As pressure mounts on the Australian government to do more to address climate change, demands for greater action are coming from increasingly unlikely places – such as the NT Times.
The News Corp Australia newspaper, known for its quirky headlines, ran a front page editorial Thursday calling for the nation to come together and address climate change.
The short message splashed across a plain black page was an unusual step for the masthead and amounts to a call to arms as Australia reels from a devastating bushfire crisis which scientists say has been exacerbated by the affects of global warming.
“Australia’s bushfire crisis is devastating,” the front page message said.
“Now is not the time to play the blame game.
“Now is the time to discuss climate change.
“Future generations deserve our leaders to develop a measured plan for the future.”
The front page drew praise from many, sending the NT News trending on social media site Twitter on Thursday morning.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese called the message “spot on” while others called it a “big move” from the Murdoch-owned tabloid.
However, some others were quick to temper praise pointing to the swipe at so-called “keyboard warriors” and caveats in the language which reflect that of Prime Minister Scott Morrison who to date has continued to say the government won’t implement a change in policy to reduce emissions.
“Everyone's giving the NT News a pat on the back - but it looks a lot to me like News Corp trying to dictate the terms of a climate debate it now can't avoid,” wrote Crikey Journalist Bernard Keane.
“When the NT News says it wants ‘real affordable solutions’ rather than attacks by ‘keyboard warriors’ it’s obvious that it means that the ‘keyboard warriors’ are those of us who oppose coal mines and the solutions can’t involve reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. It’s code,” another commentator observed.
Can confirm that despite the NT News's posturing, there is nothing of substance behind the front page pic.twitter.com/cu5n4IMYeV
— Luke Ablett (@luke_ablett) January 16, 2020
Paper seemingly breaks ranks amid charges of climate denialism
The front page surprised many observers given the publication is part of a stable of News Corp Australia papers that have been fending off accusations they are responsible for espousing and defending climate change denialism.
After resigning, on Friday a senior News Corp worker departed in dramatic fashion in a reply-all email to executives and staff accusing the company’s newspapers of a "misinformation campaign" to divert attention away from climate change. It followed reporting which appeared to overstate the role of arson in the latest bushfire crisis.
Despite the company’s premier masthead, The Australian, taking the unusual step to refute the accusations, News Corp board member James Murdoch added fuel to the fire by publicly condemning the company’s Australian media outlets for climate change denialism this week.
In a statement issued to US publication The Daily Beast, James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn said they were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial of the role of climate change among the news outlets in Australia, given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
The NT News, however, has always had it’s own identity in comparison to other News Corp papers and was the only Murdoch-owned paper to break ranks and endorse Bill Shorten at the last federal election.
Attenborough’s warning of looming disaster
Famed naturalist and outspoken advocate for climate change action, Sir David Attenborough, has warned that “human beings have overrun the world” in a trailer for his new film.
The feature-length documentary, titled David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, looks back on the defining moments of his life and the environmental devastation that has taken place during that time.
As well as highlighting some of the issues that climate change poses, he also explores some of the potential solutions.
“The living world is a unique and spectacular marvel, yet the way we humans live on earth is sending it into a decline,” the 93-year-old says in the trailer.
“Human beings have overrun the world. We're replacing the wild with the tame.”
“This film is my witness statement and my vision of the future.”
Sir David added: “Our planet is headed for disaster ... We need to learn how to work with nature rather than against it and I'm going to tell you how.”
The film will be broadcast in the UK, the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia and New Zealand before being released on Netflix.
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