1 I don’t see myself as being particularly gifted in prophetic wisdom, but on at least three occasions in 2019 I said that it would take an event of catastrophic proportion to wake the Australian population from its malaise over climate heating.
That it has happened gives no pleasure to my words. That they make for a catalyst for action does.
The unsurprising drop in Scott Morrison’s approval rating confirms my prediction that the public mood for action is as hot as the flames that have caused so much devastation.
Although the Prime Minister is still insisting on a no-change policy it is as obvious as the nose on one’s face that he will have to move with the mood or get run over by a bus.
The Prime Minister’s interview with David Speers did nothing to change my view that he and his government are guilty of the greatest incompetence.
Every word he uttered that referred to environmental problems we needed to overcome are ones that could have been acted on two years ago.
Various warnings were thrust upon a deaf-eared government. Finally, at least the public knows that Morrison and his predecessors have been lying by omission about the carbon credits for almost a decade.
(i) The PM has at long admitted that he intends using carry over credits to meet our targets. If he does so the rest of the world will view us as cheats. The credits are 50 per cent of our target. Why had he not mentioned the credits in years past?
Again, it’s called lying by omission.
It is unfortunate but fitting that the Australian government is now scorned and reviled around the world. It’s a unique achievement that only conservatives could pull off.
(ii) If the credits are not allowed, and this is highly likely, then we will not reach our targets and the rest of the world will view us as no better than Trump’s US. Deservedly so.
(iii) Using the “We only produce 1.3 per cent emissions” argument doesn’t cut it either. All the countries around this figure in total form one third of the world’s emissions.
Imagine being part of that group and doing nothing.
(iv) Nor will the excuse of damaging the economy or losing jobs. The opposite is the truth. There are more jobs and economic pluses in an economy that takes advantage of renewable energy.
I have been espousing these points for 7 years now but coal always seems to get in the way.
The disaster that has been the recent bush fires might also have been the catalyst for some truth telling about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corps lying media.
That the Fourth Estate as the custodians of the public’s right to know might act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion.
2 Anyone who has had the misfortune of reading any Murdoch masthead or watched Sky News would be sympathetic too to the views published last week of the younger Murdoch and daughter in law regarding climate heating and the companies reporting of the subject.
James and Kathryn Murdoch are quoted as saying that:
“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial of the role of climate change among the news outlets in Australia, given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
Anyone that has a capacity for thinking would know that Murdoch journalists, opinion makers, editors and news presenters would know that Murdoch media has been misrepresenting the science of climate change for as long as I can remember.
Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.
Recently News Corp commercial finance manager Emily Townsend who resigned in December gave Murdoch a serve for spreading “misinformation” about climate change.
Walking out the door she sent an email:
“I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies,” the email said.
“The reporting I have witnessed in The Australian, the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun is not only irresponsible, but dangerous and damaging to our communities and beautiful planet that needs us more than ever now to acknowledge the destruction we have caused and start doing something about it.”
Lying in the media is wrong at any time, however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.
Media Watch on 9 September 2013 gave us a snap shot of what Rupert Murdoch did for Tony Abbott. They reported that:
“The final tally of (the Daily Telegraph’s) coverage in the election campaign stacks up like this. Out of a total of 293 political stories we scored only six as pro Labor. While 43 were pro coalition. On the negative side there were just five articles that we judged to be anti-coalition. While a remarkable 134 were anti Labor.”
That summary takes no account of the front page splashes that ridiculed Labor, day after day. Or the coverage by Murdoch’s other papers outside Sydney.
In the media – generally speaking – balancing a proposition (the amount of space you give it) is attributable to the volume of evidence each side of the debate brings to the table. When 95% of Climate Scientists say we have a problem one would expect that their argument would deserve the greater exposure.
To do otherwise is to display a bias for whatever reason. In his quarterly essay “Bad News,” Robert Manne analysed climate change articles printed by The Australian newspaper between January 2004 and April 2011 and found that 700 articles were “unfavorable” to action on climate change. Balanced against these 700 articles, there were 180 stories and columns ‘favorable’ to action on climate change.
That is, they disagreed with the consensus of climate science, didn’t support Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto protocol or didn’t support previous governments’ steps towards a carbon-trading scheme.
Murdoch is responsible for this and it continues today. The Australian some time back had to write a correction and then a retraction on misrepresenting the latest IPCC report where the paper deliberately and falsely reported the data and findings. The Australian in their retraction stated the errors were due to errors in their production process.
Then of course we have Andrew Bolt; that champion of all things contentious. A Murdoch man through and through. Global warming denial is his speciality and he has been writing rubbish about it for years, in spite of the fact that on a few occasions his dishonesty has been revealed he still commands an enormous Murdoch audience.
Shock Jock Alan Jones also has been made to retract lies on this subject and when he has done so increased his audience. Brainwashing is indeed their forte.
And so we have a landslide of anti-science propaganda from all around the world. From religion, from the media, big business, self-interest groups, the mining industry and neo-conservatives from the lunatic fringe of right-wing politics.
“Why is it so?” Prof Julius Sumner Miller once asked.
Murdoch is the supreme commander of the troops. It would be naïve to think that Murdoch isn’t expecting something in return for his support. It may not be spelt out but it will be implied.
We don’t need science to be hijacked by the likes of this boorish primordial example of capitalistic gluttony.
My thought for the day
The ideas of today need to be honed with critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of enquiry so that they clearly articulate the currency of tomorrow.
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