Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Murdoch's Mother Signs Pro-Carbon Pricing Letter

As Australia's fragile Labor-Green coalition government works to pass a national price on carbon (the scheme starts with a modest carbon tax, and then transitions to a cap and trade system in a few years), this can't hurt:
A group of prominent Australians has published an open letter calling for a price on carbon to help deal with climate change.

The letter is signed by four former Australians of the year - including Professor Fiona Stanley, Ian Kiernan, Professor Pat McGorry and Sir Gustav Nossal.

It is also signed by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the philanthopist and mother of News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch.
 Turns out this isn't as shocking as I first though, apparently I was asleep for some period in 2006 and missed this news:
Rupert Murdoch Changes Mind On Global Warming

Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Monday he has had a change of heart on climate change and now believes global action is needed -- although not in the form of the Kyoto Protocol which the US opposes. Murdoch -- whose powerful News Corp. empire includes Britain's The Sun tabloid newspaper and The Times -- called for a new treaty that is acceptable to all countries and brings in emerging economies.

"I have to admit that, until recently, I was somewhat wary of the warming debate. I believe it is now our responsibility to take the lead on this issue," Murdoch told a conference in Tokyo.

"Some of the presumptions about extreme weather, whether it be hurricanes or drought, may seem far-fetched. What is certain is that temperatures have been rising and that we are not entirely sure of the consequences," he said.

"The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt."
Not exactly a Road-To-Damascus full throated conversion, but really this is about where actual hard-core capital "s" Skeptics should be if they actually applied the tenets of skepticism to the issue.  It would at least take him off the list of those actively blocking action on this tremendous threat to civilization itself, but if you, like I, had never heard that Rupert Murdoch had accepted the need for action to deal with anthropogenic climate change, this might be why:

Apparently Murdoch forgot to tell Ailes.  It's only been 5 years, I'm sure he'll get to it eventually. The link above has Murdoch saying his son James runs Sky News, the UK version of Fox News, and he runs the business "carbon neutral" - in Australia his mother is signing open letters on the need for action, but in America, climate denialism just sells too well. 

This is perhaps some of the most telling evidence to how the Malefactors of Great Wealth view the climate issue.  They know it's real, it's getting worse and only concerted government action that limits carbon emissions has any hope of preventing the worst, but there's just too much money to be made, so instead of using their tremendous power to do some good, they don't.  Maybe the Kochs are seriously in denial, but as I read it, most of their billionaire peers are too tuned into reality to not notice this.  They really are that cynical.

Update:  Meant to ask above:  If the left-wing analogue of Murdoch (closest I can think of is George Soros) was a climate denier, how much would the deniers rub that in our faces at every opportunity?  I know "Rupert Murdoch knows climate change is real" isn't actually a logically sound argument for it, but given how wingnut minds "work" this might be the sort of argument that gives them some pause.  Even getting them to shut up in the comments to any major news article about climate change would be a benefit.  I confess I sometimes mention to them that Margaret Thatcher accepted the reality of AGW, Murdoch is a more contemporarily relevant figure though.  They seem to like these Inhofe generated lists of climate deniers, perhaps we should compile lists of right wingers who accept climate science?

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