The bitter and personal attack on young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg by Murdoch ‘hit man’ Andrew Bolt has been echoed by reactionary journos and commentators everywhere (see here and here). But this is a ‘David and Goliath’ struggle of mammoth proportions. ‘David’ of course is Greta Thunberg and ‘Goliath’ the combination of fossil fuel vested interests and reactionary media and politicians around the globe, both immensely rich and powerful.
But Greta is no longer a single teenager striking from school on Fridays to protest the inaction of governments on climate change. Almost overnight the ‘strike for climate’ took off and has been repeated amongst students and their supporters world-wide numbering in their millions. It is this movement that clearly has the vested interests worried. And they should be for Greta’s message is simple, urgent and common sense – unite behind the science.
The media is all powerful in this struggle but their resolve and, or inaction on climate change, is weakening. A number of media organisations – mainly online but including the BBC, the Guardian and SBS – are now freely mentioning and screening Greta’s activities. Supposedly ‘middle of the road’ publications like the Melbourne Age (from which I have recently unsubscribed) have yet to mention her in any detail. The media generally sees no contradiction in denying or ignoring a critically important part of science whilst existing in a society based on science – from medicine through to smart phones and computers. They are in reality ‘flat earthers’ even if they cannot comprehend or visualise the fact. The conservatism of the print media on the ‘climate emergency’ may well be its death knell.
Mary Robinson, former Prime Minister of Ireland recently stated “I believe that climate change denial is not just ignorant, it is malign, it is evil…The evidence about the effects of climate change is incontrovertible, and the moral case for urgent action indisputable”. Something for everyone in the media to ponder, especially those ignoring the science and those led by the climate criminals of News Corp.
This year the newly formed East Gippsland Climate Action Network has had two die-in demonstrations in Bairnsdale. On both occasions brief excerpts from Greta’s speeches were read to the gathering on the climate emergency (our house is on fire) and accepting the science (even a small child can understand it). Both demonstrations have been reported in the conservative Bairnsdale Advertiser. Now we look forward to the student strikes in Bairnsdale, Sale and Traralgon (and others) on September 20. The wheel is slowly turning but the battle against ‘Goliath’ continues not yet won.