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News Corp Turns Climate Change Inactivist

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News Corp Turns Climate Change Inactivist

The faux Damascene converts have been doing the rounds in the Murdoch empire of late, stirring interest in matters green and attempting to shift, if ever so slightly, discussions on climate change. Known for being a stable of environmental vandals and fossil fuel standard bearers, News Corp has gone for a green turn of sorts.

Within the media imperium, harmony on the issue of how to report climate has not been one of accord. The patriarch, Rupert Murdoch, was unable to keep younger son James and wife Kathryn from venting on the issue. “Kathryn and James’ views on climate change are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” a spokesperson for the couple told The Daily Beast in early 2020 as bushfires in Australia raged. “They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among news outlets in Australia given the obvious evidence to the contrary.”

At the time these comments were made, a board member of News Corp who wished to remain anonymous and un-scalped, observed that the couple were “pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual. It’s evidence of how high tensions within the family are over climate change.”

All fanfare about family discontent and tent urination would ignore the fact that Rupert remains a person content to stir the pot of demagogy while seeing things rather differently from his own perch. In a 2007 speech, he declared that, “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats.” While there might be disagreement about “the extent” of that change, “we certainly can’t afford the risk of inaction.”

In that same speech, he committed his organisation to the very goal platoons of his journalists and shock jocks biliously revile. “We can do something that’s unique, different from just any other company.” News Corp could set a sobering example: “Our audience’s carbon footprint is 10,000 bigger than ours. That’s the carbon footprint we want to conquer.”

 

 

By 2011, the company had achieved carbon neutrality as part of its Global Energy Initiative, a program not only designed to maximise company efficiency but to woo the advertising dollar. The initiative’s director, Liba Rubenstein, was unabashed on that score, telling a conference hosted by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change of a “great opportunity in incremental revenue from various companies who want to promote their own green practices on our platforms, and so it’s important for us to be a legitimate platform for that, if they’re going to spend their dollars with us.”

All this, from the outfit that gave us such specials as Rowan Dean of Sky News Australia, who called climate change in July 2019 “a fraudulent and dangerous cult, which has paralysed and bewitched the ruling elites, and is driven by unscrupulous and sinister interests including the power-hungry socialist mob at the UN.” Or that particular favourite Andrew Bolt of The Herald Sun, who has warned everyone, including children, not to believe the “climate change hoax.”

When asked about why his company had provided a pulpit for such opinions at the corporation’s Annual General Meeting in 2019, Murdoch claimed none could be found in his employ. To the questioner came the reply that “there are no climate change deniers around I can assure you.”

News Corp Australia, for its part, has decided from next month to execute what can only be regarded as a ceasefire of sorts against various climate goals such as zero emissions by 2050 or carbon reduction policies. The editorial board is even considering endorsing the 2050 target. Sky News chief executive Paul Whittaker resisted calling these moves as constituting a campaign. “I would describe it, in terms of Sky News, as an exploration of what are very complex issues,” which has become News Corp-speak for inaction.

In doing so, this move promises to provide an alibi for a conservative Morrison government internally bruised by a battle between the fossil fuel lobbyists and supporters of firm climate change goals and harried by such countries such as the United States and United Kingdom.

The organisation denies that what is in the offing has anything to do with advertiser concerns or external pressures. “No doubt other media and social platform users will try to take issue with our coverage to make News the story,” News Corp Australasia’s guarded executive chairman Michael Miller stated, “however we have never been afraid of pushing boundaries and facilitating tough and uncomfortable conversations.”

The move, timed to coincide ahead of the Glasgow climate change summit in November, conforms to the usual pattern of previous New Corp campaigns. The more naïve sorts suggest that the news body has seen the light. Richie Merzian, climate and energy program director at the Australia Institute, is not one of them, bluntly suggesting that this move amounted to “moving from an F to a D student.” A genuine prospect in the offing was News Corp moving from a denialist frame of mind to one of prevarication, “delaying climate action with non-solutions and unaccountable long-term targets.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who lays his political assassination by his own party members in 2018 squarely at the feet of the News Corp press goons, is also far from convinced. “That right-wing populist climate-denying section of the coalition is very influential, and its foundation is the News Corp media.” He found it hard to give the organisation “credit for something they haven’t done yet.”

The calculated change of heart within Murdoch’s non-news machine will do little to editorially rein in the likes of Bolt and his merry denialists, many of whom have promised to keep the cannons firing and the fires burning. As they do, climate change inactivism, code to preserve fossil fuel orthodoxy, promises to bloom.

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6 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Repulsive, sickening, egoswollen rubbish, entrenched lying, gross exaggerating, propaganda promotion, fantasy fabricating, mendacious Merde Dog Mischief making MUCK. The old sub freudian wreck is a distorted manifestation of a boil’s head, a foreign freak and faecal flow of insincerity. His organisations pander to the egofixated and ambitious, creating huge stables of untrustworthy liars of no merit. Far Canal…

  2. Kerri

    Why would a man, who would hack the phone of a dead girl thereby misleading her parents into thinking she was still alive, in order to have fodder for his trashy UK rags have any interest in a future he will not live see?

  3. Michael Taylor

    Kerri, because there was a dollar (or pound) to be made out of that poor girl’s death.

    He would probably do the same thing even on his death bed.

  4. guest

    It is amazing how disconbobulated the Murdoch media is with regard to climate change. The idea is, apparently, that Murdoch journalists can write “what they think”, according to Chris Mitchell. “That’s diversity”, he says (12/9/2021).

    Diversity seems to be quite acceptable, so that Murdoch media can rightly publish denial opinions about climate change because mainstream media publishes so much from the IPCC. Is that diversity – or balance?

    According to Greg Sheridan (9/9/2021), the IPCC is an “absurd and ridiculous world body’ and “characterises so much of the global waffle on climate change.” “The idea that coal is on the way out globally,” says Sheridan, “doesn’t square with any of the facts.” But when we read about the future of coal in the world, we are told that coal is in decline.

    Remember that most of the world has signed up to the Paris Agreement. Who, then, will continue to sell coal or buy coal? Countries which intend to continue using coal have usually made that clear – China, for example, and Australia,apparently.

    “It’s not climate science denial,” says Mitchell (op cit), “but accurate reporting of climate politics that drives activist journalists… nuts. Journalists at the News Corps papers have for decades accepted CO2 is linked to atmospheric warming warming. Critics need to explain why they support policies that will hurt Australian living standards and jobs when China etc…keep lifting emissions.”

    So for the Murdoch media it is about the politics. They tell us the politics does not match the science. No surprise if their main aim is to support the fossil fuels industry.

    Even when China gives a roadmap – its Nationally Determined Contribution at the Paris Agreement – to be added to 2021-2022 in its next Five Year Plan, it is not believed. Already China is aiming at peaking emissions by 2030 and making best efforts to peak early and reducing carbon intensity by 60-65% of 2005 levels. (springer.com, 13/2/2021, “China’s climate and energy policy at turning point”).

    The IPA position has changed. Do News Corps journalists know this? The IPA publication “Climate Change: The Facts 2017” tells us there are anomalies or contradictions there, but the editor hopes these can be reconciled. Can science do that?

    The edition “Climate Change: The Facts 2020” tells us the the IPCC claims about the role of CO2 are all a false hypothesis, and if we keep gathering data we will find that climate change is the result of natural cycles.

    In fact, Chris Mitchell toys with this idea of cycles in his essay 15/8/2021 “IPCC shows devil is in the detail for climate alarmists.” A bit of muddle?

  5. Fred

    Guest… where to begin. You do know that Gina Rinehart effectively owns the IPA and the disinformation they peddle aids and abets Gina’s profitability. Andrew Bolt is member and contributes editorially. Producing documents with titles that includes the words “The Facts” doesn’t make the contents factual or true. “Climate Change: The Facts 2020” has theoretically been written by “Twenty experts in their field” as edited by Dr (of biology) Jennifer Marohasy.

    Unfortunately Jennifer has been roundly criticized and discounted for her incorrect data analysis and conclusions, unsubstantiated claims of incorrect BOM data and her claims of fraud by the BOM. The other contributors to the book are equally non-mainstream and have equal credibility issues.

    Greg Sheridan and I have something in common, we are both not recognised climate scientists, however I did graduate from university in science whereas he “never graduated, finding it difficult to deal with lecturers with whom he disagreed” (from his WIKI page). He obviously knows better than the IPCC experts because… (I need to phone a friend for the answer to this)

  6. Ross

    Better put a suicide watch on IPA Australian headquarters and News Corpse world wide.
    If Rupert has changed sides mid game and gone green the repercussions will be serious.
    Rupert’s faithful foot soldiers will be chucking themselves off tall buildings en masse, the defribulators will be running red hot coping with the massive surge in heart attacks.
    The fruit bats and the bath plugs at the IPA will be dropping like flies, ambulances backed up for blocks. And off course Morrison will attempt a left hand pike and spin with twist, hand on heart.
    Maybe Rupert has had an epiphany but history would suggest not.

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