Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the New Daily, it is inconceivable that greens would oppose measures to prevent fires and improve fire safety.
How Rupert Murdoch is influencing Australia’s bushfire debate
10:05pm, Jan 9, 2020
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.
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.”
News Corp denied playing such a role.
“Our coverage has recognised Australia is having a conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” the company said in an email. “The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, however, legitimate stories to report in the public interest.”
But there are signs that the Murdoch message is making headway – at least in terms of what people make a priority.
Many firefighters working the smoky hills south of Sydney hesitated to state their views on climate change this week (some said senior leaders had told them to avoid the issue). But they were quick to argue for more back-burning.
Similarly, in Bairnsdale, Tina Moon, whose farm was devastated by the fires, said she was mostly furious about the government’s failure to clear the land around her property.
“I don’t think it’s climate change,” she said.Read more: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/09/rupert-murdoch-bushfire-debate/
In Australia, green efforts to turn the bushfires into a political point scoring opportunity for their climate action agenda are backfiring horribly.
There is widespread awareness in Australia that greens campaigned against hazard reduction burns. Their friends in the media might have tried to delete some of the evidence, but the Australian people are not idiots, and the internet never truly forgets.
Update (EW): Some more examples of greens impeding controlled burns;
Fears that hazard reduction burns near school redevelopment could hurt pygmy possum population
Protestors have halted planned burns in two locations today
Coastal incineration plan