There has been news on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and this is the introduction from a report from the New Zealand Herald:
The soft start to New Zealand’s carbon pricing regime is set to get softer still.
The Government yesterday released a review of the emissions trading scheme chaired by David Caygill and its own preliminary response to it.
The headline for the report is ‘Softer still on climate change’. I like the idea that it is possible to be ‘soft’ on climate change which is rather an odd notion; in particular when there has been no scientific evidence presented to suggest any warming in New Zealand. I do not want to go into the details, but the essence of the story is the implementation of the ETS is being slowed down, such that the costs for business and households will kick in over a longer period.
There is an interesting response to the phased introduction in a TV One interview, in which the interviewer discusses the concept of a ‘climate crisis’ before introducing an interviewee who has just participated in an alarmist event arranged by Al Gore. Described simply as an ‘expert’ (e.g. the title of the interview is ‘Expert Responds to ETS Changes’), Dr. Rod Oram’s profile on Wikipedia is as follows:
Rod Oram is a New Zealand journalist writing on corporate, economic and political issues. He is a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times and Good Magazine, a regular broadcaster on radio and television and a frequent public speaker. He is an adjunct professor in the business school at Unitec in Auckland and he has contributed to several regional economic development projects.
I checked the Unitec staff search facility and was unable to find his details and I am somewhat puzzled as to what, exactly, he is an expert in. Likewise a written piece on the TV One website describes him as follows:
A New Zealand climate change expert says people need a cash incentive to change their habits, and delaying an emissions trading scheme will not help.
This is the definition of ‘expert’ from dictionary.com:
a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority:
I am sure that Dr. Oram is an ‘expert’ in something, but I am at a loss to see how he might be an expert in climate change. Nevertheless, this is how this person is characterised, and it comes as no surprise to hear that he is against the slower implementation of the ETS. My favourite moment was when he suggests that the ETS is not about ‘saving the world from New Zealand’ but ‘about making New Zealand a great deal more efficient in both energy and other terms’. He goes on to give a personal example of how he installed solar power and reduced his electricity bill by 40% and purchsed smaller cars. So there we perhaps have an example of his ‘expertise’; he installed solar power and purchased smaller cars?
This is an example of New Zealand journalism at its very worst. A person with no apparent expertise in a subject is characterised as an ‘expert’, and that person by coincidence is a climate alarmist (as evidenced by his participation in Al Gore’s event). It is all very, very shabby.
In another TV One interview the Environment Minister Nick Smith is interviewed over the phone, and the report cuts to images surrounding climate change, for example showing pictures of wind farms after a picture of a chimney bellowing out smoke. Within this montage there are pictures of burning forests and forest destruction, and there is even an image of a lonely polar bear floating on a piece of ice. I particularly liked the polar bear image as polar bear populations are stable, despite their use as the poster-animal of climate change.
The bottom line is that, during the interview, TV One might as well have added captions while Nick Smith was talking, saying that he was a ‘Polar Bear Killer’, or ‘Forest Burner in Chief’. The use of this footage during the interview was calculated, biased and completely underhand. It is yet another example of biased media coverage.
TV3 offers another example, titled ‘Government’s ETS changes help consumers but not planet’. With a title like this, you know the direction of the piece, and it delivers as expected. The report gets off to a fine start by characterising CO2 as a pollutant, even though it is essential to life on earth, and describes those who emit the gas as, for example, ‘big polluters’, whilst discussing how companies will ‘not have to pay for their pollution’. The reporter’s summary at the end of the piece is of particular note, saying that the government will ‘spend $500 million’ by not implementing the ETS faster. It is not clear how this might be seen as ‘spending’ when it is a tax that is foregone. The reporter goes on to say that the policy will do ‘nothing to save the planet, in fact it just puts it off for another day’. A balanced report – I think not….
I hope that the point I am making is clear. There is an agenda in the reporting in the New Zealand media, and it is not even difficult to see it. It is brazen and shameless, and it almost seems that they wear their bias on their metaphoric sleeves with pride. However, what they are presenting to the people of New Zealand is their own views, and seeking to use the power of the media to shape the views of the New Zealand people. Instead of presenting the facts of the situation, the news media are seeking to manipulate opinions to their own version of events/their own perspectives. Whilst all news media have some degree of bias on most subjects, the issue of climate change stands out for the crass and open way the bias is expressed.
The bias of the media would not be such a problem if it were not for the fact that all of the major outlets seem to be following the same path. At present, the New Zealand public have no alternative to the climate alarmism bias in any major media outlet, leaving them with no option but to be spoon fed the alarmist perspective. In my last post I discussed the self-censorship of the media over the scandal of the scientific fraud being conducted by NIWA. This is the other side of the coin, which is the relentless bias against any view/policy that goes against climate alarmism. It is a very, very sorry state of affairs.