Murdoch on climate change

2010-04-26

in Politics, Rants, The environment

People certainly respond to climate change in odd ways.

Rupert Murdock – owner of the climate denying Fox News channel – now believes that “we can’t afford the risk of inaction” when it comes to climate change, and has decided to make his News Corporation carbon neutral (probably will dubious offsets).

Naturally, Fox News barely reported on their owner’s change of heart, and are unlikely to change their editorial stance. This seems to illustrate how, in many ways, the public discourse on climate change is a sort of self-serving theatre. This seems to indicate just how far away we are from really grasping the magnitude of risk associated.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Padraic April 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I think that what this actually demonstrates is that corporate owners have a lot less influence on media organizations than Noam Chomsky would have us believe.

On the issue of Murdock’s own action though, it’s too bad he didn’t the money into a PAC to financially support Congressional candidates who vote for carbon pricing measures.

Milan April 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I think it is most likely that Murdoch just doesn’t want to forgo the profits that having Fox News endorse anthropogenic climate change would lose them. He believes that the information they disburse is false, but prefers keeping his share of the money to being honest.

Either that or it is now beyond Murdoch’s power to change the message from Fox News, presumably because it is too profitable and useful for too many other people.

Tristan April 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm

It’s possible that Murdoch doesn’t actually believe in climate change, and this is just a ruse to try to improve his image.

However, it’s more interesting if he really does believe in climate change – because then we have an objective contradiction between how he would like to act as an individual, and how our capitalist system compels him to act.

Tristan April 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

“I think that what this actually demonstrates is that corporate owners have a lot less influence on media organizations than Noam Chomsky would have us believe.”

Find me a place where Chomsky says corperate owners have, as individuals, the power to turn against the direction of capitalist profit? Chomsky always says that as individuals the people at the heads of hugely destructive firms may be perfectly nice people – and that it’s the structure of the system they participate in which compels them to commit, cover up, and amplify horrendous crimes.

Chomsky always calls for structural change, he doesn’t sit around complaining that the world would be better if Murdoch did something differently – this would be as absurd as claiming the Taliban could end the war in Afghanistan. It may be true, but it has no moral significance whatsoever – it’s only relevant to talk about what you can do.

. April 27, 2010 at 10:25 am

“At a time when the broadcast networks are struggling with diminishing audiences and profits in news, he has built Fox News into the profit engine of the News Corporation. Fox News is believed to make more money than CNN, MSNBC and the evening newscasts of NBC, ABC and CBS combined. The division is on track to achieve $700 million in operating profit this year, according to analyst estimates that Mr. Ailes does not dispute.

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