Summary: Koch’s dangerous campaign is backed by Microsoft and the Gates Foundation
OVER THE years we have shown examples where Microsoft harms the environment. It’s not just the competitive environment that Microsoft is screwing.
As one person put it to me: “How about all of us stop funding Microsoft. Use open-source operating systems and software.”
Another person noted: “If Microsoft’s chairman—Bill Gates—genuinely supported global health/development,why back Koch’s climate denial lies?” Or put differently: “Is it irresponsible for a corporation [in decline] as Microsoft to be backing the Koch’s radical climate denial lies?”
Microsoft’s business model is itself based on lies, so this might be a perfect match. One reader said: “Do the Kochs need sponsorship? It’s good to put public pressure on Microsoft but the petition might as well ask Bill Gates to stop cooperating with them. As recent leaks show, Microsoft was also funding the sleazy Heartland PR firm in attacks on global warming, despite public statements to the contrary. Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, if they respond to this petition will only try to hide their involvement.
“The more I think about it, the more the petition looks hopelessly naive. Presenting Microsoft or Gates as climate champions, it’s just wrong.”
Microsoft’s corporate policy says that climate change requires “a comprehensive and global response” and “dramatic innovations to transition the world to a sustainable low-carbon economy.”1
So why was Microsoft a “gold” level sponsor at the Koch brother’s Tea Party Conference in Washington, DC last weekend?
As we showed here many times before, the Gates Foundation is buying journalists and buying coverage for itself. And it shows. As one sceptic put it: “If there were five foundations funding the effort why did she only mention one of them? The Gates Foundation funds her work.” (referring to Gates-funded articles about sex)
Here is the key part:
In 2004, the tide began to turn with a huge effort bankrolled by five US philanthropic foundations including Gates to get evidence that would justify adding family planning to MDG 5, on maternal mortality. Academics at Columbia University crunched the numbers, finding that investment in family planning saved billions of dollars by keeping girls and their teachers in school. It was important, says Gillespie, because “it gave some legitimacy” to the call for investment in family planning – an economic as well as human argument. MDG 5b was duly announced in 2008. So far, though, this endorsement has made little difference in terms of money.
Well, Guardian as a whole is Gates-funded now, but they try to belittle the influence of this. As teachers put it, Gates also hired some mouthpieces to change the education system in the US:
Then, at the statewide PTA Legislative Assembly, I discovered that a featured speaker was to be George Scarola, Legislative Director with the “facts don’t matter” League of Education Voters (LEV), a Gates backed organization that has beat the drum for charter schools since last year when they started a speakers series on the subject. There were no speakers like a Diane Ravitch speaking out for keeping public schools public in this slanted PTA forum.
They are stacking the panels. But that’s an issue we’ll return to another day. As Dissent Magazine put it last year: “Now the Gates Foundation is set to expand its involvement and spend more money on influencing popular culture through a deal with Viacom….It could be called “message placement”: the social or philanthropic corollary to product placement deals in which marketers pay to feature products in shows and movies. Instead of selling Coca-Cola or G.M. cars, they promote education and healthy living….Their goal is to weave education-theme story lines into existing shows or to create new shows centered on education.” █