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The Murdoch media continues to campaign against our children’s futures

Gillard Climate Change Protest

Over the last few days there has been much discussion here and elsewhere about the Murdoch media bias against the government as well as its push to get the Coalition elected.

A much bigger problem for the children of today and tomorrow is the continuing efforts of the Murdoch media in Australia to undermine the scientific consensus regarding climate change and oppose more serious policies aimed at preventing dangerous climate change. The Murdoch media in the USA is notorious for adopting a similar stance.

This position stands in stark contrast with the increasingly urgent calls for serious action from climate scientists.

Yesterday I posted here on how the mainstream media and the Coalition are not fair dinkum about climate change. When seen in this light, the current campaign in support of the Coalition is consistent with the ongoing Murdoch media campaign against climate science.

As a child advocate and someone who cares deeply about the condition of the planet we leave to the children of today and tomorrow I believe that it will be on this issue that our kids will judge the Murdoch media most harshly.

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30 Comments sorted by

  1. Gordon Comisari

    Resort Manager

    The Limited News media continues to campaign for "regime change" against our children's and our nation's interest. Agree. Time to stop the rot.

    I hate to advocate this but I am afraid it is much too late to educate the ordinary punter in voter land. The only way to stop Murdoch and his IPA/LNP/MSM mates is to scare the living daylights out of the electorate.

    Ask them: Has Murdoch made up your mind how to vote?

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    1. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Gordon Comisari

      "Educate the ordinary punter in voter land" - Oh yes, the 'great unwashed' are waiting for your pearls of wisdom, Oh Great One. Please tell us the Truth for we must be incapable of independent thought.

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  2. George Michaelson

    Person

    The thinnest possible argument in favour of a neutral position is that the claims of downside risk are over stated. Where News dived off the deep end is in assuming they have sufficient brilliant minds to cherry pick the data from the graphs and inform the world there is a newsworthy "AHA" moment in the data as it changes.

    News need to speak to the financial risk modelling people harder. The real money, the big money, is on massive exposed risk to anyone who has a 20-30-50 year model of investment needs.

    I wonder how high above the tidemark Wapping is, with the South East corner of the UK landmass sinking? This is unrelated to Global warming (its the last revenge of the retreating ice age, as scotland rises geographically, due to loss of ice weight, the south sinks) London's thames barrier is not adequate. I wonder if Rupert has to pay for its upgrade?

    I wonder if Rupert realizes that climate change is unlikely to make this happen slower?

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  3. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    So, it is the Murdoch media empire and the Coalition who are not, to quote the author 'fair dinkum about climate change'

    Just how fair dinkum are those academics who on one hand tell us to stop burning fossil fuel to save the planet, then choose to burn JetA1 fuel to fly interstate and overseas for academic conferences and holidays.

    If you are fair dinkum about climate change, be fair dinkum and stop flying on holidays.

    Gerard Dean

    Note for moderator: This is a serious comment that draws the thread out of the author's claim that the Murdoch empire and Coalition are not fair dinkum about climate change. The article does not quote any facts to back this assertion and tends to use emotive words such as 'notorious' and 'undermine' instead of reasoned argument. My comment therefore is entirely justified because it brings to the fore the authors duplicitous position on this contentious subject.

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    1. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard, don't get paranoid. You are entirely free to be as monomaniacal as you wish in order to not just make your point but actually get it across to the recalcitrant.

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    2. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard,

      As I have informed you previously, my wife and I take our responsibilities to the children of today and tomorrow very seriously and we do whatever we can to minimise our ghg emissions. Furthermore, it is very disingenuous for you to continually focus exclusively on air travel when you know that this is a very small component of emissions.

      What are you doing to protect the children of today and tomorrow from dangerous climate change Gerard?

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    3. Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Town planner and freelance writer at Kalahariozzie

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad, the answer to your question is right behind your eyes. Human brains and intelligence. Just as our forefathers dealt with other very challenging issues, our children will also do that. It is an extremely patriarchal of you to assume our kids will have no answer, and solution to todays problems.

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    4. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Stephanus, just to clarify, some in our human society have brains, and some of them are scientists, economists, military strategic planners etc. We seem to be doing a pretty poor job at the present listening to these people with serious expertise. If we payed as much attention as we do to men in tight pants chasing a ball, do you think we'd be arguing and dithering as much as we are?
      Also to leave the "problem" to the next generation to "answer", reveals a complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of the issue of climate change, and greater risk of impossibility to address cheaply and meaningfully.

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    5. Simon Brown
      Simon Brown is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Professor in Emergency Medicine, University of Western Australia

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      I kind of agree with Gerard on this one. As an academic I get a little sick of my "track record" on grant applications being judged by (among other things, of course) by how many conferences I have been invited to speak at, or attended to deliver abstracts etc. Also many of my colleagues do seem a little focussed on going to conferences and meetings (aka networking). it is time for us to get serious about removing academic incentives to burn Gerard's supplies of Jet A1 and embracing alternatives to air travel. Would be much better for a balanced family life too!

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    6. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Stephanus,

      I would argue that it is extremely selfish of current generations to expect the children of today and tomorrow to clean up the mess we are on track to leave them. It is extremely unethical of us to leave the planet in a worse condition from that in which we inherited it and damage their health and wellbeing in the process.

      Leading international organisations including the World Bank and the International Energy Agency are warning that, unless serious action is taken now, we are heading for 4 degrees or more of warming and that this will have catastrophic impacts for all of humanity and the biological and natural systems that support life on the planet.

      http://climatechange.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/Turn_Down_the_heat_Why_a_4_degree_centrigrade_warmer_world_must_be_avoided.pdf

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    7. Stephen H

      In a contemplative fashion...

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard, are you proposing that those meeting to discuss climate change should get to their destination by sail-boat and horse-drawn carriage? Actually, strike the latter - horses produce carbon emissions.

      I assume you're trying to be serious, but just repeating someone else's ad hominem attacks doesn't help your cause. I see your particular claim falls under point 2 of the Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2013/05/26/the-4-species-of-climate-change-denial-lessons-from-comparing-republican-decision-making-cowardice-to-angelina-jolie/.

      You may also find http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php enlightening (at least it can suggest which false arguments have already been tried).

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    8. Andrew Smith

      Education Consultant at Australian & International Education Centre

      In reply to Simon Brown

      Seeems the whole international education industry in the state sector i.e. TAFE and university, revolves round incessant and unnecessary international travel at great cost (fares, accommodation, allowances and "event" attendance).

      One would think the state sector could lead by example........

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    9. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Stephen H

      Stephen, I think Gerard is acknowledging the fact that 'those meeting to discuss climate change' can do so over the internet. The physical proximity is entirely unnecessary in our modern world and simply wasteful and polluting in the extreme.

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    10. Stephen H

      In a contemplative fashion...

      In reply to John Phillip

      John, I agree that it is "possible" to meet over the Internet. In reality, when several hundred people want to discuss an issue physical proximity remains the best way to do so. This is why people who discuss how to improve the Internet meet physically. People who play games online have conferences in "meat space". It just works a whole lot better.

      I cannot imagine how you would run a meeting of several hundred people on the Internet in order to achieve the same gains as you would get from physical presence. Apart from the technical challenges - and as an example Reddit's Ask Me Anything uses a one to many format and a bunch of restrictions to make the model workable - what about all of the informal interactions you get at conferences? The discussions over meals, and in the lift? All of these are absent if you take the approach of "we can do this online".

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  4. Stephanus Cecil Barnard

    Town planner and freelance writer at Kalahariozzie

    whow really? What is next? It seems the left always needs an enemy. And who is a better enemy then prime evil Rupert? The dude the left love to hate.

    If you want to lament the demise of the climate issue around the world, blame just yourself, and the left who drove the climate agenda with such vigour that the horse died.

    For my kids, well; they inherit an earth with challenges, just like we did. They will use knowledge and technology to overcome. While Get Up and the Lenin quoting students occupy uni halls and parks with red flags, songs and dope, other students work on research models to better this place. I know where I'll put my energy and money.

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    1. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      This problem has nothing to do with politics, it has been used by politicians to obscure the facts. As you are doing with immature references to commo lefties in uni halls.
      What references do you have to state that the climate issue is in demise, as I understand it, this is not true, and nor should it be. "They inherit the earth with challenges" , a bit narcissistic don't you think.

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    2. Stephen Prowse

      Research Advisor at Wound CRC

      In reply to Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      I agree that the climate scientists have done themselves no favours in shouting louder and making more dire forecasts when questioned.

      However we do need to recognise that the world is a finite place and technology will take us only so far. If we want to sustain our quality of life and standard of living into the future, we probably need to be acting now, not just handing the issues to our children. Debates about climate change hide a plethora of complex global issues that impact on sustainability.

      I too would put my money on technology and research models to make a better world, but I also believe the magnitude and complexity of the issues that the next generation will face means that they will need all the help they can get. We can start by providing that help new.

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    3. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Stephen Prowse

      I can't think of any climate scientist shouting loudly and making dire forecasts. The times on radio and television I have seen one , they have seemed to be measured and factual.
      I have seen a lot of shouting and ridiculous behaviour by commentators. Can you think of any example other than anecdotal Stephen?
      I agree with you that technology has to be a part of the solution, but will mean nothing if we don't act meaningfully and immediately, which is the message climate scientists consistently say now. We don't seem to be reversing our use of polluting fossil fuels, and even limiting them seems to be resisted by too many.
      So how culpable is news ltd.? Hugely.

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    4. Brad Farrant

      Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Stephanus,

      In addition to my response to you above I strongly suggest you read the articles I linked to in my original post before you leap to the defence of the Murdoch press, here are the links again -

      http://www.australasianscience.com.au/article/issue-november-2011/newspaper-biased-against-climate-change.html

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/news-corp-climate-change-coverage_n_1912896.html

      I think the press has a duty to report the science rather than their own ideology.

      You should also check out Naomi Oreskes work which clearly lays out how the science has been systematically undermined by the ideology of those with vested ineterests and deep pockets -

      http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

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    5. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Brad Farrant

      Brad, because the coverage of the science in media is so woeful, for your, or anyone else interested, the nasa climate change newsletter is really great as a resource, you may already get it, so for anybody else out there who does want relevant information, sign up. I have no idea what fiscal excuses Tony Abbot will have to muzzle science, the climate commission etc, if he gets in, but good info is what it is.

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    6. Stephen Prowse

      Research Advisor at Wound CRC

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      For a start, how about a certain climate commissioner talking about islands in Torres Straight having evacuation plans?

      I listen to a lot of scientists talk about their work which I greatly enjoy; there is passion, enthusiasm and excitement. Translating that into policy and action requires a much more sophisitcted and nuanced discussion. I have not seen a lot of that in the climate debate.

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    7. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Stephen Prowse

      If you can find the original source for this statement by Tim Flannery I would be interested, other than that I can't comment on it. I would like to read a sentence within a paragraph please.Tim Flannery has been verbal-led before by "news". "Dams will never be full again", another statement hysterically attributed to him, which was nothing like his original discussion. Any other examples? I've never seen T.F. as a hysteric, those discussing him are another story, particularly Andrew Bolt.
      As I…

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    8. Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Town planner and freelance writer at Kalahariozzie

      In reply to Stephen Prowse

      I agree with you words above Stephen Prowse. The fact we have finite resources but an ever-growing population and demands for material goods, it frustrates me as a mere human that our so called leaders, yes especially the mob behind the steering wheel now, are squandering time on small time politics. Six years were wasted, never to be re-run. How many opportunities was open for the government to take and run, and they did not?

      Obviously, someone needs to be blamed, and the fav pointer is now on Murdock and Abbott. The rest are too angelic to touch.

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    9. Stephanus Cecil Barnard

      Town planner and freelance writer at Kalahariozzie

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Sadly the drummers for the cause are no less guilty of personal attacks and public ridicule than the deniers. At a point people just become sick and tired of the continuous bad news. So, every time Tim Flannery speaks on ABC I cringe. he speaks extremely paternalistic, making as if his audience is a bunch of 6 year olds. Even big Peter G was heard to say the sea levels will rise by 70metres by turn of century.

      I also do not believe (note word believe), Murdock has such a big influence on the…

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  5. Doug Hutcheson

    Poet

    Limited News and Faux News have the capacity, every time they present a headline, to subtract from the sum of human knowledge. Such is the fate of a society being fed only the profitable news. Thanks, Rupert, for nothing.

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  6. Rod Holesgrove

    Policy Adviser

    Brad- agree with you totally. The climate change deniers, confusers and dissemblers including News Corp, need to be called out on this in the face of overwhelming evidence. See for example yesterday's NOAA 2012 State of the Climate Report.

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  7. Brad Farrant

    Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

    Further evidence that the Murdoch press is corrupting the public conversation about climate science - "Results demonstrate that conservative media use [watching Fox News and listening to The Rush Limbaugh Show] decreases trust in scientists which, in turn, decreases certainty that global warming is happening."

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/about_us/meet_us/max_boykoff/readings/hmielowski_2013.pdf

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  8. Brad Farrant

    Adjunct Research Fellow in Early Childhood Development at University of Western Australia

    Al Jazeera America has set a positive example with their coverage by focussing "on the impacts of climate change, with a complementary discussion of some possible ways of mitigating them through political action. Notably, no politicians were interviewed, as few politicians are credible sources of information on, say, sea level rise. Instead, the guests... were all scientists familiar with the topic at hand. Television news outlets don't always do this well: in 2012, 89 percent and 12 percent of Sunday and nightly news coverage of climate change, respectively, was driven by politics."

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/21/what-al-jazeera-america-didnt-say-about-climate/195510

    The Australian media should take note.

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