Google steps up eco-activism, will help flood Capitol
A group of environmental activists has enlisted Google to help
flood the congressional switchboard with one million phone calls
on Earth Day urging lawmakers to enact eco-friendly measures.
"We're really excited about this because Congress keeps saying
they don't hear from the American public on climate change," said
Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, which bills itself
as an eco-activism group connecting some 17,000 organizations in
174 countries. "The [presidential] candidates are not being
asked about climate change. Climate change is the biggest threat
to humanity that we've ever faced."
Rogers said her group is finalizing talks with Internet giant Google
to coordinate online advertisements and other publicity measures
in support of the calls. Details of the arrangement are still
being worked out and are scheduled to be released on April 14.
Google has consistently shown support for environmental causes,
most recently on Saturday night when its homepage went dark in
support of Earth Hour, an hour when cities around the globe went
dark to draw attention to the issue of climate change. On Earth
Day in the past, Google has decorated its homepage to highlight
the event as well. Google did not respond to requests for comment.
Rogers said she wasn't worried about the switchboard being overwhelmed
by the calls. She said she was assured by the office handling
congressional calls that staff could handle 1.3 million calls
during a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. period.
They're very, very competent, and they're ready. We're gong to
help them as much as we can in advance," Rogers said. "Our
intention is really, really not to shut them down. If things went
nuts, which we don't expect them to, their operators are dreamboats.
They consider their jobs part of the democratic process. If there'd
be any problems, it'd be with the phone lines, not with the switchboard."
Rogers said the group is arming supporters with voluntary talking
points, including a call for a moratorium on new coal-burning
plants and support for carbon-neutral buildings and protections
to ensure the poor and middle classes don't bear the brunt of
rising energy costs.
Climate change skeptic Chris Horner said Google has used its homepage "for
politically correct posturing" while failing to step in on
issues such as human rights in China.
They're increasingly known as injecting left-wing activism in their
business model," said Horner, author of "The Politically
Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism." "At
some point, yes, you can collapse in your own ideology, but at
this point it's just more annoying than professionally distracting."