds scientists believe AGW and then proceeding to rub salt in the wound by quoting the IPCC – a red rag to a bull.

    Such replies are more infuriating than the original injury.

  211. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:29 am
    Re: narrow view of the duties of a corporation.

    thanks for responding Willis – yes there are different schools of thought on this and my post expressed one side without qualifications (frankly my post was long enough already). Obviously my view is informed by this famous essay by Milton Friedman:

    http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

    It is also informed by other principles:
    1. Concentration of power is bad
    2. Separation of powers and segregation of duties are good
    3. Capital (i.e. the stored surplus from labour) is the building block of civilization and therefore the destruction of capital is wrong
    4. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility – for those who might not know, yes it has its own acronym) can sometimes be consistent with building capital (some charitable work can be included here for sure), but importantly it can also be an alternative to creating capital, an excuse for poor performance. Furthermore CSR is also not required to prevent evil. Laws and PR will do that.

    When people complain vaguely about a corporatist state, what I think they sense is the insidious encroachment of corporations into areas of society where they don’t belong. CSR – when done wrong like in the Google example is a good example.

    I prefer to see corporations stick to their knitting. Let societies other institutions perform these other roles.

    We may ultimately choose to disagree on this point, but I did want to provide some additional perspective on this part of my earlier post.

  212. I thought most people knew Google is a lefty outfit. Kate over at Small Dead Animals has been pointing this out for years.

  213. I read a couple of years ago that Google had invested heavily in green technology and they were skewing search results on Climategate ie they were reducing the number if hits. It was a dramatic difference. I decided to protest by removing Google as my search engine and got an e-mail from them asking for my reason. I told them it was because they had taken sides. As CAGW continues to crater I suspect they are attempting to protect their massive investment.
    Protest by removing Google as your search engine.

  214. Willis, At this time there has been no response from Google to the open letter. Has it actually been delivered to them? Perhaps it should be delivered as a registered letter to their legal department. Until then, I anticipate that they would be happy to say that Google’s position is supported by official statements from well reputed scientific bodies such as the AMS, the APS, the AAAS, and UK’s Royal Society.
    And Google would be right.
    It leaves some of us feeling quite disturbed, since you seem so correct and sincere in your writings.
    Have you thought of putting your skills and energy into trying to get the official statements from these scientific bodies modified?

  215. Richard Hill says:
    March 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm (Edit)

    Willis, At this time there has been no response from Google to the open letter. Has it actually been delivered to them? Perhaps it should be delivered as a registered letter to their legal department. Until then, I anticipate that they would be happy to say that Google’s position is supported by official statements from well reputed scientific bodies such as the AMS, the APS, the AAAS, and UK’s Royal Society.
    And Google would be right.
    It leaves some of us feeling quite disturbed, since you seem so correct and sincere in your writings.
    Have you thought of putting your skills and energy into trying to get the official statements from these scientific bodies modified?

    Thanks for the reply, Richard.

    As to whether Google has responded, they have not, nor did I expect them to.

    However, I’m given to understand that my open letter is being discussed internally at Google, which is what I had intended. I’ve written a number of open letters, and have no reply to any of them … so it’s good I hadn’t expected a reply when I wrote it.

    Regarding the statements claiming to be from the various societies, I know of no society of scientists that has actually polled their members before letting us know, in no uncertain terms, what all of those scientists think … that process sounds kinda, well, unscientific to me, but I’m a reformed cowboy, what do I know?

    As a result, I do not treat them as any kind of official statement, since it is in fact the views of only a few people in power, a tiny minority, and we don’t have a clue about the views of the members.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much leverage in that regard. I am an independent climate researcher, with no credentials and no membership in the Societies. My feeling is that they will have to be reformed from within, and I can’t do that.

    So I put my efforts where I think they’ll do the most good. Might not be right about my choices, but I pick the places where it seems like I can make a difference.

    All the best,

    w.

  216. I Googled “okapi porn” and noticed Willis’s Open Letter To Google was the 5th listing on page one. Excellent use of key words Willis to get such a good ranking and also how ironic!

  217. dkkraft says:
    March 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:29 amRe: narrow view of the duties of a corporation.

    thanks for responding Willis – yes there are different schools of thought on this and my post expressed one side without qualifications (frankly my post was long enough already). Obviously my view is informed by this famous essay by Milton Friedman:

    http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

    Both you and Friedman make a critical mistake. You assume that the issue is the corporate social responsibility to do something. Of course this costs money, and is subject to your and Friedman’s complaint. Me, I’m asking Google to do nothing, which won’t cost money, and so is free from Friedman’s issues.

    Friedman’s conclusion is that Google is not acting correctly, because they are spending the corporations money and thereby reducing profit.

    My conclusion is that it has nothing to do with the money. For example, a corporation may have two completely legal choices, both of which will make the same profit. Suppose one of them is completely legal, and the other is legal but highly unethical.

    I say that the corporation in that situation has an obligation to act ethically. You say the opposite. Under Friedman’s (and your) analysis, a corporate executive has an obligation to act unethically if it will make them more money, as long as it’s legal.

    I want you to think about that last line. The highest duty for Friedman is making more money, regardless of the ethics, regardless of the morals, regardless of who might get hurt in the process, regardless of anything.

    Now, I hold that that is a child’s view of business, and that Friedman would squeal like a stuck pig if some corporation hurt him in the process of their take-no-prisoners pursuit of money, money, and more money. He’d be standing up for his individual rights, or some other Friedman claim.

    If you truly believe that as a corporate executive your job is to make money no matter what ethical boundaries are transgressed and no matter who you hurt, then I sincerely hope that you will never be given that power. Friedman’s view is that money lust should over-ride everything but the law, that grasping for the last dollar is the true and noble pursuit of the real authentic businessman.

    Me, I have what I think is a more adult and less grasping view of business. Friedman wants corporations to only be “persons” when it suits him, and businesses when it suits him. He wants them to be free of morality and ethics and just make money however they can and devil take the hindmost and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt, because THE CORPORATION MADE AN EXTRA DOLLAR. Friedman says that extra dollar should over-ride every other consideration.

    But he wants them to be “people” the rest of the time with all of the benefits and privileges that accords. I say pick one or the other. If we are to accord corporation the privilege of personhood, that privilege comes with responsibilities. One of them is to act morally and ethically, not just see how close to the edge of the law you can play funny games.

    w.

  218. James Allison says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I Googled “okapi porn” and noticed Willis’s Open Letter To Google was the 5th listing on page one. Excellent use of key words Willis to get such a good ranking and also how ironic!

    Dang, who beat me? And what about the whale squash videos, where some woman in high heels stomps on a whale? How did I rate on those?

    w.

  219. Sold my stock in Goog back in 2007. Put the profits in property and those shiny metals. :) Suggest all do the same. With co- founder Larry Page back in charge as chief executive officer in April, does that mean the mission statement will change? Seens “get the money” regardless of ethics 101, is ok with some folks here (R. Gates?). Gaining trust becomes a difficult task to redo after sliding down the snakey slope of Al-Gorification. Stock holders start looking around as dividends become more desperate a lure.

    Goog sympathizers…sinking with your ship; a Titanic feeling?

  220. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm
    Re: narrow view of the duties of a corporation. cont.

    you say:
    I say that the corporation in that situation has an obligation to act ethically. You say the opposite. Under Friedman’s (and your) analysis, a corporate executive has an obligation to act unethically if it will make them more money, as long as it’s legal.

    I want you to think about that last line. The highest duty for Friedman is making more money, regardless of the ethics, regardless of the morals, regardless of who might get hurt in the process, regardless of anything.

    My response now:
    I don’t get that at all from reading Friedmans essay or my post for that matter, Friedman says explicitly “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” The rules of the game include ethics. Avoiding deception and fraud includes ethics. I would add that in my experience, which is considerable, unethical behavior is bad business, at least if you depend on things like retaining employees and customers :-).

    I admit in my original post I used “obey the law” as a soundbite for obey the rules of the game. In an attempt to be concise I was imprecise.

    Now my complaint with Google is also that I want them to do nothing. I agree with your reasons and I add another. Specifically the agency problem.

    The people making the decision to use Google assets to fund the Google fellows are agents. They are not principals. They are using other peoples (stockholders) money, without permission, to support a pet project that is peripheral to their core business.
    Now if this could be demonstrated to be an activity that somehow helped, say, attract and retain better employees or more plausibly, enhanced their brand image and therefore had a viable fit in their overall marketing mix that would be one thing I suppose. Although as your post points out, correctly, there are significant ethical/trust issues with this particular activity that would override any possible sound business justification for the activity. Maybe they should re-direct this money to cancer research or something (I would have somewhat more sympathy for that than would Friedman – although as stated in his essay he doesn’t object too strongly if it is a business fit).

    Anyway, the Google Fellows project is not going to enhance their brand and it involves innapropriate risk to their brand. It is not being done for business reasons and is a mis-use of business assets. If the principals want to support this they should do so out of their own private accounts.

    Once again, my complaints about Google Fellows funding are in addition to yours, not contradicting yours.

    So there we go, hopefully there is some common ground there.

  221. dkkraft says:
    March 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says: …

    Thanks, dkk. I agree with you that our positions are not all that far apart. However, I still read Friedman as saying:

    “there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

    You say “The rules of the game include ethics. Avoiding deception and fraud includes ethics.”

    Not true. Avoiding deception and fraud are a part of ethics, but a small part. For example, let’s look at a business choosing two different paths. One involves a lot of people being thrown out of work, the other doesn’t, but throwing people out of work might increase the profits by a quarter of a percent. Now, throwing people out of work is neither deception or fraud … but I would argue that a business should try to avoid throwing people out of work for ethical reasons, despite the fact that they might make a bit more profit by doing so..

    So no, Friedman is not saying that the company has to act ethically, merely that they must avoid the crimes of “deception and fraud”, which is a very, very different thing.

    I don’t understand why you and Friedman think that individual humans should act ethically, but that humans working together (corporations) are under absolutely no obligation to do so.

    Indeed, Friedmans claim is that as long as it is legal, that is to say there is no fraud or deception involved, money should be the highest god and ethics is immaterial. Makes no sense to me, that individual humans should be ethical and moral and groups of humans (corporations) have no obligations other than legal ones.

    But hey, I’m not an economist, so I probably don’t understand the inner logic of saying it’s the duty of corporations to harm people, as long as it is legal to do so and there’s money to be made by harming them. After all, there’s no fraud or deception (illegality) involved … only pain and suffering.

    You’ll have to explain that one to me again, dkk. You and I agree on a lot, but that one I just don’t understand.

    w.

  222. A personal ancedote…

    I was typing ‘climategate’ into google on and around the 20th November 2009..
    and the hits were going up at enormous rate, even higher that the ‘Tiger Woods’ scandal at the same time.

    Initially I received about 100,000 hits for climategate (or climate gate), it auto completed and I received results like climate control, automatic gate generators, etc .

    Over the next few days this hit count went into the several hundred thousand and then millions.

    Then autocomplete DID stop working, lots of comment in various blogs about how odd thgis was..

    After a few weeks, auto complete started working again..

    Why, How, only google knows….

    At the time here was one article- Christopher Booker (Sunday Telegraph, UK) The greates scientific Scandal of this generation’ that was number one result on google..

    then it dropped off the rankings…
    Google was suspected, but if I recall correctly it disappeared because at the Telegraph website itself, someone (internally) made some changes so it dropped off. I think James Delingpole wrote about that in his column, I’ll try to get hold of the exact reference.

  223. Found it…

    James Delingpole (telegraph journalist) noticicing that the ONLY UK MSM article about climategate for week, had disappeared from Google…

    Christopher Booker’s (Telegraph)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6679082/Climate-change-this-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation.html

    Delingpole 29th November 2009

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100018263/climategate-googlegate/

    “What is going on at Google? I only ask because last night when I typed “Global Warming” into Google News the top item was Christopher Booker’s superb analysis of the Climategate scandal.

    It’s still the most-read article of the Telegraph’s entire online operation – 430 comments and counting – yet mysteriously when you try the same search now it doesn’t even feature.”

    But the suspect according to Richard North was most likley to be closer to home..

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/11/googlegate.html

    If you look at the Telegraph comments on this article, a number of commentors have also noticed that climategate had stopped auto completeing, and that hit counts were fluctuating…

    One of the comments on James Delingpole’s Telegraph article..

    alongwayfromkansas
    12/07/2009 09:10 AM
    just done a quick search of some search engines for climategate/climate gate

    Alta Vista give autosuggestion and 43 million hits

    Bing gives autosuggestion (which had disappeared but now is back) and 50.1 million hits

    Yahoo gives autosuggestion and 48.5 million hits

    the above three give the results for both ‘climategate’ and ‘climate gate’ whichever term you type in

    GOOGLE – NO AUTOSUGGESTION AND EACH TERM IS REPORTED SEPARATELY
    ‘Climategate’ 31.2 million hits
    ‘Climate Gate’ 12.9 million hits

    Interestingly, if you type in ‘climate g’ you get an autosuggestion for ‘Climate Gas Totton’ – 4,830 hits

    Google claim they have not interfered with the autosuggestion program – Yeah Right!

    Also,
    if you type ‘water gate’ into google

    you also get hits for ‘watergate’

    anything to reduce the amount of information on climategate eh? ”

    ——————————————–

    A few days later, it was back…

  224. Dave C-H says:
    March 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    This is ridiculous. Climate change is not a “partisan” issue, it’s an issue of people on one side who actually pay attention to and understand the scientific literature, and people on the other side who cherry pick and skew for I-don’t-know-what-reason.

    It’s not as one-sided as that. The points and counterpoints go many layers deep. The CACA Cult makes out that it has the last word on the topic, but it’s really more like a gigantic muddle. And “mainstream” opinion isn’t–for that very reason–trustworthy. Here’s an amusing quote I came across today.

    by Cognitive Dissonance

    “Kool-Aid withdrawal is said to be worse than coming down from a year-long bender dancing with the meth goddess. Hang in there brother, once the head clears and the hands stop shaking, MSM never does look the same again. … Of course, you could always take up drinking. I hear it’s safer.”
    =============
    =============
    98.5% of publishing climatologists (from EOS survey) believe that anthropogenic climate change is real and is occurring.

    I think so too. But I don’t believe that it’s catastrophic.

    Anthropogenic climate change is no more a political issue than whether you believe in AIDS is a political issue, ….

    The “consensus” among experts-in-the-field (at least the ones most quoted in the media) on that one was wrong–remember them saying “we are all at risk,” which was a quarter-truth, and even “we are all equally at risk,” which one heard from time to time? It was a political issue–one intended to scare the majority into believing they were at risk so that they’d cough up more funding for research in the field. (I’m not saying that wasn’t somewhat justified (maybe)–just that it wasn’t nonpartisan.)

  225. Google lost it for me when they were unable to cooperate with the FBI in catching kiddy-porn filth, but were able (for a while anyway) to get along with the Peoples Republic of China in catching people googling freedom and liberty.

  226. Thanks Willis for posting this. It would be nice to wait for a response from Google, not that I expect too much but still one never knows. For Americans it might be possible to change to Bing (because they copy Google results in their own results as has been shown some weeks ago) in the rest of the World their implementation is so bad that in my language when looking for Climate blog the first page of results is filled with the WWF and Realclimate and WUWT is on page 12… How bad is that…

  227. Outstanding post. Like many wealthy liberals the Google owners are pure hypocrites. For example Larry Page recently bought a 194 foot yacht, with twin 1600 hp diesels engines. They share ownership in a private jet. Their data centres consume power like nothing else. The Prius cars they drive to work are purely for show.

    I’m sick to death of these sorts of people. Their single objective is to make sure that only they and their wealthy pals enjoy a comfortable life, while the rest of society is kept far down the ladder. Never forget that class separation is the ultimate objective of the big players in the green movement.

  228. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    thanks for the response Willis. Re your example below:
    One involves a lot of people being thrown out of work, the other doesn’t, but throwing people out of work might increase the profits by a quarter of a percent. Now, throwing people out of work is neither deception or fraud … but I would argue that a business should try to avoid throwing people out of work for ethical reasons, despite the fact that they might make a bit more profit by doing so..

    I hear you, but even on this one the Friedman essay helps, not with respect to the profit motive, but with respect to the agency problem.

    Indulge me and fair warning, I am going to take the quantitative part of your hypothetical example way too literally here. But here goes…

    If someone, an agent, came to me with 2 proposals that rely on uncertain future outcomes and the only difference between the one that threw a bunch of our people out of work and the other option was a quarter of a point…. what are we talking about? return on assets? Google as we saw yesterday was at 13.19%, so a quarter of a point makes 13.44%, that is a rounding error…. these proposals are a wash and yet the person recommends throwing a bunch people out of work! Well, that tells me that this person has another agenda and it has nothing to do sound business.

    Some irony follows. Now far be it for me to speak for Friedman, but I do think that there may be a criteria were he would advocate layoffs. Specifically this criteria would be when the marginal cost of the labour is clearly and significantly larger than the marginal revenue that labour can provide. A good current example of this might be a certain company that has just hired 21 “fellows” to engage in activities that have nothing whatsoever to do with the business. This labour probably should be released back into marketplace where it can be re-allocated more efficiently (that’s cold, no wonder they call economics the dismal science). OK Irony done, but at least it brings us back to the header topic :-)

    In my experience high ethical conduct and strong financial performance reenforce one another. It is the profitable company that adds value, that invests in people and the community and charities where their employees and supliers and customers live. It is the profitable company that invests in technology and value added innovation that delights its customers. It is the unprofitable, financially undisciplined company that cuts ethical corners.

    Friedman is a theorist. But for the practioner his essay provides 2 useful things. It is a warning of the potential hazards of agency. It is also a recognition that business ethics and profit are not antithetical. Friedman reminds us that profit is an integral component of business ethics.

  229. dkkraft says:
    March 21, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    … In my experience high ethical conduct and strong financial performance reenforce one another. It is the profitable company that adds value, that invests in people and the community and charities where their employees and supliers and customers live. It is the profitable company that invests in technology and value added innovation that delights its customers. It is the unprofitable, financially undisciplined company that cuts ethical corners.

    Unprofitable companies are the ones that cut corners? You mean like the incredibly profitable Google is doing, cutting ethical corners with the 21 shills for global warming?

    You’ll have to think a bit harder about that one. Enron got very profitable specifically by cutting ethical corners. The idea that only unprofitable companies cut ethical corners is a non-starter in a business environment where being unethical can lead to huge profits.

    Friedman is a theorist. But for the practioner his essay provides 2 useful things. It is a warning of the potential hazards of agency. It is also a recognition that business ethics and profit are not antithetical. Friedman reminds us that profit is an integral component of business ethics.

    Yes, it does do that, he shows that profit is a valid goal … but that’s not even half of the story he tells. In the other half of the story, he says that if profit and ethics collide, people in charge of corporations are obliged to make a profit even if it is unethical, as long as it is legal (i.e., no deception or fraud, both of which are illegal).

    And that is an extremely dangerous idea to me. I don’t want corporations using all legal means to make money, as Friedman advises. I want them using all ethical means to make money, which is very, very different.

    w.

  230. Willis;
    Bing is Bill’s, and Bill has come out 4-square for pushing AGW-Climatology. Maybe Altavista? That’s what I’ve set up as my default. Or Yahoo?

  231. P.S. As for Scroogle, the Google-Scraper: it gives you results without your personal info going out, and with all ads stripped, but it’s still the basic Google search. If Google is mass-filtering, that won’t be affected by Scroogle’s “anonymization”.

  232. The Carbon Brief (an EU rapid response team) had some thoughts on the Goggle scholars…

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/02/google-creates-21-science-communications-fellows

    “The company says that this is just a first step in its new effort to “foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue”. Their initiative is “aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences.”

    Google has chosen to focus on scientists “who had the strongest possible potential to become excellent communicators”, referring to their list as an “impressive bunch”.

    The fellows include scientists with expertise in climate modelling and atmospheric dynamics, paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, the effects of climate change on marine organisms and on crop yields and food security, civil and environmental engineering as well as climate policy experts who have advised the US Government.

    The fellows will participate in a workshop at Google’s famous headquarters in Mountain View, California in June this year, where they will receive “integrated hands-on training” and brainstorm topics around technology and science communication.

    Then they will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put the ideas into practice. The fellows judged to have created the project with the most impact will take a Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic trip to the Arctic, the Galapagos or Antarctica as a science communicator.

    The initiative is headed up by Dr. Amy Luers, environment programme manager of Google.org and Tina Ornduff of Google Education. Google.org is part of Google’s philanthropic wing.”

    My thoughts on the Carbon Brief:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/18/the-carbon-brief-the-european-rapid-response-team/

  233. Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Hi Willis, thanks again for responding.

    You know I was tempted to use Enron as an example to support “my side” of the debate. They were unambiguously unethical, they ultimately weren’t profitable as they had to cook the books to make it look like they were profitable, and when they got caught it didn’t end well. Having said that we could pick other examples and I acknowledge that an unethical corporation can gain for a period of time. It’s the free rider problem. But, like with Enron, the benefits are generally temporary and when the ethical free rider is caught, the penalties can be harsh. Building shareholder value needs to be sustainable (not greenhouse gas “sustainable”, but long term profit sustainable) and eventually, not always but frequently, (there are no absolutes) unethical behaviour is costly. Enough about Enron, it’s not central to our discussion anyway….

    Now I did quite like this statement you made.
    “I want them using all ethical means to make money”

    One of my complaints with the folks at Google is that they are using ethical means to not make money (i.e. assuming the 21 shills don’t contribute profit). You accuse them of being a highly profitable company that is doing something unethical. Fair enough, I accuse them of the same.

    But I surmise that the Google decision makers think they are being highly ethical.

    That’s the thing about ethics, the interesting problems involve choices between sub-optimal options. They are moral dilemmas. Presumably, someone in power at Google has calculated that the moral obligation to encourage others to reduce CO2 emmisions outweighs the moral obligation to maintain trust in the integrity of Googles websearch algorithm, the obligation to maintain consumer trust in the Google brand, and the obligation to not use company resources on projects that are not remotely related to it’s core business and charter.

    An individual on his or her own time and dime is of course free to act on the CO2 moral dilemma according to their own volition. It’s a free country….. for now.

    But is it ethical for an agent of a resourceful, powerful organization to usurp the resources and engage the power of this organization in pursuit of their individual interpretation of this moral dilemma? What other moral dilemmas should the actors behind our most resourceful corporations deploy these resources against? And finally, who are they accountable to? They are now performing public policy (influencing what we should and should not read about CAGW for instance). Can we vote them out of office?

    What discipline can be provided? From an ethical point of view the same as we do with another powerful set of organisations – government. This is done via seperation of powers, segregation of duties, agency constraints – and in addition, in the case of government – elections, and in the case of business, discipline in the duty to pay all of your bills including an appropriate risk adjusted return on capital to your stockholders.

    Thus a narrow definition of the duties of a corporation. Produce what people want, Pay your Bills, Do no Harm.

    Can we talk about Agency Conflict at NASA now….. never mind, that is handled elsewhere :-)

  234. here is an interesting article today from the BBC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12827031

    Now, call me cynical – but where the hell do Google think they are so big that they can scan and store books? – I mean, if you read the copyright conditions in most published material – it usually says, quite explicitly that copying, or storage in any format is not permitted. So, I wonder, did Google ask each and every publisher/author for permission to scan these books? I would suspect not – in which case every publisher and author should be suing them….for breach of copyright.
    I wonder if Google will release details of every book they have scanned? I would have thought the court should have asked this…

  235. I’ve been using Bing for the past 10 days now, specifically because of what Google did with ICECAP, I like it, I enjoy the background picture changes, it works well for me.
    Google has lost me except for the odd street view searches.

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