Microsoft and climate science

Global temperature anomalies for March 2012, based on an ongoing analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It shows changes from the norm for each region, not absolute temperatures. That is, the map depicts how much temperatures rose above or below the average March temperatures for that area compared to the base period of 1951-1980. NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Longtime readers of Learning Curve know that I have a great deal of interest in climate science (Visualizing Climate Data in Phase Space). So it was with great dismay that I saw the recent Heartland Institute billboard campaign comparing climate scientists with terrorists. As a Microsoft employee, it was distressing to see Microsoft associated with this kind of misleading message, so I’m glad to hear from Steve Lippman, Director of Corporate Citizenship:

Microsoft’s Commitment to Addressing Climate Change

…[A] recent controversy over climate change denial advertising by a nonprofit that received software licenses under our program are prompting us to be a little more specific.

Microsoft believes climate change is a serious issue that demands immediate, worldwide attention and we are acting accordingly. We are pursuing strategies and taking actions to reduce our own impact as well as the impact of our products. In addition, Microsoft has adopted a broad policy statement on climate change that expresses support for government action to address climate change.

The Heartland Institute does not speak for Microsoft on climate change. In fact, the Heartland Institute’s position on climate change is diametrically opposed to Microsoft’s position. And we completely disagree with the group’s inflammatory and distasteful advertising campaign.

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