Until Rupert Murdoch and News Corp call off their attack dogs at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, who continue to promote climate change disinformation on a daily basis, these are hollow promises that should be viewed as a desperate ploy to rehabilitate the public image of a leading climate villain. — Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University
Until Rupert Murdoch and News Corp call off their attack dogs at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, who continue to promote climate change disinformation on a daily basis, these are hollow promises that should be viewed as a desperate ploy to rehabilitate the public image of a leading climate villain. — Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Australia to Ease Climate Change Denial
After years of casting doubt on climate change and attacking politicians who favored corrective action, Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets in his native Australia are planning an editorial campaign next month advocating a carbon-neutral future.

Depending on its content, the project, described by executives at Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp on Monday, could be a breakthrough that provides political cover for Australia’s conservative government to end its refusal to set ambitious emission targets. If sustained, it could also put pressure on Fox News and other Murdoch-owned outlets in the United States and Britain that have been hostile to climate science.

But critics, including scientists who have been a target of News Corp’s climate combat, warned that the effort could be little more than window dressing that leaves decades of damage intact.

“Color me skeptical,” said Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “Until Rupert Murdoch and News Corp call off their attack dogs at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, who continue to promote climate change disinformation on a daily basis, these are hollow promises that should be viewed as a desperate ploy to rehabilitate the public image of a leading climate villain.”

... Sky tends to be the most extreme of News Corp’s properties. Last month, YouTube suspended the conservative news channel for a week for breaching the platform’s coronavirus misinformation policy. Two years ago, one of its hosts labeled climate change “a fraudulent and dangerous cult” that was “driven by unscrupulous and sinister interests.”


... Richie Merzian, the climate and energy program director at the Australia Institute, a progressive research organization, said that News Corp should call for immediate action to reduce emissions.

“Really, they are moving from an F to a D student here,” he said. “The real risk is News Corp shifting from denying climate change to delaying climate action with nonsolutions and unaccountable long-term targets. Net zero by 2050 is almost useless if it is not enforced, if it has no short-term ambition and if there is no accompanying commitment to stop opening up new coal mines and new gas fields.”

Professor Mann, whose book “The New Climate War” looks closely at what he calls “inactivists” — the polluters, politicians and media outlets that have opposed climate action — said that News Corp may have simply realized that denial in the face of increasingly harsh climate events, especially the horrific 2019-20 bush fires in Australia, was no longer tenable.

“They’ve turned to other tactics — delay, distraction, deflection, division, etc. — in their effort to maintain the fossil fuel status quo,” he said by email. “Focusing on a target of 2050, three decades away, kicks the can so far down the road that it’s largely meaningless. It allows the cynics to appeal to promises of new technology (carbon capture, geoengineering, etc.) decades down the road as a crutch for continuing business-as-usual fossil fuel burning.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/06/business/news-corp-climate-change.html