Microsoft is finally taking a clearer position denouncing the Heartland Institute's irresponsible position on climate science, but the computer megacorp still won't shut the door on providing Heartland with free software in the future.
In the wake of Heartland's highly offensive advertising campaign, in which Heartland said, flatly, “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists; they are murderers, tyrants and madmen,” Microsoft''s Director of Corporate Citizenship Steve Lippman distanced his company from the Heartland position:
“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.”
But he went on with this unconvincing dodge:
“Heartland did participate in our global software donation program in 2010, as did thousands of other nonprofit organizations. It’s important to point out that hundreds of environmental and conservation groups also took advantage of the same program, and received over $13 million in free software to pursue their missions.”
And Lippman concludes with:
“Again, our software donation program does not support or endorse any particular nonprofit or any particular policy views - it supports giving all nonprofits in the world access to free software.”
So, by that comment, Microsoft intends to take no responsibility for its past support and to promise no judgment whatever in extending future in-kind funding or gifts. Microsoft's only standard in offering support is that applicants NOT make a profit. (Al Qaeda might want to get their free software request in with the next batch.)
What's called for here is a simple statement saying that Microsoft will not give Heartland free goods, services or cash in the future. Anything less suggests that the company has no real issue with Heartland's “inflammatory and distasteful advertising campaign” - or any of the other irresponsible and disingenuous programs for which Heartland has become famous.