Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Archive for January 10th, 2012

A Sceptical Climate: biased climate media in Oz

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Many Australians did not receive fair, accurate and impartial reporting in the public interest in relation to the carbon policy in 2011.

An estimated 25% of Australians read one of the ten capital city newspapers (omitting the Canberra Times). Between February and July last year, these ten papers printed almost 4,000 articles on climate change policy, a whopping 28% in The Australian alone. Most were on the Gillard Government’s carbon price policy. Of the total, 43% were negative, 41% neutral and 15% positive. News Limited  publications comprised 65% of the total. For the News reader, the respective numbers were 50%, 41% and 10%. That’s right, less than 10% of the 2,770 articles on climate policy in the major News Limited papers during this period were positive towards climate policy.

Total articles on climate change policy Feb-Jul 2011

Ratio of negative to positive articles in 10 major Australian newspapers Feb-Jul 2011

In December, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) released its report A Sceptical Climate: Media coverage of climate change in AustraliaPart 1- Climate Change Policy. The study provided a snapshot of how climate change policy was covered over a six-month period from February to July 2011. The dominant issue during this period was the introduction of the Gillard Labor government carbon emissions pricing scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

Naomi Klein: Capitalism vs climate

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Naomi Klein writing in The Nation (November 28) has said out loud what many think but won’t repeat in public:

The deniers did not decide that climate change is a left-wing conspiracy by uncovering some covert socialist plot. They arrived at this analysis by taking a hard look at what it would take to lower global emissions as drastically and as rapidly as climate science demands. They have concluded that this can be done only by radically reordering our economic and political systems in ways antithetical to their “free market” belief system.

In a 10,000 word essay, she covers the last Heartlands conference, recent American polling on climate change, the rejection of climate science by the mainstream Republican Party and its supporters, the Republican presidential primaries, the lack of a solid narrative in progressive politics to articulate a vision to transform to an equitable, low carbon economy, the rush to invest in oil shale, coal seam gas and coal developments, and the recent emergence of occupy X as a broad-based source of discontent with the status quo. Read the rest of this entry »