I seriously did not expect the government to double down on this nonsense, but since the first four letters of their name spell ‘coal,’ perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. At least they are dropping any pretence of credibility over climate policy and are revealed as the cheerleaders for the fossil fuel industry they are.
A week ago I mentioned I was bemused that some of these ludicrous statements had even made the news. Now I am not bemused. I am angry. There is no justification for news media to treat these ridiculous attacks on renewable energy as anything but stupid, but they are not doing this. They are giving credibility to them. If enough people talk reasonably about the craziest of ideas and mainstream media don’t call them out for it and instead give them a platform and tacit approval to their statements, these ideas will gather traction, even when all experts in a field are pointing out that they are nonsense.
This is the same toxic ‘journalism’ that empowers effective media personalities over experts in other parts of the world, with disastrous results. Consider the popularity of Donald Trump despite everything he says or does. Look at the Brexit referendum and similar nativist movements in other parts of Europe. Closer to home, we have our own parliamentary imposters such as Hanson and Roberts. All of these political abominations would have been considerably less likely with more responsible and balanced journalism.
And just a memo to the ABC in particular, balanced journalism means presenting all facts of an issue apolitically but not without thought. It doesn’t necessarily mean presenting every theory as if it is valid, when some are patently stupid. And it certainly doesn’t mean bending over backwards to suit the agenda of government and its major shareholders in the coal industry.