Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Murdoch media and climate change denial

How Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate, Critics see a concerted effort to shift blame, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change. NYT  By Damien Cave, Jan. 8, 2020  WOMBEYAN CAVES, Australia — Deep in the burning forests south of Sydney this week, volunteer firefighters were clearing a track through the woods, hoping to hold back a nearby blaze, when one of them shouted over the crunching of bulldozers.

“Don’t take photos of any trees coming down,” he said. “The greenies will get a hold of it, and it’ll all be over.”
 The idea that “greenies” or environmentalists would oppose measures to prevent fires from ravaging homes and lives is simply false. But the comment reflects a narrative that’s been promoted for months by conservative Australian media outlets, especially the influential newspapers and television stations owned by Rupert Murdoch.  And it’s far from the only Murdoch-fueled claim making the rounds.
His standard-bearing national newspaper, The Australian, has also repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past — not true, scientists say, noting that 12 million acres have burned so far, with 2019 alone scorching more of New South Wales than the previous 15 years combined.
And on Wednesday, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp, the largest media company in Australia, was found to be part of another wave of misinformation. An independent study found online bots and trolls exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian making similar assertions became the most popular offering on the newspaper’s website.
It’s all part of what critics see as a relentless effort led by the powerful media outlet to do what it has also done in the United States and Britain — shift blame to the left, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change.“It’s really reckless and extremely harmful,” said Joëlle Gergis, an award-winning climate scientist at the Australian National University.
“It’s insidious because it grows. Once you plant those seeds of doubt, it stops an important conversation from taking place.”
………  a search for “climate change” in the main Murdoch outlets mostly yields stories condemning protesters who demand more aggressive action from the government; editorials arguing against “radical climate change policy”; and opinion columns emphasizing the need for more backburning to control fires — if only the left-wing greenies would allow it to happen.The Australian Greens party has made clear that it supports such hazard-reduction burns, issuing a statement online saying so

 

January 9, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, media

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