Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Like a Rinehart Cowboy

By Ian Lowe

Will more anti-climate change cowboys ride into the media spotlight following Gina Rinehart’s purchase of a stake in Fairfax?

Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I have been concerned for some time about the refusal to accept the science of climate change by determined ideologues, and the level of attention The Australian gives to those fringe views. Until now, the science has usually been given a fair run in the Fairfax newspapers. But I worry about how long that will continue.

Gina Rinehart is Australia’s richest woman, mainly because she chose her parents more carefully than most of us. As well as being a determined campaigner for even more generous treatment of the mining industry than its current subsidies and tax breaks, she has also actively supported the climate change deniers.

For instance, last year she helped to fund a speaking tour by Christopher Monckton, a failed British politician with no climate science credentials at all who thinks that climate science is part of some sort of international communist conspiracy. GetUp! has now distributed a video that shows Monckton lamenting the fact that the Australian media lacks a far-right outlet like Fox News to broadcast his kind of views. He urged the mining industry to fund such a propaganda channel. Almost in the same week, we heard that Gina Rinehardt had bought a block of Fairfax shares.

I don’t want to seem paranoid, but I can’t help recalling that Andrew Bolt was given his own program on Channel 10 shortly after Gina Rinehardt bought into that...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.