Category Archives: Gina Rinehart

Gina’s address to the nation: with special captions! (click image)

South Africa, August 12 2012, 34 miners shot dead in “self defence” by security forces:

South African president Jacob Zuma has announced an official probe into the deaths, which he said were shocking and unacceptable.

“The militant group stormed toward the police, firing shots and wielding dangerous weapons,” Riah Phiyega told a news conference on Friday.

“Police retreated systematically and were forced to utilise maximum force to defend themselves. The total death (toll) of the protesters currently stands at 34, with more than 78 injured.”

So far 259 people have been arrested on various charges stemming from the clash on Thursday at the platinum mine run by London-listed Lonmin, she said.

Resource curse: just to be clear, Rinehart want’s Fairfax to benefit her mining interests

Via Ben Cubby at The Age/Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax), who quotes a media analyst:

“Fairfax Media is worth more broken up and its major shareholder Gina Rinehart should launch a takeover bid now so her mining interests can benefit from shifting the group’s editorial positions ahead of next year’s federal election, according to a media analyst.

Roger Colman, an analyst with CCZ Equities and a well-known critic of the media group, declared Fairfax to be a “break-up proposition”.

Mrs Rinehart’s private company Hancock Prospecting, which already owns 15 per cent of Fairfax, “needs to launch a partial bid now”, to “position” the mastheads “well before the October 2013 election,” he added…”

Let’s stop pretending that Ms Rinehart has suddenly found Fairfax to be an attractive take over target because of its “unrealised” potential.

Her media plays have been disastrous: one need look no further than Ten Network Holdings (the owner of Channel Ten) as the share price has tanked since the mining magnate joined the board.

Her two great achievements as a board member?

Getting Andrew Bolt his very own television show and questioning whether or not “The Simpsons” should be screened as it ran counter against “family values”.

Rinehart is fast becoming one of the richest people on the planet: by throwing a few million at Fairfax the only thing she stands to lose is the equivalent of the pocket-money that used to go to her estranged children.

Either Fairfax will die or become the mouth piece of “the house of Hancock”. Both are win-wins for Rinehart as she buys influence and silences a source of criticism.

Rinehart’s only interest is in shaping public opinion on climate change, her ANDEV project and boostering mining. In case you missed it, the now infamous Monckton video where he outlines the need for one of Australia’s super-rich to come in an reshape the media landscape:

Fairfax starts trumpeting Rinehart’s agenda: today’s op-ed by climate crank David Evans

It should come no surprise that The Age has started publishing opinion pieces sceptical of climate change after Gina Rinehart’s share buying spree and the appointment of her close friend Jack Cowen to the Fairfax board.

Today The Age published a piece by climate crank David Evans:

“…There are huge vested interests in the theory of man-made climate change. They will soon have to face up to the fact that they have been unwittingly relying on assumed amplification by humidity for most of the predicted temperature increases, and that the amplification is not there in reality.”

Oh lordy!

And so it begins.

Gina Rinehart – who now has a huge stake in Fairfax – has spoken approvingly of Evans work (see here):

”Further you may wish to consider the scientist and mathematician, Dr David Evans view in an article titled “Evidence Speaks – It’s a Scam”, he has recently provided four other evidential tests against which global warming can be assessed, which have been independently confirmed by others.

The four key pieces of evidence that Evans presents, and the graphs which relate to each, are available here at (http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf). They concern the complex computer climate models that provide the main basis for warming alarmism…”

Evans is the man who likes to call himself a “rocket” scientist”, even though he has not worked at NASA.

He also “suspects” a vast cabal of banking families are behind the “climate scam”.

To quote Evans himself:

“…There are a small number of families who, over the centuries, have amassed wealth through financial rent seeking. They are leading members of the paper aristocracy. For example, the Rothschild’s are the biggest banking family in Europe, and were reputed to own half of all western industry in 1900. That sort of wealth doesn’t just dissipate, because unless the managers are incompetent the wealth tends to concentrate. The banking families don’t work for a living in the normal sense, like the rest of us. They avoid scrutiny and envy by blending in and make themselves invisible. Since they own or influence all sorts of media organizations, it isn’t too hard. There are unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories, but nobody can really credibly say how much wealth and influence they have…

And Fairfax feels fit to give such cranks a public platform? Actually, I’m not at all surprised. This leaves no doubt that the Rinehart is seeking to use Fairfax to push her agenda.

So that completes the circle: News Corporation and now Fairfax in the hands of billionaire climate change deniers.

We all saw this coming.

“How much for your democracy?”

Cartoon for the day:

Oh Lordy: Monckton rejected by his own political party, but “Uncle” Monckton’s effect on Australia’s media landscape is still playing out

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is typical of the right-wing extremist parties plaguing the European political scene: anti-immigration, anti-European Union, demands more funding for the military, small government and against same-sex marriage.

You know – the usual grab bag of idée fixe of older, angry white men.

With such a platform it was little wonder that “Lord” Christopher Monckton – he of climate denial fame – was attracted to the UKIP. Indeed, for some time he was the party’s deputy leader.

Well no more it seems as DeSmogBlog reports.

It seems Monckton is too extreme for the extremists. Guardian reporter Leo Hickman reports the UKIP now regards Monckton as a “loose cannon” and is cutting ties with the eccentric “Yes I am!” (but not actually) wannbe member of the House of Lords:

“…I asked if there had been a falling out between Monckton and the current UKIP leader, Nigel Farage. Towler said not, but said that Monckton – whom he described as a “17th century pamphleteer” – was sometimes the source of “frustration” and was “very much Lord Pearson’s man – they own contiguous shooting estates in Scotland”. Towler added that Monckton had been active in the party at a time when it was “not drowning in talent”, but the recent surge in popularity for the party had seen a fresh influx of personnel. Monckton was a “loose cannon”, said Towler, but Helmer is a “tied-down cannon, pointed in the same direction”.”

Rinehart and “Uncle” Monckton

Earlier this year Monckton was caught on video advising that a very rich “someone” invest in Australia’s media in order to reshape the political debate:

As many of pointed out, Gina Rinehart’s play for Fairfax seems to be part of the strategy outlined by Monckton. Rinehart has a penchant for listening to the advice of eccentric daddy figures like Plimer and Monckton – she takes her climate scepticism from “Uncle” Plimer and her “politics” from “Uncle” Monckton.

The thought that an extremist rejected as a ‘loose cannon” by the extremist UKIP somehow shaping the Australian media landscape is indeed terrifying

Rinehart vs the media: “disappointed and surprised” mining magnate had her climate change denial edited

Robert Mann has written an insightful piece on Lord Monckton’s role in “inspiring” Gina Rinehart’s Fairfax play. The now infamous video was initially taken down by the Mannkal Foundation but is now available online once more (see here).

“The Plan”: total control of the media?

Obviously there has been a great deal of speculation about Rinehart and her attempt to gain greater control of Fairfax these past few weeks.

Personally, I believe it demonstrates an attempt an eccentric billionaire and her coterie of pet climate sceptics to subvert the Australian media. Not satisfied with the anti-science agenda of News Limited’s Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and The Australian (and New’s 70% share of the print media), Rinehart & Co are looking to dominate the media landscape with their particular brand of conservative-libertarian politics.

Monckton names those apparently working to reshape the Australian media landscape:  

“…I would be very happy to work with people like Jo Nova and Andrew Bolt etc. to put together a business plan for such a thing if the idea would be generally supported and then we’ll see if we can get someone to be an angel funder…”

I think we can say with little doubt they found their “Angel funder” with Rinehart. However it concerns me greatly that cranks like Monckton and Nova – and Bolt – are having such a profound influence on Australia’s media.

Influential people: one billionaire’s frustration with the media

My concern has prompted me to dig into the some of the more prominent blogs and sites of the Australian denial movement for further hints of Rinehart’s activities. Thanks to Jo Nova’s need to name drop on her blog, we have an insight into Rinehart’s “frustration” with the media and her desire to reshape the industry.

In a December 2011 post on her blog, Jo Nova details a meeting with Gina Rinehart at the Mannkal Foundation’s Christmas party (a libertarian think tank that hosted the original video).

Nova notes a number of “influential people” who happen to be climate sceptics, but are also frustrated with the media and science community for their apparent “bias” against sceptics.

Nova then goes on to describe Rinehart’s disappointment at having an article she wrote for the magazine, Australian Resources and Investment, edited.  

“… Ladies and Gentlemen, the Internet is the gift of gifts. How easy would it have been for the government departments, coopted scientists, and obedient media to have gotten away with the outrageous scam of forcing us to pay to change the weather? Their lock on the mainstream media would have made it easy to disguise the truth. And yet, it crumbles (all bar the Antipodes).

Then last week, I met Gina Rinehart at the Mannkal Christmas party, and she was keen to let me know that she’d mentioned David and the key points of evidence in an article for the Australian Resources and Investment publication.

A day later, Gina Rinehart was disappointed and surprised that the editors decided to cut her description of the scientific evidence — though those of us who explain science have learnt to expect that. (It’s as if editors are deathly afraid a scientific argument might bore the readers, when here, below, if readers didn’t already know it, are the blockbuster points that back up her claims.) It’s clear she is well versed. She’s carefully picked out the most important points. I’m grateful she’s given me permission to reprint the excerpts of her article, most especially the unpublished parts. Naturally, any credit for what Gina knows belongs to Gina, but — credit where credit is due — thanks to Monckton, Carter and Plimer too.

What is interesting that even in a magazine extremely friendly to the mining industry Rinehart couldn’t get her climate change denial published. As a consequence, Rinehart expressed “disappointment and surprise”.

What better way to alleviate that disappointment than simply “buy-out” sections of the media? If you’re fast becoming one of the world’s richest people, why not add a complacent media to empire in order to “shape” the public debate?

Nova states in this post Rinehart had “given her permission” to publish the edited extracts of her article on her blog – clearly a lot of discussion and is going on behind the scenes.

Rinehart’s scepticism: channelling Plimer, Carter, Evans et.al

Nova reproduces the missing part of Rinehart’s article which I’ve captured below. It contains the usual grab bag of climate sceptic arguments. Indeed, Rinehart simply regurgitates standard denier talking points:

  • “CO2 has no effect”
  • “The climate has always changed”
  • “Temperature records are unreliable”
  • “Computer models cant’ be trusted”

She cites David Evans as a primary source for arguments. Rinehart also repeats many of the discredited talking points made by the likes of Ian Plimer and Bob Carter.

Given Rinehart’s wealth, power and influence it pays to have some insight into her views on climate and her brand of “scepticism”. It gives us the necessary context in analysing her moves into the media industry, support for climate change scepticism and her obsession with the ANDEV project.

Rinehart on Climate Change: in her own words

Here is what didn’t go into Rinehart’s article, in which she attempted to present the “scientific evidence” against climate change:

Please consider the following scientific evidence:

1. The atmosphere currently has <0.04% CO2, in former times it was up to 30%.  Six of the six great ice ages formed at a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide was far higher than now. Clearly, this did not drive warming.

2. For 80% of past geological time, planet Earth has been warmer than today, with far more CO2 in the atmosphere. Clearly, this warming was neither irreversible nor catastrophic.

3. At times in the past (Carboniferous, Cretaceous, Eocene) the Earth experienced sudden injections of CO2 into the atmosphere.  In response, the planet warmed slightly but less than daily changes we experience now and not in an irreversible or catastrophic way.

4. Ice cores from Antarctica show that atmospheric CO2 increases around 800 years after natural events of warming i.e. natural warming drives carbon dioxide emissions, not the inverse.

5.Over the last 120,000 years, there have been 25 periods of warming where temperature rose by up to 8 deg C. These were not driven by human emissions, were natural and were neither irreversible nor catastrophic.

6.Sea level rose 130 metres between 12,000 and 6,000 years ago and temperatures were at a maximum 6,000 years ago. For the last 6,000 years we have been cooling with intermittent warm periods (Minoan, Roman, Medieval, Modern). In the first three warming periods, it was far warmer than now, sea level did not rise and such warmings clearly were not a result of atmospheric carbon dioxide increases. The Modern Warming commenced 300 years ago.  It has not been demonstrated which part of this warming is natural and which part is of human origin, and since 1998 the Earth has been cooling despite a rapid rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

7. Since thermometer measurements were first being taken the Earth has warmed (1860-1880), cooled (1880-1910), warmed (1910-1940), cooled (1940-1977), warmed (1977-1998) and cooled (1998-present). Humans really started to emit carbon dioxide from 1940, and the two earlier warmings were at the same rate as the 1977-1998 warming.  Hence it has not been shown that there is a human influence on warming. At present, carbon dioxide emissions are increasing yet we are cooling.

8. The IPCC states that 97% of carbon dioxide emissions are natural and only 3% are human. It has not been scientifically shown how the 3% contribution can drive global warming when the 97% does not.

9. There is no science-based argument for CO2 being the dominant greenhouse gas; instead, CO2 is a minor greenhouse component whose effect is greatly overshadowed by that of water vapour.

10. To get carbon dioxide, a plant food, into perspective, for every one carbon dioxide molecule of human origin there are 32 of natural origin in a total of 88,000 other molecules. It has yet to be shown that this one molecule in 88,000 drives climate change and there is only information to the contrary because no past climate changes (which were larger and more rapid than anything we measure today) were driven by carbon dioxide, certainly not human induced, and what we measure today is within variability.

 ”Further you may wish to consider the scientist and mathematician, Dr David Evans view in an article titled “Evidence Speaks – It’s a Scam”, he has recently provided four other evidential tests against which global warming can be assessed, which have been independently confirmed by others.

The four key pieces of evidence that Evans presents, and the graphs which relate to each, are available here at (http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf). They concern the complex computer climate models that provide the main basis for warming alarmism, and in summary are:”

1. That the climate models used by the United Nations (IPCC) to promote warming alarm are fundamentally flawed, and exaggerate measured atmospheric temperature increases.

2.That the climate models predict the oceans should be warming. We’ve only been measuring ocean temperature properly since 2003, using the ARGO system, and now 3,000 ARGO buoys patrol and measure ocean temperature constantly. They say that the ocean temperature since 2003 has been basically flat. Again, reality is very different to the climate models.

3.That the climate models predict a particular pattern of atmospheric warming during periods of global warming, which is the presence of a so-called hotspot of warming at about 10 km height in the tropics. But we have been measuring atmospheric temperatures by weather balloons since the 1960s, and millions of weather balloon measurements show that there was no such hotspot during the last phase of warming between 1975 and 2001.

4. And, satellites are now able to measure the outgoing radiation from the earth, and have established that the earth gives off more heat when the surface is warmer, and less heat in months when the earth’s surface is cooler. But again the climate models say the opposite, and predict that the Earth will give off less heat when the surface is warmer.

“There’s talk that the government will subsidize this cost for some of us – look at what’s happening in Europe and USA where governments became too big, overstretched themselves and their expenditures, created extensive debt problems, with the obvious consequences of pressure to raise taxes, and, recession.  What happens in recession, the rich have less discretionary expenditure, but those who are most hurt by recession are those on limited fixed incomes, pensioners, those on low and low to middle incomes, those on middle incomes especially where only one adult is in the work force.”

I noted this article some time ago, and it gave me pause back then. Rinehart and Nova in discussions? But I didn’t write on it, as I’d put WtD was on hold.

The whole affair has made me acutely aware of the need to pay better attention to the publications, videos and articles of the denial movement. More care and diligence is required.

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