The Herald Sun’s War on Science #3: Boilerplate Propaganda

Boilerplate climate change denial: watch it spread


The HUN continues it’s fine tradition of allowing journalists with no expertise or understanding of science to wage war against it. Apart from misrepresenting the science, they also help circulate denialist propaganda by importing it from the major denialist blogs and web sites and injecting into our own media.    

Let’s look at a recent example from the HUN’s business writer, Terry McCrann    

McCrann is not a name you would normally associate with climate denialism. Alongside Andrew Bolt, he wages a personal war on science. Indeed, the two often tag-team, with Bolt frequently tipping his hat to McCrann. McCrann also writes for The Australian, another Murdoch owned publication also known for it’s continuing war on science.    

Earth Hour feeding frenzy    

In the lead up to Earth Hour, both Bolt and McCrann worked themselves up into a frenzy. What was notable was McCrann’s use of what can only be described as “boilerplate” denier propaganda: the satellite image of the Korean peninsula, showing the North in darkness and the South illuminated (Putting North Korea’s name up in lights, The Herald Sun. March 25 2010);    

…The land where the lights are permanently out, as the famous satellite photograph shows of the stunning difference between the northern and southern ends of the Korean peninsula.    

Indeed, to be more exact, the North Korean lights aren’t just out – they’ve never literally been turned on. As the country bypassed the 20th century, going from the 19th back to the 19th, picking up only nuclear weapons on the journey.    

Nothing better captures the utter inanity of the cult of global warming and its characterisation of carbon dioxide as an even greater Satan than George W. Bush’s America than Earth Hour. Insufferably smarmy, quite pointless, contradictory, utterly inchoate…”    

McCrann then works himself up with greater gusto:    

“…The ABA and its member banks are participating because Earth Hour raises awareness – not Gaia-consciousness? – of the “simple steps we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint”.    

That has beautifully twisted echoes of George Orwell’s image in 1984 of the future … “imagine a boot stamping on a human face … forever”.    

For now, as even the bankers recognise and faithfully chant, the far more horrifying image is of a “carbon footprint on the face of Gaia … forever”.    

This is the link the denial machine wants’ people to make: between climate science and totalitarianism. Yes, those nasty “greens” are wanting to stomp on our faces! This isn’t an opinion, it’s a paranoid fantasy.    

What authority McCrann has in regards to science is anyone’s guess, however the “North Korea = Earth Hour” meme is not of McCrann’s invention. It’s boiler plate denialist propaganda that was circulated in the lead up to Earth Hour.    

Don’t believe me?    

Let’s look at some of the more prominent denialist sites.    

Have boiler plate, will publish propaganda    

Nothing demonstrates just how much of an echo chamber the denial movement is then when they publish the same material over the space of a few days.    

From the paranoid US site, Prison Planet:    

Say haven't we...


From Watts up with that?    

...seen that image...


And from Andrew Bolt himself:    



Yes, Orwell would weep. But not for the reasons McCrann would imagine.    

(Note: I wonder what Media Watch would make of this?)

10 thoughts on “The Herald Sun’s War on Science #3: Boilerplate Propaganda

  1. Ken says:

    Yes, I have noticed this. Mind you just watch #climategate on twitter and you see the same thing – although there it is a case of evolution. The tweets change with time to become more offensive. “Mistake” morphs into “fraud.” “Exoneration” into “whitewash,” etc. And very rapidly, too.

  2. Sou says:

    Good catch, Mike.

    When I counter a deniosaur’s claims on a forum, often all I have to do is copy a chunk of their text and paste it into google. It’s amazing and alarming how one little snippet of text can show up hundreds of identical articles posted all over the net, and how fast the copy and pasters work. It’s also good to check the names of the websites, because often a good site will have posted a rebuttal already. Like Watching the Deniers does so well 😀 (How’s that for flattery!)

    (The same technique works just as well with nasty chain emails.)

  3. Robert James says:

    Not many facts here just the usual going for the man instead of the ball by the same folks who continually deny that figures have been fudged, lies have been told and the biggest hoax perpetuated on mankind has come about by this Climate Hoax (how about nature , sunspots natural cycles that change over centuries having something to do with it.)
    When are you pushers of this hoax going to realize that you are being led by a few greedy entities and individuals with their own agenda to make billions out of this gigantic scam ? What next an oxygen tax, flatulence tax ?
    How about a tax on the hot air coming from mouthsof these so called “saviours of the planet”

  4. Jackson says:

    You can agree with all the science and still think Earth hour was a lame idea.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Indeed – what difference does an hour make? Changing our consumption levels and more importantly switching to renewable sources is really the main game.

  5. sailrick says:

    ‘That has beautifully twisted echoes of George Orwell’s image in 1984 of the future … “imagine a boot stamping on a human face … forever”.’

    How ironic. This message is curtesy of those whose boot is now stamping on a human face.

  6. […] debate on the issue” is simply code for “we like to deny the science”. Again, George Orwell would weep with how our language is being abused by the denial […]

  7. Ballina NSW says:

    Are there honestly people who still believe in man made climate change.You are dangerous people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: