Australian news, and some related international items

The climate denialist spin machine – the “Anti-Greta” in Australia

In denial: The spin machine upending the climate consensus, DW, 11 Mar, 20   Climate law rollbacks in the US and Australia have origins in libertarian think tanks that trade in climate denial. Investigative journalists have exposed how one is now trying to strip climate protections in Germany…….

….young and upcoming German YouTuber and “influencer,” Naomi Seibt.   Anti-Greta’

The 19-year-old was also in Madrid during the climate denial side event dubbed the Climate Reality Forum, where she spoke on behalf of Heartland. “These days, what scientists say about climate change isn’t really science,” she said.

Since her February 28 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the US, global media has dubbed the self-described “climate realist” as the “anti-Greta,” a rising counter to climate activist icon Greta Thunberg. Seibt has embraced the moniker, and during a FOX News interview on the eve of CPAC said that “CO2 emissions are not actually harmful to the planet” while also railing against “climate change propaganda.”………

Outsized influence.   In Australia, climate disinformation campaigns with Heartland links have also helped to depress support for climate action and roll back protections.

Nearly a decade ago, Australia instituted a carbon price and a tax on mining industry profits that made it a climate leader. But both those policies were repealed in 2014 following a misinformation campaign headed by Australia’s incoming conservative prime minister at the time, Tony Abbott — a poster boy for the Heartland Institute and a speaker at climate skeptic conferences who fearmongered about a “carbon tax.” Six years later, Australia is ranked last in climate policy among developed nations.

According to Australian scientist, author and climate analyst Ketan Joshi, a watershed moment in this reversal came in 2011 when Britain’s arch climate denier, Lord Christopher Monckton, told mining industry leaders that Australia needed a news outlet akin to Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News in the US to fight “bogus” climate science. Monckton also spoke at the Madrid climate skeptic conference in December.

Murdoch’s Sky News soon became that voice, says Joshi, the news channel hiring vocal climate skeptics as regular political pundits who call out “global warming rubbish.” Their voices also echo across Murdoch publications that make up around 70% of the print media market in Australia.

Naomi Seibt inevitably took her bow on Sky last week, telling viewers that Fridays for Future rallies in Germany had been infiltrated by radical anti-fascist protesters. Billed as the “anti-Greta sensation,” she also claimed that “Greta Thunberg never talks about the science,” and that climate alarmism will lead to “energy poverty.” This despite Thunberg’s now famous entreaty to “listen to the scientists.”

‘Instilling doubt’  “It’s not about the science,” says Joshi. “It’s about instilling doubt, it’s about making people distrust information that they receive — even if it’s from a trustworthy source.”

Back in Madrid, Taylor also offered the PRs the services of another young YouTuber, his daughter Tiffany. Her latest video argues that climate change has increased rainfall in Australia, and that the recent megafires were primarily caused by arsonists.

The discredited theory that arson was to blame for the intensity of Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season was pushed globally by climate deniers fighting back against the consensus that global heating is the culprit. Donald Trump, Jr, for example, helped the arsonist meme go viral by tweeting about an “exclusive” in Rubert Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper that promoted the debunked theory.  …….

March 12, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster

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