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Revealed: Google made large contributions to climate change deniers

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Firm’s public calls for climate action contrast with backing for conservative thinktanks

Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.

Among hundreds of groups the company has listed on its website as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organisations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections.

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Chris57
6 days ago
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Google “do no evil” is a joke.
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‘Obscene’: Mike Pence Breaks 121-Year Ban on Driving on Michigan’s Mackinac Island

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Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.


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Pence, who traveled to the island for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, was the first sitting vice president to ever visit the island, according to the Detroit Free Press. However, former presidents Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all visited the island while respecting its 121-year prohibition on cars, according to HuffPost. Ford, the only sitting president to visit the island, rode around in a horse-drawn carriage, though the secret service did stash a car on the island in case of an emergency.

"This video of the cars driving on our beautiful #MackinacIsland makes my stomach turn," Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted.

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Pence landed on the island by helicopter and then took the eight-car motorcade to and from the hotel where the conference was held, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Some, including the ferry service that transported the vehicles to the island, defended Pence's actions on security grounds.

"Regardless of your political views, we hope you'll understand the logistical intricacies involved in securing our leaders while visiting," Shepler's Ferry wrote on Twitter, as Michigan Live reported. "We were happy to assist."

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However, former Associated Press and National Journal reporter Ron Fournier, who covered former presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said the motocade was "obscene."

"It's both the existence and size," Fournier told the Detroit Free Press. "No security expert would claim it's necessary."

Mackinac Island's ban on cars dates back to the nineteenth century, as The New York Times explained:

At the dawn of the automobile era, many small communities were concerned that noisy, smelly newfangled automobiles would scare the horses that most people depended upon, and the village of Mackinac was no exception. The village council resolved on July 6, 1898, that "the running of horseless carriages be prohibited within the limits of the village." One resident was quoted as referring to cars as "mechanical monsters."

Most of the rest of the island is state parkland, and the Mackinac Island State Park Commission followed suit in 1901, imposing a ban after Earl C. Anthony, a "summer cottager" who brought a car to the island, scared and injured some horses and several carriages were damaged.

The island does allow exceptions for emergency vehicles, snowmobiles and local government service vehicles, Michigan Live explained.

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Ironically, Pence's visit took place one day before World Car-Free Day on Sept. 22. Across the Atlantic, London Mayor Sadiq Khan closed 20 kilometers (approximately 12.4 miles) of roads in the city center Sunday in the city's largest Car-Free Day effort yet, the UN Environment Programme reported.

In Washington, DC, residents were encouraged to pledge to ditch their cars for any or all days from Sept. 21 to 23.

"Car Free Day is organized in various cities throughout the world in different ways, but with the common goal of reducing the number of cars on the streets. The benefit to greater society is a day with less traffic congestion, a greener environment and reduced gasoline demand," Car Free Metro DC explained.

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Switching from private car use to public transit alternatives can combat both air pollution and the climate crisis, the UN Environment Programme explained.

"Ultra-low emissions zones and investments in clean public transport technology deliver large-scale public benefits like improved air quality, better health and pedestrian-friendly cities. These efforts also have fast and long-lasting benefits for the climate by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and short-lived but highly warming particulates like black carbon," Helena Molin Valdés, head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, told the UN Environment Programme.

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Chris57
24 days ago
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Entitled ass, Abuse of his privilege. A definite lack of respect.
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'We Shouldn't Be Used to This’: Houston Swamped by Second Major Flood Event in Two Years

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Two have died and at least 1,000 had to be rescued as Tropical Storm Imelda brought extreme flooding to the Houston area Thursday, only two years after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Associated Press reported Friday.


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In Jefferson County, Texas Imelda dumped more than 40 inches of rain in 72 hours, according to preliminary estimates by the National Weather Service. If the figures hold, they would make Imelda the seventh wettest tropical cyclone in U.S. history.

"This happened very quickly," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told The Houston Chronicle. "But it's just demonstrating that in this day and time, climate change is real. And we no longer have to be concerned just with a hurricane. We have to be concerned with almost any sort of weather system that can quickly evolve into a major storm and produce a great deal of rain."

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The climate crisis makes extreme rainfall events more likely because warmer air holds more moisture. Hurricane Harvey's rainfall, which caused the worst freshwater flood in U.S. history, was made at least three times more likely by climate change. Both Imelda and Harvey were 1-in-1,000 year flood events, meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted.

Tragically, Imelda's flooding claimed two lives. One 19-year-old was drowned and electrocuted while trying to move his horse to safety during a thunderstorm. Another man in his 40s or 50s died when trying to drive through eight feet of water near Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the Associated Press reported.

Thursday's flooding delayed or canceled more than 900 flights. It also flooded some Houston highways, stranding drivers, hundreds of whom were forced to abandon their vehicles. Tow truck drivers removed 200 cars from Houston freeways late Thursday as waters receded, CNN reported. Hundreds more remain.

One family said the freeway near the North Street overpass looked the same way it did during Harvey.

"We shouldn't be used to this," father Alejandro De Almaida told The Houston Chronicle. "Harvey was the 500-year flood, so we weren't expecting this after two years."

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In some parts of Texas, officials said the flooding was even worse than during Harvey. A hospital in the town of Winnie, 60 miles east of Houston, had to be evacuated, and homes and businesses in the town of around 3,200 flooded as well.

"What I'm sitting in right now makes Harvey look like a little thunderstorm," Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told Houston TV station KTRK as the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Beaumont, in Jefferson County, was especially hard hit, CNN reported. The Texas Game Wardens posted a dramatic video on Facebook as they conducted water rescues in the area.

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"The situation here is turning worse by the minute," Michael Stephens, a resident of the nearby city of Vidor, told CNN from an apartment where he was trapped by flood waters Thursday. "People have snakes in their apartments from the creek. ... (We) also have elderly disabled people stuck in their apartments."

Stephens also said the flooding was worse than what he remembered from Harvey.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 13 counties Thursday. Abbott, a Republican, has said it is "impossible" for him to say whether he believes anthropogenic climate change is responsible for the extreme weather events that are increasingly impacting his state, the Associated Press reported Friday. Still, he approved billions of dollars in flood prevention and coastal defenses earlier this year.

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Chris57
25 days ago
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To all Texans, keep voting for the Republican climate deniers and the flooding will get worse.
Florida
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NOAA Contradicts Weather Service, Backs Trump On Hurricane Threat In Alabama

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President Trump holds a doctored chart as he talks with reporters after receiving a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House, on Wednesday in Washington.

In the escalating debate over weather projections, meteorologists fear their credibility is at stake.

(Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP)

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Chris57
41 days ago
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This is what happens in third world dictatorships. The government agencies lie to support the president.
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Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active 2 brings back the bezel control

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Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Earlier this year, Samsung released the Galaxy Watch Active, a less expensive smartwatch focused on fitness features. Now, just six months later, the company is launching the Galaxy Watch Active 2, an upgraded and refined version of the original.

But confusingly, Samsung isn’t discontinuing the first model, it will continue to sell both versions at the same time at different prices (along with the even older and more expensive Galaxy Watch). The Active 2 will come in two sizes — 40 and 44mm — and Bluetooth and LTE versions. It will hit stores on September 27th for a starting price of $279.

The greatest crime Samsung committed with the first Galaxy Watch Active was removing the rotating bezel that had been its smartwatch trademark for...

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Chris57
73 days ago
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They get a lot of Google and Samsung money in ad revenue. They have to publish this fluff story.
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YouTube’s new policies are catching educators, journalists, and activists in the crossfire

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YouTube’s new policies designed to more aggressively tackle supremacist content have also led to some creators claiming their videos have been improperly removed or hidden in the process. They argue that YouTube is not distinguishing between actual hate content and videos that document hate groups for educational or journalistic purposes.

YouTube announced on Wednesday that it was taking stronger measures to ban “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.” It was only minutes later that creators began to see channels being removed or videos pulled down — including a channel run by a...

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Chris57
131 days ago
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This is deliberate, just to prove a point. They cannot curate the site without damaging legitimate content.
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