31 October 2011
Now that solar and wind power are proving their success globally, the big polluters are turning the focus of their political obstruction from climate denial to ‘renewables skepticism’. It is crucial for the renewables industries to get on the front foot and expose these lies.
It is doubly exasperating to read an article by an intelligent commentator who undermines the effort to expose the climate denialists. Robert Manne recently tackled climate denialism and other media lies in his excellent Quarterly Essay, ‘Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the shaping of the nation’.
Today I wrote the following letter to the Sydney Morning Herald in response to Peter Craven’s foolish review of Robert Manne’s Essay.
To the Editor.
Peter Craven was clearly the wrong person to review Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay on the Australian and its editor, Chris Mitchell (October 29, 2011).
Craven writes a lot about the past, but he’s of an age where that is acceptable, as long as he also delivers some insights, which in this case, he failed to do.
Craven’s review does two things and both were inappropriate. Firstly, Craven analyses Manne’s essay as if it were a literary work, where taste, not facts are the arbiter.
Manne’s essay proves conclusively that the Australian routinely misleads its readers in order to portray climate science as some sort of greenie, leftie plot. Craven glosses over this and indulges instead in wordy fluff, writing about Manne’s ‘Savonarola-like power of denunciation’ and the Australian’s ‘deliberately provocative blimpism’. Whatever.
Secondly, Craven concludes by taking an absolutist moral defence of the climate science lies told in the pages of the Australian. WTF.
After analysing the Quarterly Essay like a cultural relativist, he then reduces the whole episode into a GW Bush soundbite; either you are for democracy and thus journalism and thus Chris Mitchell, or you are against it.
My review of Craven’s review of Manne’s review of Chris Mitchell: bad faith, poor script, lazy performance.