Murdoch Media in Australia – “Evil Greens started bush fires.”

January 10, 2020

The same folks that brought you “..the Sandy Hook parents faked their own children’s deaths,..” – now bringing you “evil greenies lighting fires in Australian bush to make coal look bad.”


As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ravaged a drought-ridden Australia, bots and trolls have begun pushing climate science denial across the internet in the form of conspiracy theories about the fires. Thanks to climate change, exceptionally hot, dry drought conditions have worsened and lengthened Australia’s typical fire season.

Two of the main conspiracies about the fires are based on the false ideas that they are caused by a spate of arson and they have been worsened by the Green Party’s supposed efforts to stop controlled burns as a fire management and reduction measure.

Dr. Timothy Graham from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) did an analysis of the online activity and concluded there was a high level of bots involved in spreading these conspiracies. As ZDnet reported, Graham is “at least confident” that that this was some type of disinformation campaign.

Sites like NewsWars — which was founded by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who falsely claimed the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax — are already pushing these conspiracies.

Notorious climate deniers Patrick Michaels and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute promoted the same conspiracies in the Washington Examiner. And the discredited extremist science denier Lord Monckton also weighed in.

However, it isn’t just fringe sites pushing these ideas. The New York Times reports that Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has also been instrumental in publishing these debunked claims (and others claiming that these fires are no worse than normal).

Despite multiple sources clearly discrediting these myths, CNN’s top story in its World News section today, which is also featured in its website’s top stories banner this morning, included the misleading headline, “Police in Australia are accusing 24 people of deliberately setting bushfires” — reinforcing the work of conspiracy theorists’ messaging.

A common theme in these myths is that the Australian police and firefighters are the source of these purported claims about the wildfires, which has been strongly refuted by none other than the police and firefighters.

The Guardian reported that a spokeswoman for the Victoria police said, “There is currently no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and the North East have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour.”

That same article notes that according to a Rural Fire Service spokesman, “The majority of the larger fires in the state [of New South Wales] were caused by lightning, and that arson was a relatively small source of ignition.”

Members of the New South Wales fire brigade have also dismissed the idea that the fires are due to efforts by the Green Party to stop fire management practices.

Media Matters:

The scale of the bushfires burning in Australia is unprecedented, and the toll they have extracted is incomprehensible — at least 27 people have perished, more than 12 million acres have been destroyed, and an estimated 1 billion animals have died. And fire season is just getting started.However, the magnitude of this developing crisis and the role of our increasingly warming climate in it, to date, have not been reflected by U.S. broadcast news coverage. 

From September — when the first bushfire broke out — to early January, major morning, nightly, and weekend news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a 59 segments total on the Australian fires, and only nine of them (15.3%) mentioned climate change.However, with several months of fire season still ahead, broadcast news has an opportunity to educate its audiences on what climate change looks like and expose the real threats of climate denial and continued inaction.

A significant uptick in coverage in the first week of January — to 24 segments, or 41% of the total aired — suggests that the significance of this catastrophe is starting to take hold in broadcast news. But will more reporting on the role of climate change follow?

13 Responses to “Murdoch Media in Australia – “Evil Greens started bush fires.””

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Murdoch Media = Terrorists

  2. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    The greenies have prevented sufficient raking of the bush.

    Kids sign today:- ‘Nero is not our Hero’!

    • Sir Charles Says:

      You can sign here =>

      Australia is world’s biggest exporter of coal. And the country is even preparing a new mega project: The Adani’s Carmichael mine which will…

      * Destroy the ancestral lands, waters and cultures of Indigenous people without their consent.
      * Allow 500 more coal ships to travel through the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area every year for 60 years.
      * Get access to 270 billion litres of Queensland’s precious groundwater for 60 years, for free.
      * Risk damaging aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.
      * Add 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution to our atmosphere

      Please take action!

      Every little helps creating the critical mass. Thanks!

  3. grindupbaker Says:

    See “Figure 3. Trend of ocean heat content change from 1993 to 2015 (unit: 108 J/m2). (contributed by L Cheng)” at
    See in the ocean heat content (OHC) anomaly plots above that the rate increased dramatically starting somewhere between 1995 & 1998. Note the huge 1997/98 El Nino that complicates the exact start year.
    It began 1995 AD and is the Pacific Ocean easterly trade winds increasing their average speed by 30% (by ~2012 relative to pre-1995.
    See Figure 3. L Cheng warmer Atlantic Ocean, warmer west Pacific Ocean, =colder= east Pacific Ocean at 2015 relative to 1993 (so 20 years post 1995 relative to pre-1995).
    The warmer Atlantic Ocean did much of the big changes since 1995. It’s a huge thing vying with loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice extent in importance.
    The Atlantic Ocean & Pacific Ocean easterly trade winds couple over South America.
    The warmer Atlantic Ocean has boosted Pacific Ocean easterly trade winds since 1995.
    Likely affects Indian Ocean too because the land barrier is gappy (unlike South America)
    Among other things Australia is right in the firing line where the warmer water is being shoved west more than before by the warmer Atlantic Ocean boosting Pacific Ocean easterly trade winds since 1995.
    It’s now 25 years since 1995 and it’s beginning to bite.

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    This opinion piece in the Brisbane Times fits quite neatly => We, the media, must take some of the blame as Australia burns

  5. Sir Charles Says:

    And the other story:

    BlackRock Joins $41 Trillion Investor Climate Campaign

    The world’s largest fund manager, joined a group of more than 370 investors that are pressing the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to invest in ways that help mitigate global warming. Together, they manage more than $41 trillion in assets.

  6. Sir Charles Says:

    Not just Murdoch…

    Revealed: US listed climate activist group as ‘extremists’ alongside mass killers

    DHS listed activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting oil industry alongside white supremacists in documents

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