TechWeb

Global CIO: Greenpeace Shakedown Targets Google, Microsoft, And IBM

Oct 28, 2009 (08:10 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=221100075


Don't be fooled by the name. The assault on the IT industry by this "pressure group" isn't about preventing the oceans from boiling—it's about forcing its no-growth, anticapitalism ideology down the throats of IBM, Google, Microsoft, and any other IT company that doesn't kowtow to its backward agenda, even if those comapanies' products have improved the lives of billions of people around the world. Don't be fooled by the name.

I will share in a moment a striking 100-second video clip of an interview from a few months ago with the Dear Leader of Greenpeace in which he freely admits that his "pressure group" is willing to lie to try to push its causes. Those causes are universally opposed to the big businesses that employ hundreds of thousands directly and many millions indirectly, that create the products and services that enrich our lives and those of our children, and that create the profits that go to people who choose to donate to outfits like Greenpeace.

But first let me touch on their new assault on the IT industry, which the shakedown artists believe is polluting the Earth and destroying life as we know it and yadda-yadda-yadda. In some ways, the assault on the IT industry—including, perhaps, the company you work for—is a flanking maneuver around the real target, which is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

And the anarchists are after the Chamber because it dared to defy their demands for deconstructing private enterprise in this country, for a return to the days of hunters and gatherers, and for a general agreement that capitalism and free enterprise are the causes of all evil on this planet. The Chamber opposed that nonsense because it believes—as do most Americans along with the leaders of Microsoft, IBM, and Google—that businesses are being gracious stewards of the Earth and that they don't need to follow the dogma of this self-styled "pressure group."

From a recent communique dispatched by its Ministry of Propaganda under the headline "Greenpeace To I.T. Sector: Step Up Climate Action, Distance Yourselves From U.S. Chamber Of Commerce," the shakedown artists called out IBM and Google and Microsoft and attempted to intimidate them into committing to a series of actions that might make the greenies smile but that would be harmful to those three companies, their shareholders, and their employees. (Three cheers for those companies—they deserve support from all the rest of us!!)

Here are a few examples of the favored shut-up-and-do-it-my-way rhetoric these shakedown artists used in their communique to those three great companies that would certainly have to fire many of their approximately 325,000 employees around the world if they were to agree to the shakedown demands:

With crucial political negotiations coming to a head in Copenhagen and Capitol Hill, IT industry heavyweights Google, Microsoft and IBM still hesitate to speak up on the urgent need for emissions reductions . . . .

Instead, IT companies continue to fund the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's regressive and destructive stance on climate issues, even when unaligned with their own climate policies.

IT giants like Microsoft, Google and IBM need to put their weight behind a strong deal at Copenhagen now, or else the world will lose out again to dirty industry’s negative lobbying and the U.S. Chamber’s campaign to deny sound science and public support for progress.

Don't be fooled the by name. And don't fool yourself into believing that the shakedown artists gave one second's thought to the implications their demands would have on competitiveness or employment—if several thousand or tens of thousands of people in the IT industry have to lose their jobs so that the shakedown artists can gain more control over global policies that lead to deindustrialization and zero economic growth, what the hell should they care? Here's the proof:




If you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at the very words spoken a few months ago by Geir Leipold, Dear Leader of Greenpeace at the time, about the group's assertions and his own assertions that the Greenland Ice Sheet would be gone by 2030, just 20 years from now. This exchange came in an interview with the BBC, and I'm sure Leipold and his fellow travelers were drooling at the thought of being able to pump out their dishonest propaganda through the usually fawning BBC outlet.

Unfortunately for Leipold—and fortunately for the rest of us—the BBC reporter was armed with facts and undeterred by dogma. And again I point this out in the context of Greenpeace's current effort to use its velvet-glove name to hide its brass-knuckles attack on the IT industry. Here's the second half of the exchange (and at the bottom of this column I've provided links to the 100-second clip plus a few other goodies):

Leipold: "That we, as a pressure group, have to emotionalize issues—we're not ashamed of emotionalizing issues. I think it's a fact—"

BBC reporter Stephen Sackur: "You call it emotionalizing, others would call it scare tactics. Will you sit here now and tell me that you in all honesty do not believe that the Greenland Ice Sheet is going to melt by 2030?"

Leipold: "I don't know—I don't think it will be melting by 2030."

BBC: "So in fact would you say that it was a mistake for your organization to put that out?"

Leipold: "That may have been a mistake—I don't know this specific press release—I do not check every press release."

Oh my. So the Dear Leader goes from saying the Greenland Ice Sheet will be gone by 2030, to saying that he doesn't know after all, to saying that he doesn't think it will be melting by then, to saying that it might have been a mistake for his fellow shakedowners to put out the press release making those preposterous claims, to washing his hands of it by saying he's too busy to check what "emotionalizing" claims his "pressure group" is making.

So think of that when you see the attempts by Greenpeace to smear IBM, Microsoft, and Google, three magnificent private enterprises with superb environmental track records and philanthropic missions. Because to the shakedown artists, none of that matters—their goal is control, influence, and power to undercut free enterprise and force this country and then other industrial powers to take a few steps back toward the Stone Age.

Don't be fooled by the name. And to IBM, Google, and Microsoft: continue to stand up for yourselves and your excellent principles, and don't be fooled into thinking that if you acquiesce to this latest round of nonsense from the screechers, that they'll let you go next time. No, it'll be quite the opposite: if you give in now, they'll know that you'll give in next time, and they won't stop until they've done enormous damage to you, your shareholders, your employees, and others in the IT industry with the unmitigated gall to oppose their sacrosanct vision for how everyone else should behave.

Don't be fooled by the name.

Recommended Resources:

100-second clip with Leipold and BBC

full interview with Leipold and BBC

Some compelling counterbalance to Greenpeace lunacy

Don't believe the name