OK, so I whinge about the AGE op-ed pages a lot. I realise the Australian (formerly the Government Gazette) and the Hun are full of horrors, too. It’s just that the AGE is my daily dead-tree read of choice, and as a consumer I feel the need for some of that fact-checking and investigative journalism on which the MSM so prides itself.
I just think it’s a worry when the AGE publishes a long article in the op-ed section giving the public the case for nuclear power, and that article is bought in wholesale from a known nuclear- and fossil-fuel industry lobbyist.
It’s a worry when that writer is identified at the end of the article thus: Dr Patrick Moore is a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies. Which might cause the busy time-poor reader to conclude that not only does this guy really have Greenpeace’s measure, but he is still, well, really green. A kind of loyal and more respectable opposition, if you like.
It’s a worry that Patrick Moore is also co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy coalition, “a public relations campaign for new reactors launched April 24, 2006, funded by the trade association, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and headed by former Bush Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Christine Todd Whitman and former Greenpeace activist Patrick Moore”. In short, a front group for the Nuclear Energy Institute.
It’s a worry that Moore’s lobbying groups have used the Burson Marseller PR group, which has been involved in other astroturf campaigns for Phillip Morris and the forestry industry in Canada, as well as PR for Blackwater USA and the Argentinian junta. (“People get killed everywhere,” Moore is recorded as saying.) It’s a worry that Moore’s record of astroturfing activities on behalf of the fossil fuel and forestry industries– as well as other popular anti-environmental hobbyhorses like DDT– is as long as your arm.
Tim Lambert sheds more light on why a concern for global warming probably isn’t the motivation behind Moore’s boosterism.
It’s a worry that the AGE, which I’m sure prides itself on its investigative journalism, buys these drop-in modular-unit articles, presumably because of cost cutting, so that instead of investigation and analysis, we get corporate funded propaganda.
Hat tip to Jason Leske, an anonymous stirrer from Quinceland, who wrote into the letters page pointing this out.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom