The Verdict: Murdoch Mass Media Is Not Our Friend

The Verdict: Murdoch Mass Media Is Not Our Friend

A few words for the Brisbane Courier Mail and the supposedly joyous news that the Great Barrier Reef is totally fine.

by Elle McDonald.

Today I purchased my first newspaper; The Courier Mail. It featured: a big, bold-lettered front page reading “The Verdict: Our icon is NOT in danger - Great Barrier Relief - DEFEAT OF THE GREEN SMEAR”. You get the picture. Naturally I scoffed and marched off infuriated. I’m not one to waste my time on the crap that is passed off as ‘news’; complete fiction for the average Australian who will repeat it as fast hard fact. But as I ordered my Sunday morning pot of tea and sat to wait, curiosity caught me. And so I nipped off to purchase my first newspaper.

So who are you Brian Williams (the article's author)? And why is your misinformed, backward and ignorant opinion the one that will be dished right into the mouths of Australians on this delightful Sunday morning?

“Scientists have accepted enough has been done to preserve the icon”? Well shit, I studied environmental science and I’m pretty sure the verdict is out on climate change old chap. If we continue the fossil fuel hungry rampage guided by misinformation from fossil tools, coral reefs - one of the world’s most beautiful yet sensitive ecosystems- will become one of the first to collapse and become extinct.

Yet, alas, you write and whine about the economy. ‘Oh but if we list the reef as in danger, as this green smear campaign would have us do, we would loose billions of tourism revenue!’ Well would you prefer a bleached coral graveyard? Water temperature changes as slight as 0.4 °C can cause coral to expel its symbiotic zooxanthellae algae- the organism which gives coral it’s bright colours. Any changes in the acidity of water, which we are seeing as a result of increased greenhouse gas emissions, can also have this effect.

To put it rather bluntly, if we don’t get off our arses and act bravely and thoroughly to mitigate climate change we won’t even have a reef to protect. And even the most dim-witted economist could tell you that whatever “damage” caused to tourism by listing the Great Barrier Reef as in danger would be but a drop in the ocean compared to losing the reef completely.

But ol’ Brian Williams, why should you care? And why should the Queensland State or Federal Government for that matter care? You don’t, because you’re all going to die. These old fools raping our land, making our decisions, working with all their might to misinform our opinions will die rich and corrupt. And who will be left to live with the consequences? Us. Living with consequences of policies that were made for us, ways of life we didn’t choose.

We risk being caught up in the glitz and glamour of youth; forgetting our future and the future of our living, breathing planet. The old ways will die out, times will change, but it’s slow. Too slow. Our Mother needs us now; the next five years are critical if we have any chance protecting our planet’s ecosystems and species. As the generation that will be living the impacts of climate change it’s our responsibility to take a stand. A stand against outdated leaders, outdated technologies and an outdated relationship with our environment.

We’re the generation of innovation and have within our grasp the science and technology to make sustainability not only possible, but economically viable. There are dozens of incredible organisations empowering young Australians to make this movement a reality; the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Fossil Free are perfect examples.

So volunteer, go to a meeting, even just kick up the conversation about this issue with your friends and family. It’s so important that we come together and empower each other. I know how damn easy it is to feel helpless against the corporate, political powerhouse working with clenched fists and gritted teeth to prevent change.

So a big thank you to the Courier Mail. Yes you are feeding ignorance this Sunday morning, but the age of ignorance is dying. You have fanned a flame in me that I know is a flame in youth all over the country. Your time is up.