Gem of the day

The corporates revealed as funders of the Heartland Institute in this week's big leak have been working hard to deflect widespread criticism that accuses them of blatant hypocrisy.

Microsoft, for example, managed to churn out this statement yesterday, via Think Progress Green (about two days too late):

"As part of our global nonprofit software donation program, Microsoft provides free software licenses upon request to any eligible non-profit organization. In Fiscal Year 2011, Microsoft donated $844 million in software to 44,000 nonprofits around the world. As part of that program, the [Heartland Institute] requested free software licenses, and Microsoft provided them, just like we do for thousands of other eligible non-profits every year...Microsoft’s position on climate change remains unchanged."

On top of that, there's this:

"The Microsoft spokesman also explained the the 'Gold Sponsor' contribution that Microsoft made to Koch’s Americans For Prosperity in 2011 was similarly in the form of free software licenses."

Here's the issue with all of this. Sure, it's 'just' free software. But regardless, it's a donation that's 100% incompatible with Microsoft's stated position on climate change. Perhaps Microsoft is too dense to understand that one of the biggest impacts it can have on sustainable development as a technology company is to distribute its products and services to enable progressive organisations to do more, and do better.

But I really doubt it.

In fact, it's probably because none of the job descriptions for Corporate Affairs directors at Microsoft include climate change in the list of focal policy issues.

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