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Right-wing media and politicians downplay climate change’s effect on floods

Right-wing media and politicians downplay climate change’s effect on floods

Right-wing media, politicians play down climate change's impact on floods

As parts of NSW and Queensland are still under floodwater, prominent voices in Australia’s right-wing media and right-wing groups have begun to downplay any link to climate change — if they mention it at all. 

Climate change denialists in positions d’influence have used the week that has passed since the latest damning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. The same approach was used for the Australian bushfiresTo challenge the scientific consensus that freak weather is becoming more frequent, more extreme.

News Corp’s climate change denialist-in-chief Andrew Bolt’s response to the Lismore floods was to lThere have been a number of recent climate emergencies — something that seemingly proves the case for an increasingly volatile climate — to argue that they are exploited to promote the idea of climate change: “Here come the vultures again.”

Bolt claims that global warming has made it possible for farmers to have a bumper winter, despite people grieving for their lives, livelihoods, homes, and livelihoods. (Australian farmers have been among the best in the world at adjusting to the climate crisis, but this doesn’t mean it’s helping them. It is quite the contrary.) 

Bolt’s Sky News stablemate Chris Smith also criticised Scientists and the mediaFor linking floods to climate change.

“Well, now we’ve got the climate change warriors using these disasters to blame a warming planet and CO2 emissions. Horrible timing. Yet the greenest of scientists maintain that you simply cannot link climate change to single disasters,” he said.

Smith instead blames the influence of La Niña, the climate pattern that This has been made more extreme, according to research by the US’s scientific body, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Paul Murray, Sky News host, made the same accusation about politicising climate. say that Scott Morrison is being “dehumanised” by the criticism

Another strategy is to refer to historical records of floods in the past to argue that they are not a result of climate change.

Advance Australia is a right-wing advocacy group which pulled In the 2021-21 fiscal year, donations total $1.3 Million, delved in Bureau of Meteorology records to claim these floods were actually very normal: “Since the 1890s there have been nine weather stations that have recorded more than a metre of rain over a four-day period (see below).”

According to Facebook, this was shared hundreds of times and had thousands of engagements, making it one of most viral pieces of content about Australia’s floods last week. 

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Damage to the Durban coastline in 2007 from the biggest recorded storm in the history of South Africa’s east coast. Photo: Supplied

Unfortunately their evidence doesn’t quite stack up. Records from before the 1900s are less accurate. The nine records are from February 1893. Four were from the same time period. Five records were from before the 20th Century. None of the records were from within the past 30 years. While there are many factors influencing floods, climate change affects the weather on top of existing variability.

Malcolm Roberts, One Nation MP, and Mark Latham, One Nation MPs, both played on the same misinterpretation. They cited old records or shared old photos of floods. Rather than addressing climate change — something that both men deny — Roberts argues instead for dams.

And what about the responses of others on climate change Silence. News Corp’s Facebook pages for The Australian, The Daily TelegraphThe Herald Sun haven’t mentioned climate change in the past week. Sky News Australia’s page mentioned it three times — all to say it wasn’t relevant or isn’t happening. 

(Image: Supplied)

The Climate Council noted Monday that Morrison was not mentioned Climate ChangeReferring to weather emergencies

“And yet there has been no official statement or acknowledgment of the role of worsening climate change in these mega floods by our prime minister, our deputy prime minister or even our minister for emissions reduction. Not a word,” CEO Amanda McKenzie said. 

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