People who know Jimmy Wales well can't stop snickering about the launch of Wikia Green, his new anyone-can-edit environmental site. In his private life, Wales is about as green as Dick Cheney, from what they say. He's been known to toss styrofoam coffee cups out the window as he drives — something we imagine might give his enviroprecious celebrity pals paroxysms. Even green-cheerleading site Earth2Tech is on to Wales's insincerity:
Wales says he didn’t create green Wikia so much to fulfill his passion for green living, but more to help deliver the truth of eco-info, which he says is sorely lacking: “I’m really passionate about having objective information in this area. It is really hard to get clear information on green issues.”
Doesn't Wales sound just like an oil-company executive insisting we need more research before we can really say if carbon emissions are responsible for global warming? SmartPlanet catches Wales in a similar hypocrisy, asking him if Wikia has taken concrete steps to reduce the electricity used by its servers. The short answer: It hasn't. Finally, there's this charge aired on the Wikipedia Review: That Wikia Green has taken copyrighted content without permission from other pro-environment sites. But why should this be any surprise? Wikia Green, like so many of Wales's efforts, isn't an offshoot of some deeply held belief, besides his core principle — that other people should do the work that makes him popular and rich.