Threats by editor-in-chief of the Australian Chris Mitchell to sue journalism academic Julie Posetti are all bluff. Mitchell has for years been criticised for the newspaper’s coverage of climate change and the attacks appear to be getting to him.

Three years ago I and my publisher, Black Inc, were threatened with legal action by journalists at The Australian over what I had written about the paper in my book Scorcher. I had accused the newspaper under Mitchell’s editorship of running a virulently anti-greenhouse line, allowing the news pages to become a parody of dispassionate journalism, verballing scientists and attacking science in pursuit of a larger ideological battle.