It could have been headlined: How to host Climate Tupperware Parties
It’s another ABC coaching session on how to be a useful political activist. Having beaten Fairfax into the dirt, the ABC is gradually becoming Time-magazine-Readers-Digest-and-Womens-Weekly rolled into one, but aimed at teenagers.
Translated: Only the brave are activists. Don’t give in to your fears!
This is a Greenpeace training manual, pretending to be “news” about a tiny survey:
Liz Lyons from Melbourne is one person who definitely didn’t consider herself or her friends, activists.
“I’d never go to rallies or anything like that,” Liz said.
“No disrespect to anyone who did, I just thought that wasn’t me, that’s not something I would be a part of.”
But when the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report sounded a dire warning of what climate change has in store for the near future, Liz said something changed in her.
“It really came home to me last year when the IPCC report came out,” she said.
“Suddenly this future I had planned for myself — you know the house, the dog, retirement hopefully some day, wasn’t a certainty anymore.”
As well as attending climate change protests, Liz hosted a dinner party for her friends, where a speaker came to talk about climate change.
Leading up to that event, Liz said she was still a bit nervous about how some of them might respond.
“I remember saying to friends, ‘don’t worry, it won’t be too full on’,” she said.
People get marketing degrees to write this kind of first person, soft sell, gently gently catchee monkey. They used to work for Avon, or Tupperware, now they work for the ABC.
I don’t doubt that the ABC narrative writers believe in climate change (whatever that is). But underlying this faith is the happy coincidence that every climate activist is another little helper working to get big-spending governments elected. And we all know what kind of government is more likely to increase paychecks at the ABC. I’m not suggesting ABC staffers are sitting around in tea-rooms joining these dots. Far from it. They are telling themselves how brave they are fighting for “science” while they destroy it. And there’s no one left at the ABC to pop their bubble, so it never occurs to them that this is self-serving fake “journalism”.
But shucks, poor Liz tried recruiting some live-sandwich-boards by boring them with a climate lecture for dinner and it didn’t work:
Although her friends’ reaction to the dinner was positive, and they’ve been supportive of her stance on climate change, Liz hasn’t convinced any to come with her to protests.
And she still doesn’t identify with the “activist” label.
The same kind of government that wants to save the planet and change the weather is the kind of government that wants a broadcasting arm under their control, and a nation paying ambitious taxes. Hand meet glove: say “power” and “glory”! Whatever you do, dont say “competition” or “cost benefit”.
Coming up, some namecalling and lies-for-the-cause:
The ABC staff want to convince junior activists that they are not the “fringe”, the “deniers” are — which means inverting reality (and namecalling). So here comes the reframe with cherry picked statistics:
But could we be avoiding acting on environmental issues because we think they’re more fringe than they actually are?
When it comes to climate change at least, a study by the CSIRO that Dr Leviston was part of, found that may be the case.
When a cohort of people were asked whether they thought climate change was happening, between just 6 and 7 per cent said they didn’t think it was, Dr Leviston said.
“What we did after we asked that question, is we asked people, ‘OK, where do you think the Australian public sits? What proportion of the Australian public fits into [the climate-change denial category]?”
“The estimate was that about 25 per cent — about a quarter of the Australian population — denied that climate change existed.”
So Kilvert et al are arguing that the public are tricked into thinking that 25% of the population are “deniers when really only 7% are. But when we look at the study itself, it’s the famous, well done CSIRO one which shows that 54% of Australians skeptics of man-made global warming.
Here’s one of my favourite graphs from the Leviston study results:
But Kilvert and al forget to mention that most Australians didn’t agree with the IPCC. Lies by omission (again).
It’s not about helping the planet, Greens are green to enhance themselves:
A small study was recently conducted on people from Perth who self-identified as “attempting to live a sustainable lifestyle”.
” Twenty-six interviews were conducted and analysed using a causal layered analysis. “
“who self-identify as pro-environmental”
And wait for the disarming conclusion:
While participants aspired to be green, their actions were bound by cultural traditions and world views that perpetuate environmental degradation. Participants struggled to define the term sustainability and held self-enhancing motives for adopting what they identify as a pro-environmental identity.
So they don’t really know what sustainability means, and they do it “enhance” themselves?
The authors are Nik Kilvert — who writes some of the most extreme fantasy-agitprop at the ABC, and Erica Vowles.
Past posts on his “work”:
- ABC Climate Zombie Myths and Fantasy Strawmen. Who’s feeding the trolls?
- ABC Climate fiction: Life at 0.5 degrees hotter, dead plants, animals, ghost towns, jellyfish hell
Leviston, Z., Greenhill,M., & Walker, I. (2015) Australians attitudes to climate change and adaptation: 2010-2014. CSIRO, Australia.