Saturday, May 12, 2007

Drinking Beer Causes Climate Change?

Murdoch Media Wastes No Time In Blaming Working Class For Global Warming

"Drinking beer, driving the car, and mowing the lawn all contribute to climate changes.." claims front page

By Darryl Mason

Less than 48 hours after News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch announced that his worldwide media corporation was Going Green, and that he intended to reduce his corporation's "carbon footprint" to zero by 2010, he's lived up to his promise to transform the thinking of News Corp's audience by guilt-tripping the Australian public over the amount of beer they drink and how they cut their grass :

Having just one schooner of beer after each working day costs the planet 120kg in greenhouse emissions each year.

Working fathers doing traditionally male household jobs like mowing the lawn and odd jobs around the home produce almost 3.75 tonnes of emissions each year.

Yesterday it was revealed Australian mothers juggling child-rearing responsibilities and housework pumped out more than four tonnes of emissions a year.

Simon Hunter, a father-of-two and owner of a wood-fired pizza restaurant in Seaforth, usually does two separate trips in his car each day - one to the bank in the morning and one 20-minute drive to work in the afternoon.

He uses a toaster and kettle at breakfast, as well as his computer.

The household's big energy guzzler is the airconditioning system, which he said would be switched on twice a day every second day.

"I make sure that lights are turned off when they're not being used because that's obviously money being wasted and it affects the environment," he said.

As the public debate on climate change heats up, Mr Hunter is thinking more about the latter.

"Everyone has to contribute, not just government but businesses and the individual," he said.

It's beautiful propaganda - inspiring, responsible and guilt-laden. Get used to it, the flow of similar articles and news products from Murdoch's media will only get thicker.

Murdoch was remarkably frank in this speech on May 9, about how he would use News Corp to transform the way the public thinks about climate change, "carbon footprints" and the why we must transform the way we live and work. Naturally, his speech was covered extensively across Murdoch's media spectrum :
Our audience's carbon footprint is 10,000 times bigger than ours...

That's the carbon footprint we want to conquer.

We cannot do it with gimmicks. We need to reach them in a sustained way. To weave this issue into our content-- make it dramatic, make it vivid, even sometimes make it fun. We want to inspire people to change their behavior.

Murdoch made it dramatically clear that he would use his media reach of some one billion people (via his cable, newspaper and online media companies) to change the way his mostly Western audience live their lives.

He intends to use his News Corp media assets to simultaneously inspire, guilt-trip and fear-up his worldwide audience about their impact on climate change and the future faced by their children and grandchildren.

But Rupert knows he has to do it subtly, less Fox News or the Sydney's Daily Telegraph become the embodiment of the environmental and green lobby groups so many of his journalists have long despised, mocked and relentlessly hammered :
We must avoid preaching. And there has to be substance behind the glitz. But if we are genuine, we can change the way the public thinks about these issues.

...the debate is shifting from whether climate change is really happening to how to solve it. And when so many of the solutions make sense for us as a business, it is clear that we should take action, not only as a matter of public responsibility but because we stand to benefit."

Guilt-trip the public and profit handsomely at the same time. It's the News Corp way.