And the Walter Duranty Award Goes To …

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From Climate Scepticism


In 1932, Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty of the New York Timewon the Pulitzer Prize for his glowing reports of happiness and progress in the Soviet Union. He followed that with denials of the genocide-by-famine in the Ukraine, in which Stalin engineered the death by starvation of four million peasants. Duranty’s peers at the time described his reporting as “the most enlightened, dispassionate dispatches from a great nation in the making which appeared in any newspaper in the world.”[1] But the verdict of Duranty biographer Sally J Taylor in “Stalin’s Apologist” (1996) was that his output involved “some of the greatest lies history has ever known”.

Prizes for journalists are akin to the beads and mirrors offered to grateful savages. High-profile print and TV journalists locally – I’d better not name them — have been showered with recent prizes for Canberra stories involving more spin than substance.

An international renewables-lobby outfit called Covering Climate Now (CCN) this week announced its 2023 prizes for media’s best hyping of the non-existent “climate crisis”, objectivity be damned. This “crisis” was most recently elevated to “global boiling” by the UN’s top idiot and socialist Antonio Guterres. And who should feature among the CCN prize-winners but our taxpayers’ very own Australian Broadcasting Commission. The ABC’s podcast “Who’s gonna (sic) save us?” won the radio/podcast category. The CCN commendation:

This engaging podcast tells the story of people who are standing up for their convictions and pushing back against organizations and companies acting with disregard for the climate crisis. The production draws the listener in with moments of high drama, like an Aboriginal woman boldly approaching an energy executive at a company board meeting to present “cease and desist” papers for trespassing on her people’s land, followed by a discussion about how Australians are using the law to stop climate change … Highlighting how everyone can take action, the podcast speaks to audiences in a way that sounds like an everyday conversation.

As a journalist myself, I don’t like outfits that work to turn journalists into propagandists, whether for “climate crises”, renewables or anything else. I remember 30-40 years ago, when the media had more ethics, my boss at BRW magazine banned journos from making extra money from media-training consultancies. Those outfits coached company chieftains on how dodge around aggressive interviewing. But today the ABC not only solicits and accepts prizes from media-corrupting groups like CCN, but has joined several international consortia dedicated to censoring inconvenient views which the censors label as ‘misinformation’.

CCN is a creature of the leftist Columbia Journalism ReviewThe Nation, and the dark-green Guardian. It has persuaded close to 600 media groups to sign up to “educate” the public about supposed climate peril, and to stifle evidence that then campaign for Net Zero is sabotaging the West’s fossil-fuel-derived prosperity. As it boasts,

CCNow collaborates with journalists and newsrooms to produce more informed and urgent climate stories, to make climate a part of every beat in the newsroom — from politics and weather to business and culture — and to drive a public conversation that creates an engaged public.

CCN’s 600 rogues’ gallery includes news-syndicating giants Reuters, Bloomberg and AFP, along with a host of print, TV and radio channels such as Al Jazeera, CBS, NBC, Deutsche Welle, LancetNew ScientistNZ HeraldTeen VogueScience Alert(Australia), Nature, and of course The Conversation(Australasia). CCN claims its members indoctrinate a two-billion strong audience.

The ABC has not signed up to CCN because it would be too naked a breach of its statutory charter for taxpayer-funded impartiality. It’s signed up instead to “truthist” coalitions like Reconciliation Australia and the troubled RMIT/ABC Fact Check. It’s also in alliance with UK-based BAFTA-albertwhich wants to “set the cultural agenda” by promoting leftist memes in TV shows, documentaries and movies.

Last year the ABC joined the BBC’s “Trusted News Initiative” (TNI) – an international censorship alliance and, according to Robert Kennedy Jr, a cartel that labels material hostile to leftism as “misinformation”. TNI, with ABC assistance, stifles internet sites opposing Deep State narratives about Covid, elections, climate, and renewables being the cheapest form of energy (checked your power bill lately?)

So, what about the ABC’s prize from Covering Climate Now? It’s for the podcast called Who’s gonna (sic) save us, which is “a co-production of the so-called “science team” at ABC Radio National and triple j’s Hack.” Its brand logo involves, appropriately, a drum being banged, and a diversity-tick youth of colour screaming into a megaphone. In the background is a mob waving placards like “Don’t be a fossil fool”, “Go Solar! Save the planet”, and the hackneyed one about “No Planet B”. The text below reads,

We’re all looking for a way through the climate crisis. [Better, “climate madness”]. Who’s going to get us there — and how will they do it? Meet the people who are trying to draw the map to a better future. 

These people, led by Climate Minister Chris Bowen, are giving us a “better future” involving tripling of household energy bills and, probably, blackouts.

The podcast’s presenter is Jo Lauder, who we’re told has “reported extensively on climate change, the environment and young people.”

When I checked her social media, her top post on Xread

So I messaged her, “Hi Jo, isn’t it hypocritical to be carrying on about climate change while jetting to hang out in New York?” No reply yet.

The “Who’s gonna (sic) save us” series ran intermittently late last year. Although its ABC Listen app says we can “hear the world differently” the Jo Lauder series is same-old climate guff, with episodes of up to 50 minutes including “Citizens assemble!”, “Standing up for the climate”, “[activist] Scientists on strike”, “We fought the law”, “Community power”, and “Who do YOU think is going to [as distinct from ‘gonna’] save us?”

Dutifully, I listened in for well over an hour, absorbing Jo’s material:

“Who is your climate hero? Think big and small. Is it Saul Griffith, with his ambitious plan for decarbonising the entire nation or, hey! the world, or a small local like the gang at Totally Renewable Yackandandah who are focused on transforming their community’s future?”

“Traditionally Australia’s electricity system has been dirty, and heavily centred around coal communities. But there’s a shift happening. Towns around the country – from Yackandandah to Shackleton to Marlinja – are using renewables to take control of their energy. The benefits are flowing back into local communities, and remote places are finally getting reliable power.” 

I’d say that if Yakandandah wants to go right off the (coal-assisted) grid, good luck to them when the wind drops.

Who, by the way, is that ABC world-decarbonising climate hero Saul Griffith? The podcast invite reads,

Saul Griffith has an ambitious plan to save the planet. And it all begins at home. It’s an electrified revolution for the Australian household!

Saul turns out to be (thanks, Wikipedia) a successful Australian-American engineer and inventor from a Greenpeace-oriented family, now back in Wollongong after great times with Silicon Valley startups like Otherlab and Squid Labs (no relation to Squid Games). He advocates forcing every citizen into compliance with the Net Zero agenda. He’s also truly on board with the need for urgings from the likes of the ABC. Jo Lauder’s podcast opens with him saying, “Don’t under-appreciate the importance of storytellers. We need story-tellers more than anyone right now. We need the storytellers to make it OK for you to give up the V8 [desirable car engine].”

 As he’s written, (it sounds to me like one of those Soviet-era five-year plans):

Across the board we now need [renewables] adoption rates of 100%. This complete adoption rate [e.g. for electric cars] is required by the end-game decarbonization we ultimately need… A 100% adoption rate is only achieved by mandate—and robust financial incentives to back it up… The challenge of 100% adoption presents a giant conflict that we need to address head-on: the “free market” as we know it is not up to the task… This is not to say that businesses and the market don’t have roles; they are critical [I welcome that he rejects the North Korean model]. But in emergencies, ideologies must be put aside. When Mother Nature arm wrestles with the invisible hand, she will always win. As my friend, the economist Skip Laitner, says, the free market needs an invisible foot to give it a swift kick in the ass now and then…

We can rebuild a prosperous and inclusive middle class, as we enjoyed after World War II, with tens of millions of good new jobs that are vital and prideworthy. If America does it right, everyone’s energy costs will go down. [Should that read, “up”]. Everyone has a role to play in the war effort.

We now face a climate emergency as challenging as all of our other 20th-century emergencies combined. [e.g. World War One, the Great Depression, Hitler, Stalin, Tojo and the Cold War combined]. It requires mass mobilization with extraordinary speed and resources. Without a doubt, you are worried, scared, or worse. That’s reasonable, but we can’t do nothing, and this is also a vast opportunity to make the world, and our economy, better for everyone. (My emphases).

Call me out for misinformation but isn’t the real question, “Who’s gonna [sic] save us from Covering Climate Now, Saul Griffith, Buffoon Bowen and the ABC?”

Tony Thomas’s new book from Connor Court is Anthem of the Unwoke – Yep! The other lot’s gone bonkers. $34.95 and available here

[1] Conquest, R. Reflections on a Ravaged Century, Oxford University Press, New York. 1986, p. 320.