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Day to Day Politics: We don’t need science to be hijacked by the likes of this boorish primordial example of capitalistic gluttony

Friday 26 January 2018

This is a post that attests to the character of Rupert Murdoch. He has recently been knocked back, in the public interest, in his attempt to purchase the remaining 65% of Sky News he doesn’t own.

I really don’t know that I am qualified to write this. I know little of science. In fact, I often laughingly joke that I have enough trouble with our pop up toaster. Therefore, it goes that I cannot explain how many things function or occur. I simply know that science through reasoned, rational enquiry, evaluation, observation and testing proves that they do.

What I am, however, is an artist, an observer, and given that observation is the basis for all science I feel entitled to a view. For me the ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of scientific fact, truth and reason, never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation. Science has made in my lifetime the most staggering achievements and they are embraced, recognised and enjoyed by all sections of society.

I believe that a commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, is the best way of providing solutions to human problems. Science is being denigrated in three interconnected areas. Firstly, in the area of climate change. Secondly in religious belief. Interrelated because of an obscure Biblical text that suggests that we should inherit the earth and take dominion over it. And thirdly of course, the ongoing misleading media led by Rupert Murdoch.

But essentially science is under attack worldwide and surprisingly not from uneducated countries but from the best educated, those with the most advanced technologies the world has known. For the life of me, I cannot understand people who accept science as fact and use it every day somehow become brain-dead when it comes to climate science.

In the United States science is being stigmatised by the Republican president, Donald Bush. The Tea Party, the Murdoch Media Empire and Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians. Republicans because, in the case of Global Warming it interferes with their capitalist aspirations, profit, and ideological pursuits.

And a recent study from “The journal, Public Understanding of Science” found that conservative media like Murdoch owned, diabolically dishonest Fox News undermined viewers trust in scientists, leading to weaker beliefs in the science of global warming.

Neo-conservatives commonly believe that the science of climate change is a left-wing conspiracy to replace communism. Strangely, this conspiratorial movement has no leader, no headquarters and no organised membership.

Fundamentalist Christians oppose science on the basis that the Bible is to be taken literally, meaning that the world was created in seven days. Everything within the book is God’s word and cannot be questioned. God created this earth and it’s our right to do what we like with it. Seventy per cent of Americans believe this.

All this of course is supported by a pathetic power-hungry discredited man, of no redeeming features who’s only attribute as a human being is the pursuit, and creation of wealth. His name is Rupert Murdoch. He is one of the world’s best known faces. He is known not for grace, benevolence, charity or compassion but for greed, power and superiority.

He is known for the UK phone scandals. In Australia he is known for his love of all things conservative. Murdoch-owned papers, which control about 70 per cent of the Australian market, have run covers featuring former PM Kevin Rudd as a Nazi, as Col. Klink from Hogan’s Heroes and as Mr Rude from the Mr Men kids’ books. News Corp’s Daily Telegraph in Sydney has dropped all pretence of impartiality.

Ask yourself why 95 per cent of the world’s climate scientists would want to lie about the subject. Granted, science can be wrong and has been, but it has a record of self-correction and this science is peer tested annually and universally accepted by the enlightened collective.

In Australia, science is under attack from Conservative Governments intent on degrading it to the point where it has little influence in cabinet. Australia has had from 1931 a Science Minister. When Abbott came to power he decided he didn’t need one.

Although the Ministry was reinstated by Malcolm Turnbull then abolished again a lack of funding has seen many scientists lose their jobs from the CSIRO.

It has abolished the Climate Commission responsible for the dissection of information and wants to eliminate the Climate Change Authority responsible for investment in renewable energy.

In 2016 visiting scientist David Suzuki’s reaction to the federal government’s scrapping of key climate institutions can be summed up: “what the hell?”

The move angered Professor Suzuki who was in Sydney, in 2017, to talk about marine pollution along Australia’s east coast. He said:

“What the hell kind of government is it that comes into office and the first symbolic act is to shut down a source of information?”

”The minute you shut down solid scientific information then you can run it on your ideology.”

“You can run it on the Bible, you can run it on the Koran.”

He also defended the former Labor government’s move to put a price on carbon as a very important step:

“Why do we not object to paying for putting garbage into landfill, but we shout like mad when we put a price on putting carbon into the atmosphere?”

The Government’s views on science can be traced back to Tony Abbott.

I tuned onto the ABC’s “7.30 Report” the night Kerry O’Brien interviewed him about the coalition’s “Broadband Policy”. During the interview, Abbott who was totally out of his depth appealed to O’Brien not to ask questions of a technological nature because “I simply do not understand it.”

As a voter, I was appalled that anyone with ambitions to become Prime Minister should know so little about his own policy and of course,the technology.

What occurred to me on reflection was that if Abbott knew so little about the science of the internet, how could he have developed such a sophisticated insightful knowledge of climate science as to be able to dismiss it as crap?

Those who deny the overwhelming scientific consensus seek to justify their belief by attaching themselves to a minority of science sceptics with obscure qualifications, or worse, to right-wing shock jocks and journalists with no scientific training what so ever. These people (like you and me) have no way of evaluating the volume of data produced by the various scientific institutions.

For years I had given the conservative parties the benefit of the doubt on Climate Change. That enough of them actually believed the science.

Today I am convinced that the deniers in the Coalition have won the debate. They have been influenced by the likes of Nick Minchin (a former politician), Lord Monckton (a discredited nutter who was once a lobbyist for tobacco companies), Andrew Bolt (a journalist), Cardinal George Pell (an old school literalist religious priest), Prof Ian Plimer (a geologist), Alan Jones (non-description), and of course Murdoch. None of whom has a degree in climate science.

They have opinions, that’s all, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but they have no expertise. Now that’s not to say that they should not have a view and that that view should not be considered as should any laypersons if they are of that ilk. But surely, we must respect the science otherwise; you put into question all science.

Science of course is not very good at defending itself. Naively it doesn’t see why it should. After all they talk about facts being facts. Why should they have to defend them? But someone has to.

An observation

“Generally people assume that a theory (for example the theory of evolution) is something unproven. In the scientific world, a theory is something that has evolved to fit known facts.”

”We should never assume that an answer is revealed and then we seek evidence to support it. It is in fact the reverse.”

I am thus convinced that it is the intention of The Coalition to put off doing anything really worthwhile about carbon emissions until it is forced to do so by capitalism’s endless march towards profit.

In spite of what he says or believes Malcolm Turnbull is locked into Abbott’s policies. Every time he opens his mouth on the subject he tries to have a bet each way. It has become increasingly obvious that he has betrayed his own beliefs.

My view is that he will fudge at the edges of the Direct Action Plan as he is now doing and will accomplish nothing. But at great cost to the community. And it will be it’s a tax in sheep’s clothing. Regardless of recent events we can comfortably say that Australia doesn’t have an Energy Policy.

As an illustration of Murdoch’s power to persuade, consider this:

Media Watch of 9 September 2013 gave us a snapshot of what Rupert Murdoch did for Tony Abbott. We can assume that it was repeated in Turnbull’s case.

It said; “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 ‘unfavourable” to action on climate change. Balanced against these 700 articles, there were 180 stories and columns ‘favourable’ to action on climate change.

That is, they either 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 was due to errors in their production process.

Then of course we had Andrew Bolt. That champion of all things contentious. A Murdoch man through and through. Global warming 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 increases 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 of 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 always 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.”
 

32 comments

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  1. babyjewels10

    My heart bleeds for the loss of reason in this country. I don’t know what it says about us as a population but it’s nothing good. Oh and I loved this: “this boorish primordial example of capitalistic gluttony”

  2. Arthur Tarry

    BJ10, yes the loss of reasoning in this country, and all that flows from it, is indeed staggering. I am constantly amazed at the doltishness that surrounds me every day.

  3. Keith

    Thank you John.

    In my view, if we do nothing to mitigate against climate change we will suffer even stronger reactions from nature. More flooding, mud slides, hurricanes, sea level rise, droughts, water shortages, extreme cold snaps, and heat waves can be expected. Those are matters that deniers are happy to pass onto the next generation; after all, the wealth of corporations is more important than the well being of citizens.

    Two extremely serious situations are the thawing of permafrost, and the melting of sea ice in the Arctic, they are important as they can create further positive feedbacks. “Positive feed backs” is an odd term as higher temperature and more CO2 and methane change the atmosphere further . Since 1979, about 80% of sea ice volume has been lost. “About” on the basis of some natural variability. Ice is virtually the Earth’s thermostat.

    It is not long ago that denialists of climate change stated it wasn’t happening, now some acknowledge climate change; but, say it is manageable.
    Some time ago I came across an article which discussed an interview with Anthony Watts who runs WUWT a denier climate change site. Watts was asked what motivates him in relation to running his site … he stated that he was against big government. Should climate change be accepted it would mean more government regulation. The answer was not as might be expected … because he felt the science was wrong. Libertarianism and neo – con ideology are the main impediments to accepting the science of climate change.

    Already in the 1850s Foote and Tyndall were using experiments to show how CO2 can pick up warmth. The deniers have no such fundamental foundation on which they can base their opinions.

    There is no doubt about large fossil fuel companies funding denier groups to create doubt about science.

    Large fossil fuel companies provide donations to political parties; it is naive to believe that they are not buying political decisions .

  4. Andrew Smith

    Will comment at length later today, but this trashing of science in favour of junk science is not just being conducted by politicians and govt., but the same is being promoting wittingly by compromised academia, unwittingly by journalists and influencers lacking any relevant expertise.

  5. Harry

    Disregarding Abbott and his fellow travellers, I think much of the conservative assault on science and by extension, on climate change is cynical. They know they are spouting crap but they are mouthpieces for their overlords in the Minerals Council, the IPA etc. We have a rapacious strain of capitalism that has few goals other than the growth of profit and all must be swept aside in the pursuit of it. If that aim clashes with environmental sustainability too bad, don’t much care about anything except their selfish, short term ends.

  6. corvus boreus

    I honestly believe that, for the past few decades, Rupert Murdoch has been one of the most consistently malignant influences upon the course of human events.

    His Newscorp minions have perverted and corrupted media discourse in a away that has done everything from disseminating misinformation and repeating blatant lies in order to sully serious scientific announcements, committing and causing criminal misconduct through the bribery of authority and other acts of malfeasance, undermining societal value of the concept of honesty (normalizing bullshit) and worst of all, promoting a divisive and deranged agenda by encouraging extremism of opinion, from basic societal outlooks through to ipolitical ideology.
    Murdoch’s manure seeded and seeded the soil from which sprang Trump, and Fox News is the only news that isn’t FAKE!!!..

    .I will never link to ‘news’corp articles, and get irritated when people use ‘MSM’ as a term to indiscriminately lump flawed Fairfa’, the struggling Guardian and poor old shriveled aunty in with the aggressive cancer that is Rupert’s stable’s staple.

    Ps,The toxic old prick even looks like Davros
    https://i.chzbgr.com/original/4982503424/h50CB929E/

  7. wam

    Dear lord,
    Whew it is a fact that the science of global warming is beyond most Australians so belief is the winning truth.

    The belief of jews, xtians and muslims outweighs understanding in science in pretty well all social issues.

    We could ask why but the truth is until the religious fistula bursts the rabbott’s “I simply do not understand it.” (“I am no tech head” was his response to peak download”) is the norm.

    To this old cynic too many people believe in heaven and god who will destroy the earth at his pleasure nota bene god not man is the destroyer climate changes are a natural phenomena because climate is always changing.

    Dear oh dear, lord, the answer is not 42 it is god!!!

  8. MikeW

    Maybe if labor promised Murdoch 30 million pieces of silver if they win the next election they may receive favorable press.

  9. Andrew Smith

    Murdoch is one of several or many, mostly responsible for transmitting and communicating the agitprop, junk science etc. cooked up by others; obviously he owns the Australian and UK franchises (with Fox News declining in influence).

    However, the influential architecture is in the background, engineered in the US with Koch’s central but not alone amongst Rockefeller’s, Ford, Morgan, Carnegie etc. in the US targetting and/or coopting education, science, academia, research and think tanks. Following is a comment related to Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ along with which she has done some great panel seminars https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/new-book-exposes-koch-brothers-guide-infiltrating-media

    ‘The Kochs are quite transparent, compared to many other well known plutocrats, robber barons and other ‘top people’.

    Kochs denounced Trump publicly, one wonders what they actually think privately?’

    Krugman and others have cited another relationship i.e. what seems to be a clear connection between ‘plutocrats’ and ‘white nativists’ (no coincidence that this resonates with corporatist Italy and nativist Germany of the ’30s because many were actively involved).

    Both groups often share the same top down ideology which may suggest a form of national socialism; meanwhile in media and politics they target not just immigrants but any uncorrelated proxy.

    For example, confected then weaponised and dog whistled issues of population growth, NOM, immigration, international education, service economy, govt., regulations, trade agreements, trade blocs, infrastructure, refugees, border security etc..

    Not only can these tactics grid lock and hollow out government and democracy through creating ‘wedge’ issues like EU referendum, those responsible for the repetitive messaging come to speak the same language …. often with a strong whiff of bigotry…..’

    It’s no surprise our politicians look and sound like vacuous sock puppets as they have no real influence, eg. fossil fuel policy, then all they can do or are encouraged to do is attack immigrants, welfare recipients, unions, minorities etc.

  10. Colin

    Your article was going so well. Then you referred to Andrew Dolt as a journalist!

  11. corvus boreus

    In 2013, the Murdoch press endorsed Tony Abbott as a prime ministerial candidate.
    It was mentioned by wam that, regarding his NBN policy, Tony didn’t understand the term ‘peak download’. .
    Similar on fossil fuels, not only had Tony opined that the ‘the science of climate change is crap’, but he had also shown that he was completely ignorant of the meaning or significance of the term ‘peak oil’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCiHFyLIfu8
    Despite these demonstrations of appalling ignorance, in NSW during the 2013 election, if you stopped in for Maccas on your way to a polling station, here is what you saw;

    Newscorp is cancer.

  12. jimhaz

    I saw Eddie Woo’s Aussie Local Hero award speech last night and his enthusiasm led me to look at a few of his youtube clips:

    One of them was this one, which relates to the article

    What Keeps Me Awake: Eddie Woo and why maths matters
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxtnDORvN_I

    The problem is more than the news media, I think the distraction of entertainment and the internet available 24/7 is creating a sort of “thinking impatience”. People do not need to think for themselves. They do not need to entertain themselves from within (IQ) and can also obtain herd interaction without having to cognitively negotiate the difficulties of social interactions (EQ).

    Even if maths means nothing to you he has a few other videos for which you should enjoy, like these:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YJSDJGyIaU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylJd5sUbANE

  13. guest

    We have had some recent examples of denier claims about Climate Change which are easily debunked. One was a claim by a Minerals Council leader that Carbon Capture and Sequestration is the ideal way to go. But a quick Google shows that this is not the case – and we have known that for a long time.

    Another report told us about more accurate predictions about global warming within the range of 1 – 4 degrees were not at the higher end of that range and therefore global warming is not as bad as scientists have claimed. Complete spin.

    Another claim was that CO2 has nothing to do with temperature; it is all about magnetism.

    A so-called expert tells us that global warming is not a high priority, or not as high as lifting the poor out of poverty.

    What is surprising is that in the public sphere all this tosh is paraded as “truth” but is in fact propaganda propounded by vested interests. But the reality of what scientists say can be easily checked in many sources. But few bother, it seems, preferring to believe what they read in a newspaper – or what “they think”. Even journalists seem to be unable to question what is obviously “fake news”.

    We are also told that the deniers are being supported by fake science publications which are nothing more than money-making scams.

    Whichever way we look at it, it seems to be all about the money. Murdoch has power and influence from selling crap. His publications vilify “identity politics”, but spruiks his own “identity politics”. Once upon a time he claimed his papers were “Fair and Balanced” Not any more. Then The Australian was “The Heart of the Nation”. Or the bile duct. Now it is “For the Informed Reader” – by which he means readers who are part of his echo chamber where conservatism is all the go and alternative views are derided and rebuked behind a pay wall.

  14. corvus boreus

    guest,
    I gather that the closest thing to an economically viable form of carbon sequestration (storage through burial of gaseous carbon) that has thus far been tried has been to incorporate an explosively propelled jet of co2 to replace h2o as the medium of fracturing the terrestrial superstructure during the process of unconventional gas-seam extraction.(ie gaseous rather than hydraulic fracking during CSG mining)..

    I remain unconvinced that such a practice represents any kind of remedial solution towards the ever-increasing problem of human activities inducing destabilization of the biospheric climate,

  15. greener

    cb: “fracturing the terrestrial superstructure during the process of . . gas-seam extraction”.

    Fracking, one way to increase earthquakes activity?
    From a recent survey, Statement on Oklahoma Seismicity 21 April 2015: “Oklahoma alone has seen seismicity rates increase 600 times . . The state has gone from experiencing fewer than two magnitude-three earthquakes per year to greater than two per day, the report found.”

    It’s a race to change geology, driven by childish understanding, destination unknown.

  16. Jack Russell

    No surprise we have a Rupert when you consider his father’s mindset and viciously malignant opposition to the formation of the ABC.

  17. corvus boreus

    greener,
    Yep, the okies are getting bad tremors because the rocks below them have been broken,.
    Meanwhile, to the north-east, in the Appalachians ranges of West Virginia, they are changing the geology in a different way.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5RcbPZXUZo
    As you said, mindless play with over-sized Tonkas.

  18. win jeavons

    When Liberals are in power we are instructed to respect the PM an account of his office. yet conservatives exploit their domination of the media by vilifying and ridiculing the Opposition and its leaders. They carried this through even when a Labor man/ woman was the PM. Consistent are they not?

  19. kerri

    Intelligence is not just measured in your ability to understand science (or any disciplne for that matter) but also in your ability to understand that other people understand it better than you and speak with authority and expertise that deserves respect and belief.
    This rules out most of the LNP.

  20. wam

    jimas
    Maths teachers, like maths students who need showing and little teaching, this man is, as his award shows an exceptional maths teacher.
    The usual maths teacher’s approach, to anyone who is not already proficient and that is 90% of people, is more like this,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsN7CqzaE6A

    Guest it is unfortunate, for the Lord’s understanding, that truth is what you believe at the time.

    The Lord knows those, whose science is not academically strong, believe what fits with their thoughts. So why does the Lord believe climate scientists and the rabbottians believe the media, their peers and their church.
    If climate change is a natural function then man has little to do with it, is, surely, a reasonable conclusion?

    The closest I have got is to tell the deniers that if we have put billions of tons of carbon back into the atmosphere since that nature took millions of years to remove then we are liable to screw up the system.

  21. Kyran

    “Fundamentalist Christians oppose science on the basis that the Bible is to be taken literally, …”

    Having spent the past few month’s plundering Ma’s bookshelves (unlike Brandis, the contents are far more valuable than the shelves), one gem was ‘Galileo’s Daughter’ by Dava Sobel. Whilst vaguely aware of the conflict Mr Galileo had with the Church, I was unaware that the Bible was regarded as much a scientific text as it was a moral text. That Mr Galileo accepted any scientific finding had to be presented as ‘compliant’ with Biblical scripture was a revelation.
    However, that was in the 1600’s. It is now 2018, and, somehow, the bible is still separated from the fables of the Brothers Grimm, as something other than a collection of stories.

    Another book, ‘Future Positive’ by Edward De Bono presents thinking (like Mr Suzuki) as a pursuit in its own right. De Bono’s book was written in 1979 and was advocating ‘thinking’ as a curriculum subject in school. Imagine if that path had been followed. It seems only fair to note that Professor Michelle Simmons, a professor of Quantum Physics (and an immigrant) is the Australian of the year. She is well advanced in her pursuit of quantum computing. Back in 1979, De Bono was looking at the brain as the most powerful computer ever invented and suggesting that the linking of people (with their brains) would enable quantum thinking.
    Admittedly, it appears that any invitation for politicians to contribute their brains would be on the clear understanding it is ‘exploratory’ rather than ‘definitive’. It is likely we still don’t have the magnification necessary.

    As for science, or even recognition of facts, evidence, research, peer review, we have removed the protections and are now reliant on what our ‘masters’ tell us. Back in 2006, the scientists were warning of reduced funding and the ensuing gagging.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1569599.htm

    The update, from last year, is truly a government shutting down those we would trust.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-05-02/science-on-the-frontline-what-are-the-rules-of-engagement/8479738

    Or you can try this one.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-05-02/csiro-missing-in-action-on-climate-advice/8479568

    The new ‘boss’ at CSIRO is more focussed on the commercialisation of CSIRO than the qualitative R&D undertaken.

    And then there’s Murdoch. In his complicated little world, everything is connected.
    Remember how he was settling cases rather than go to court to make sure there was no adverse publicity leading up to the second Sky bid?

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/07/news-group-settles-17-cases-allegations-criminality-the-sun-phone-hacking

    The only reason Sky was so important to him was its cash reserves. Since then, we have seen the ‘Channel 10’ fiasco, his Saudi mates selling his shares off, his ‘family’ reputedly being at war with each other and the merger with Disney. I’ve probably missed a few things.
    The Sky deal has not been canned, just made a little harder. Whilst the British Parliament found Murdoch unfit to hold office in a media company after the initial phone hacking scandal, this review only found the concentration of power unacceptable.

    “But Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said on Tuesday that the deal as proposed went against the public interest because it would give the Murdoch family too much control over the provision of news.
    The CMA said possible ways to resolve its concerns about Mr Murdoch’s influence in Britain could include spinning off or divesting Sky News, or insulating Sky News from Fox’s influence.”

    Which affects the Disney deal.

    “Disney had hoped that Mr Murdoch would have taken full control of Sky by the time the US group completed its takeover.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-23/murdochs-takeover-of-sky-not-in-public-interest,-regulator-says/9354180

    My new theory is that Newscorpse is dead, only they don’t know it yet. Or maybe they do and they’re just not telling us. Or my other new theory is that these greedy little bastards have started believing their own bullshit. A bit like the churches.

    “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.”

    With the greatest of respect, media is not about balancing propositions. That was ‘old school’, the means to an end. That was the product you developed to get readers, or ‘bums on seats’, to sell your product. Murdoch was the one who developed the notion that the media was an integral part of the story. He was the one who made the story suit the prospective reader.

    Why? It was always about the money. The influence was just a hand cart he dined off. You may have noticed he recently withdrew from publishing circulation figures. Traditionally, a media mogul publishes the figures to justify their advertising charges. For nigh on five years now, Murdoch has been ‘dicking the figures’. First he said that for every copy he sold, five people read it. Then he said that if he gave away copy, it still had a five to one value and the advertising rates should, therefore, remain high. Now he has said he will no longer tell anyone what his circulation rates are, but advertisers should still pay him.

    His ‘flagships’, often quoted but rarely bought, are draining his finances. The likes of Dolt are just nasty little yappers, tolerated for their noise. Pay TV in Australia is running off a 25% penetration (and declining), when its financial model was hoping for 30%.
    This silly old git now wants to be paid for his ‘news content’ as his organization is, allegedly, a ‘trusted’ publisher.

    “If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” the News Corp chairman said in a statement. “The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/22/rupert-murdoch-facebook-should-pay-news-publishers

    I’ve been trawling through my ‘library’ of articles, and the number of stories just over the past few years that demonstrate we, the public, are so much smarter than those ‘in charge’ is phenomenal.
    There was an old movie, ‘Bridge of Spies’, I think. One of the great lines was;
    “The boss is not always right. But the boss is always the boss.”
    Off you go Rupert. Take your thieving mates with you.
    Apologies for the rant. By way of apology, your writing makes me think.
    Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care

  22. David Stakes

    In case you havnt twigged yet, with all the Scientists and researchers in the Oz day awards. All from a gov with NO SCIENCE MINISTER. Get it.

  23. Glenn Barry

    @corvus boreus & greener – one trial of carbon capture was the Kemper plant in Mississippi – the captured CO2 however was going to be used to bolster diminishing oil well pressure by pumping it down into the deposit.

    I believe that plant has been an unmitigated failure on many of it’s initial design, functional and cost criteria, though it’s quite some time since I read more on it’s progress

  24. Dan Watts

    No mention of the impact of unsustainable overpopulation in a finite world. This is the crux of the issue.

  25. DrakeN

    @ David Stakes

    Similarly the industrial and domestic uptake of renewable energy technologies, despite the “establishment” attempts to dampen all progress in this field.

    This government, not only is it interfering in its beloved, Randian dogma of “free market”, it is demonstrably developing a taste for State control and political interference in private matters.

    Shades of Stalinism.

  26. Glenn Barry

    We seem to have this exploitive amalgam between mercantilism with fixations on international trade, Crony capitalism revealing itself especially in the resource exploitation – mining, CSG and coal and power generation and totalitarian administration mired in corruption and fear yielding a government making preparation for a potential uprising

    We seem to be cultivating the worst of everything

  27. guest

    wam,

    You make an assertion which might be considered “reasonable”:

    “If climate change is a natural function then man has little to do with it, is, surely, a reasonable conclusion.”

    That is what some people actually use as an argument to deny AGW (anthropogenic global warming). You say that if humans are replacing CO2 which previously nature had removed, then we are in trouble.

    We can do better than that. Scientists are able to look at the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere now and to see that so many of them are derived from the burning of fossil fuel carbon which is not of a natural kind. The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere at 400ppm is unprecedented over the past 24m years (Eggleton. 2013, p177). As well, “At present the world is warming at the rate of 1 degree C in 60 years; that is, 20 times faster than any sustained rate of temperature change.” (Eggleton, 2013,p133).

    When people tell us there has always been climate change, they are not telling the full story.

  28. guest

    Concerning sequestration of carbon and “high efficiency low emissions power stations (HELO)”, a quotation I have from the ABC News 2/2/17 by Stephen Long.

    “Collectively, America’s coal-fired power plants generate 1.5 billion tons per year. Capturing that would man filling 30m barrels with liquid co2 every single day – about one-and-a-half times the volume of crude oil the country consumes.”

    As well, HELO plants reduce emissions by only 40%.

    Another method, using biochar (burnt and buried carbon sources such as sugar cane) reduces carbon emissions by a mere 12%.

    Another problem is that much of human carbon emissions does not come from stationary power plants. How to capture such emissions.

  29. Glenn Barry

    @Mobius Ecko – seems that yet again the primary consideration of the national interest by this government is in it’s most effective denigration – there’s pure malice motivating so many of this governments actions

  30. Martin Trama

    Just a footnote. What is in this article could be from 1970 because Murdoch has never changed his modis operandi since he took over dads business. Papers are simply his entre’ to power and the way he controls the agenda. The fact we are posting these views are evidence his time in power is limited. I see the resurrection of social democracy in the next few years for most developed nations.

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