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May 19, 2011

News' revenge: editorial pages rain down on Brown's crusade

News Limited has struck back against claims by Bob Brown it is misrepresenting the climate change debate, accusing the Greens leader on its editorial pages of cracking under the pressure of increased media scrutiny.


News Limited has struck back against claims by Bob Brown it is misrepresenting the climate change debate, accusing the Greens leader on its editorial pages of cracking under the pressure of increased media scrutiny.

Senator Brown yesterday criticised the Australian media — in particular News Limited and The Australian — for the way it reports on climate change, labelling News the “hate media” and accusing them of “doing a great disservice to the nation”.

Brown launched the swingeing attack at a press conference in Canberra, after journalists repeatedly pressed him for details about the proposed carbon tax and asylum seekers.

“I think it’s very essential to take that on at the moment because I think the Murdoch media is doing a great disservice to this nation in perhaps the most important debate of the century so far, which is how we tackle climate change,” he told the assembled press pack.

Brown accused some sections of the media of not being balanced because they failed to get “both sides of the story”. Instead, he said, they relied on opinion instead of facts.

“Its not what you would read in other countries around the world and I think that needs taking on,” he said.

In his news report today, James Massola from The Australian said Brown’s onslaught was a “well-worn routine — questioning the questioners” and noted the Senator had been taken on at the press conference by journalists from three other organisations — Fairfax, Channel 10 and The West Australian — not News Limited.

Massola quoted The Australian‘s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell as saying the paper was “unaware of any complaints from Senator Brown” and would be “happy to talk to him if he has any”:

“I believe we have probably done more to give honest scrutiny to the carbon tax than any other newspaper and, of course, we have long supported a market-based mechanism for dealing with climate change.”

In an editorial published after last year’s federal election, The Australian called for The Greens to be “destroyed at the ballot box”:

“Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown’s criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.”

Murdoch tabloid stablemates the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph both hit back at Brown in their editorials this morning — telling him to harden up and expect more of the same scrutiny…

The Hun said it would cop Brown’s “bizzare attack” if that meant the paper could “get at the truth” of Brown’s plans for a carbon tax: “We are against a carbon tax and we believe it is our job to question just how how much you want to tax Australians.”

Sydney sister paper The Daily Telegraph welcomed Brown to the “real world” and said, until recently, he’d received a “dream run from the media”. That was all about to change, the Tele warned: “Welcome to real politics, Bob. If it’s too hot for you, you can always just quit.”

Andrew Bolt on his blog said Brown’s comments amounted to a media “meltdown” and his “obsession” with attacking News Limited was “unnerving”. The Australian‘s Media diarist Caroline Overington noted that Bob Brown had the nerve to slam the press “in French, no less” (emphasis hers).

On its op-ed pages, The Australian‘s Dennis Shanahan said the broadside was evidence the Green’s leader is under pressure:

“For the first time the Australian Greens’ leader is being treated just as he has always wanted to be, as the leader of a mainstream political party. Unfortunately, it’s not quite turning out as he had hoped.”

Hugh Riminton from Channel Ten asked the Greens grandfather figure at the presser yesterday whether his stinging words amounted to a change in tactics, to which the Senator responded in the affirmative:

“I’m being very much on the front foot here because I think the media, with some very good exceptions, can at times lose track of the fact that it’s part of the process of moving Australia into a much more secure future with a more secure lifestyle, economy and job creation prospects.”

One journalist, Fairfax radio reporter Michael Pachi, repeatedly challenged Brown on his views, asking him why he was “obsessed” with attacking News and the “press you don’t like”.

Brown said his words were “all part of the democratic discourse” and the media should “measure up to your own rules”: “The Murdoch press comes out every day and bags out the Greens, why one rule for you and not one for the others?”

Fairfax Radio hosts rushed to Pachi’s defence yesterday and this morning. 3AW talkback tsar Neil Mitchell branded Brown a “twit” and a “dill” for his remarks and said the attack was “proof … we shouldn’t be in Bob Brown’s hands at all”.

Gary Hardgrave from 4BC called Brown “delusional”, while 2UE host Paul Murray said the Greens leader turns every press conference into an opportunity to slander the media.

In comments possibly unrelated to the press conference, Media Monitors recorded 5AA host Bob Francis calling Brown a “son of a bitch”.


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178 thoughts on “News’ revenge: editorial pages rain down on Brown’s crusade

  1. arty

    I don’t always agree with Bob Brown, but this time…

  2. paddy

    Pure gold Crikey and a thousand thanks to Bob Brown for a masterful performance. 😀

  3. ewaterford

    Love how cheerful he is the whole time. Makes it hard to put that on the news and claim he’s ‘whinging’.

  4. shepherdmarilyn

    Excellent, after Newsltd have been trying to destroy them.

    Just 43 more days and they have the balance of power in the senate and no more Fielding.

  5. macchiato marxist

    On the drum, thom woodroofe called bob brown naive and that he was merely whinging. obviously he and glenn milne deny that news ltd, in particular, the australian, have engaged in a concerted effort to destroy (news ltd editors own words) the greens. to see a guy who can barely grow three whiskers calling a veteran politician and political leader naive is fun to watch.

  6. edumf

    Well done Bob Brown for telling it like it is.

    Rupert’s machiavellian international project for decades now has simply to sell more news, and to counter or oppose viewpoints not in News Limited’s financial interests, usually done in the name of under the guise of ‘ free speech’.
    Governments come and go, but the corporation marches on, from continent to continent, shaping opinion in the ways it chooses.

    The sad thing is that because of the symbiotic propaganda feedback loop that exists between the Murdoch press and the dominant opinions of the Australian populace, where New Limited outweighs in newspaper readership the numbers of all other media in Australia, their polling confirms that Australian public opinion across many issues, now largely reflects the slant which News Limited publications consistently convey. They see it as reflecting public opinion, but New Limited polls provide more of a measure of success as to how well their message is selling.

    No it is not a conspiracy !

    It just that News Limited is the major player in Australian politics now. Has been for decades.

  7. rubiginosa

    “Don’t be so tetchy, just measure up to your own rules…Don’t get too upset, this is just part of the democratic discourse…Fragile, I’d say — very fragile.”

    Skewered them.

  8. michael r james

    Yes, Marilyn, but the weak link lies with Labor. They just seem helpless deer in the headlights of News Ltd. They continue to write Opinion pieces for The Australian! And interviews with Alan Jones. It doesn’t seem to matter how rude they are or how much they distort the facts in “reportage”, Labor remains supine.

    They could introduce legislation that would bring us more into line with other countries, say the USA.
    1. Owners of media must be citizens and the companies must be based in Australia.
    2. Max share of market: probably about 30%

    The Brits complain bitterly about Murdoch where he has “only” 35% of media, but we let him (a non-citizen) have 70%.

    If I was granted a single wish in Australian public affairs this would be it, because it poisons/crippled out entire body politic.

  9. rhwombat

    “You come out here and you bag the Murdoch press every day!” Precious.

  10. Rastafella

    in tha rastaullas own paraphrased words

    “Murdoch has ta take responsibility for debasing the nation via his media distortin tha truth”.

    Our media should be there to reprort tha facts man or ta offa analysis, an declairn war on a political party should remain the relm of political parties. Either the dark lord owns a news outlet or a political mouthpiece. An we all know what tit tis now a?

  11. Mark Tomasz

    “The Australian” wtte: “We will destroy the Greens politically”

    BB: “You are full of opinion and no news”

    Hurt Reporters: “Daddy, he’s picking on us!!”

  12. Marty

    Who was that whiny prick who kept asking all the questions? I may have to break a long standing habit and read the OO to see how they react.

  13. SHV

    Perhaps the ACCC should look into it?

    Of course we should make it illegal for a foreigner to directly control such a majority of our media, but his indirect control – via content such as “…we see in today’s papers that…”(local slang for the ABC is now either ‘Radio Rupert’ or ‘His ABC’) , is almost total.

    But doesn’t the ACCC now come into play with this level of effective ‘market’ manipulation and control? The ‘market’ isn’t just ad sales, it is core to a functional democracy.

    The Greens would be able to introduce a law in the Senate. All they would need is public support.

    Time to stop Murdoch’s Monopoly on our freedom of speech.

  14. sickofitall

    What drags this country down is the stupid, puerile, self-important media: it’s the media that gave us Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard. there’s always been stupidity and corruption: that’s human nature. But never has it been so prominent.

  15. rubiginosa

    The Unbearable Whininess of Being Michael Pachi.


    “It’s not news” “It’s not what you’d read in other countries around the world”

    Touche Bob!

    “You don’t like it when we take you on” (ie the media) so “live up to your own rules”

    Bless ‘im.

    Now, Greens, get your head out of your rectums and look at the data: ‘renewables’ will not replace base load power by a country mile and the ONLY way to replace coal without CO2 is nuclear.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  17. Barry 09

    Fragile ! Ha Ha 11/10 Bolty will be bouncing off the walls. the screws are loosening.

  18. Liz A

    Aaah Christopher, I will take you on…. It is, after all, still #trollday… We actually don’t NEED to replace all baseload energy with renewable: this is a fallacy created by the coal lobby (of which I was an employee). For the next 10 to 20 years we only need to reduce coal-fired generation from it’s current 80% generation level DOWN to an actual caseload level of, say, 40%… The point is that coal can and probably always will provide baseload generation in Australia: we actually need responsive mid-merit plant to reduce existing redundancies in the system to manage daily ramp in the system. From a system management perspective we are totally overdone on coal, and need to reduce it REGARDLESS of a carbon price.

    All this “we must have nuclear” is completely irrelevant in the current electricity market!

  19. Go for it!

    We all now that Murdoch is a control freak but the latest efforts by News Corp in Australia to denigrate the Gillard government at all times is a disgrace and the worst I have see for a very long time and runs the risk of changing the nature of politics in the nation forever!

    Great to see Bob Brown have the balls to take these whineing losers on .Its only a pity that the APL dont have the same courage to stand up to Murdochs baying mob as well.
    Having had a bit to do with the “press” over the years I know you can NEVER really trust them even if you think they are your friend – they are not and will backstab you to get a story.In saying that the supercilious two faced Glen Milne comes to mind!LOL


    Liz, we both agree that cutting emissions is the goal. Now, all we have to do is get past the ‘nukes are evil’ thing, and look at the facts, which are that without removing coal from the equation it’s impossible to make 450ppm.

    Your move.

  21. Go for it!

    By the way I think you will find Murdoch is not a foreigner but holds dual citizenship which he had the law changed here to suit himself.

    I think it was the Murdoch arselicker Hawke who had the law changed to suit his mate!The sooner the old bastard departs this planet the better it will be for all of us as I would expect News Corp to break up fairly quickly without “daddy” at the helm.

  22. Arlen

    Great stuff from Bob Brown but agree with you Christopher Dunne, if the Greens are serious about climate change they need to crunch the numbers and accept that nuclear is necessary.

    Nuclear opponents seem to forget that in a low carbon future we will be replacing many of the fossil fuels we burn today for transport etc. with more efficient electricity, so despite an overall reduction in energy use, a large increase in electricity production will be required.

  23. negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com

    Just watch now as the pack of News Ltd dogs turn on Malcolm Turnbull after his candid remarks about how we should respond to climate change.

  24. guytaur

    It will be interesting if this comment left at Dennis Shanahan’s article is printed. The Australian is already in full discredit Senator Brown’s comments mode.

    News for you. The Greens have been facing scrutiny for years. Starting with all those years in Tasmania fighting for the preservation of Lake Peddar.
    What is new is the calling out of News Limited especially this paper in it’agenda as the Editor statement of “destroying the Greens”.
    No surprise that the Greens are highlighting the problems to the democratic process of that.
    Look forward to hearing the next MediaWatch.
    Keep up the good work. We may yet see legislation changed covering media ownership to destroy the Murdoch stranglehold on the nations media.

  25. twobob

    “We may yet see legislation changed covering media ownership to destroy the Murdoch stranglehold on the nations media.”

    This will be a test of what the Gillard government is all about. I do not trust politicians and they should not trust the murdocracy. It would not surprise me at all if the murdoch press starts to lay off on labor now or at least starts to lay into the coalition a little more fairly, because to keep upon the path that they are currently on is to keep reminding to the point of inviting the labor-greens controlled lower house and senate to rid themselves of the pestilence. For the good of Australia I hope they do enact legislation that nuts murdoch in Aus.

  26. Think Big

    Interestingly Fairfax is censoring my posts in the SMH this morning – probabaly because I dared to mention the elephant in the room – the hate media. It just vindicates my decision to subscribe to Crikey.

    Well done Bob Brown! I also agree with Twobob – I hope the government will enact some legislation regarding media ownership and accuracy. It seems too mucgh to hope for.

  27. Climate Change

    Bob Brown does not like anyone who disagrees with his extreme views and the extremer views of Sarah HY and Lee R.

  28. Marty

    No Climate Change. He doesn’t like people whose stated aim is to ‘Destroy’ his party (Editorial in The Australian, 10/9/10) and who regularly distort facts to support their denialist position.

  29. Climate Change

    Hi Marty

    I think The Greens are destroying themselves and come July 1, that will acelerate, especially with the new extremer Senators, one of which has documented family links to the former Communist Party of Australia. Scary

  30. Quizzical

    I’m with you.

    When I read his quote – ” it’s part of the process of moving Australia into a much more secure future with a more secure lifestyle, economy and job creation prospects.” – I realised he is beyond help or sympathy.

  31. Modus Ponens

    Lindsay Tanner writes a book about it in retirement – never did anything in the job.

    Bob is the real deal – and does it with gentle humour. I’m excited.

  32. The_roth

    For another example of Murdoch’s (international) escapades follow this link:


  33. monkeywrench

    @Climate change “the new extremer[sic] Senators, one of which has documented family links to the former Communist Party of Australia. Scary

    Ooh! Someone’s relative was a Commie! Expel them!
    Truly witless, pathetic trollism.

  34. swampfire

    Bob’s bloody well right about the B-grade fiction writers at News Ltd.

  35. solasaurus

    Good call Bob. The media is too important to be run by plutocrats.

  36. Bill Parker

    Bob Brown has my admiration. What you see is what you get.

    Rupert is keen on one thing only – money. If bagging the Greens, Brown or anyone else with “opinion” crap from his B-graders makes money, he’ll do it.

    Unfortunately this country of ours has a level of complacency that lets the B-graders ride over real debate.

  37. Liz A

    Christopher, the issue I have with nuke is both based on cost, type and timing.

    The current needs in the electricity generation mix in Australia are predominantly for mid-merit plant: plant that starts every day helps with the morning ramp up and evening ramp down, meets the daily peak and is flexible enough (on a 5-15 minute basis) to cope with intermittent generation in the system. At the moment coal is meeting that “need” (as well as the baseload) and is doing it inefficiently.

    By reducing coal-fired generation and replacing it with other mid-merit style plant: which includes solar and MUST include gas (but that could be bio-gas) we will improve the overall efficiencies in the electricity system, and therefore the total cost passed on to consumers.

    Nuke is in many ways worse than coal in its generation characteristics as it cannot be ramped, or even turned off: once it is on it must stay on and can’t change its generation levels in any real way. Therefore it is only really suitable to replace coal.

    Most cost estimates show that to replace a coal-fired plant in Australia with Nuke would require a consistent carbon price north of $70/tonne, exacerbated by the lack of economies of scale to build & staff in this country.

  38. jeffb

    It has been obvious for a long time that something is very wrong in the mainstream media, it doesn’t matter which side of the equation you’re on. Why are newspapers feeding us opinion based on their organisations political views ahead of the actual policies and hard data?

    I’m not interested in some opinion columnist telling me what to think, I would much rather make up my own mind after being presented with all the relevant details.

    What is the point in Freedom of the Press when the Press are willing to sell their freedom to the highest bidder? Crikey showed a year or two ago just how much of the average newspaper was nothing but PR.

    Media reforms are essential to the health of Australian democracy.

  39. paddy

    ROTFL In breaking news: Fresh from his “interruption” disguised as an interview of Bob Brown on abc730. Chris Uhlmann has burst into print today via The Drum, with a suitably snarky response to Bob’s lack of respect for the media.
    Jack Hughes indeed. 😀

  40. joanjett

    Not a day goes by when I’m not proud of putting my money and time where my mouth is and joining the Greens. Bob Brown is a giant compared to those pathetic labliberals who are just as bad as each other, in their own ‘special’ little ways. Seriously, Berlusconi’s Corrierra della Serra is more balanced than Limited News.
    I signed an Advaaz online petition recently which called for the Canadian government not to allow Murdoch to have more control over the press in that country. I suppose that’s his plan for world domination. It would be truely fascinating to peer inside Rupert’s brain to see how it works. Does he think he is not part of the human race? What future does he think will face his young daughters and grandchildren? I suppose when money is the only thing you worship you must have a genuinely distorted view of the world. He appears to have no soul whatsoever. With a bit of luck he’ll get sucked up to the heavens on 21st May and leave the world for the rest of us.

  41. joanjett

    Sera, sorry, typo

  42. Lorry

    Oh god – where’s the bucket……blah blah blah.

  43. Jim Reiher

    Is anyone surprised that the media close ranks to protect themselves from scrutiny?

    And I for one wish the oft repreated nonesense statement was true: Bob Brown is running this country! Dam I wish it were true!

  44. Jean

    So someone still reads that old “pays to increase your word power” section in the Readers’ Digest, eh?
    I guess now we’ll have a whole raft of swingeings, or maybe even a tranche of them.
    It’s really concerning 🙂

  45. Stephen Moreland

    Dr Brown’s wonderful press conference yesterday inspired me to visit the local Greens office and become a member. These days, with the ALP and LNP snuggled up close to each other on the right of politics, the Greens are the only ~real~ opposition in this country. No wonder the big end of town hate them.

  46. rubiginosa

    Brown: “And I know there’s an inherent penalty clause there but I’ve got broad shoulders.”

  47. zut alors

    Bob Brown is a gentleman. Some of Australia’s journalists should look up the definition of this word, it’s not one we generally use in reference to a politician.

  48. shepherdmarilyn

    Oh dear the poor widdle diddums. Not a skerrick of fact from any of the “lets murder Iraqis’ mob.

    They ought to read Sideshow.

  49. Lorry

    Hey Sheep girl,

    “Not a skerrick of fact from any of the “lets murder Iraqis’ mob” – we don’t need to, we have the rest of the media.

  50. David

    As Corporal Jones said “They don’t like it up em.” Labor front benchers should follow Bob’s example and use the steel. This self opinionated media, with a few exceptions, is a disgrace, just low life. Great to see them copping it back, bloody sooks.

  51. Timbo

    Chris Ulhman hits the nail on the head in his article on The Drum:

    You’ll also note, as Cowie’s article shows, that Brown was challenged by more than just News Ltd journalists. Is this just the profession sticking together? Or are some of the Brown sympathisers missing something here that Ulhman’s piece captures? The latter, I think.

  52. klewso

    Honestly, it’s about time we had a new definition of “honest”.

  53. Liz45

    Good on ya, Bob!

    As for nuclear? Gee, you just won’t let it go will you? Hasn’t the tragedy in Japan taught you anything? One of the things that it’s reinforced to me, is that the owners/govts/operators etc will always lie to the people – the stakes are so high! Their profits that is!

    I’m on the east coast, in the Illawarra. One of the places mentioned that would be ideal? for a reactor. Near blue scope steel – and oil containers etc. Now that’s smart isn’t it? Pollute the lake and the ocean? We’re between the mountains and the sea. Nowhere much to flee to if there’s a disaster. We’ll take the waste by road to wherever? Perhaps via Port Kembla harbour? Smart ideas!

  54. klewso

    “…. treated just as he has always wanted to be, as the leader of a mainstream political party.”?

    Could we get this clear – does he mean “scrutinise” like they “do” Howard, and Abbott – laundering before selling their party to the electorate? Or as they “do” Labor and The Greens?


    Liz A, in global terms, to take Barry Brooks’ back of the envelope numbers:

    2050 power demand will be ~10 TWe of electrical generating power — a 5-fold increase on today’s levels, requiring the construction of ~680 MWe per day from 2010 to 2050.

    …nuke is, as you say, well suited to replacing coal (we agree on something), but tell me the land area required to build many hundred of megawatts of solar thermal or PV, or wind. (Capacity factors for wind are approx 30%…so multiply rated output by three).

    The sheer scale required, and I’ll reiterate my point, the sheer scale required to keep emissions under 450ppm means we need to build huge amounts of generating capacity that do not produce CO2.

    Tell me where you’re going to put those wind towers or solar thermal farms? Here is not the forum for this argument, but from all I’ve seen and read, renewables have a place, but they simply cannot do the job of replacing coal at the scale required.

    Nuclear power on the other hand can, and it will not need $70/tonne price on carbon dioxide.

  56. klewso

    “Respect for the media” – that they have to earn – sounds like Cartman!

  57. klewso

    “The media wasn’t made to be criticised” – but they can everyone else?

  58. klewso

    Mind you, for what it’s worth – with public perception of their “calling” being what it is, for what it does – this is a pretty courageous move by the “journo profession”?
    True Brown is a “politician” (with their figures) – but equally Laurie Oakes (and but a handful of others) is “a” “journo” too!

  59. shepherdmarilyn


    You want self-righteous self serving pap?

    Most responders rightly called out Uhlmann.

  60. tinman_au

    “We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.”

    And then they expect us to believe they’ll report the news factually, honestly and ethically when their editor feels that way about them? wow, they really do think most Australians are fools, don’t they…

  61. Son of foro

    Just when Turnbull gets stuck into Abbott and co, just when you think the media will actually have to ask the Coalition a question, Bob Brown opens his big bloody mouth … Doh!

  62. Liz45

    @SON OF FORO – I don’t think you can blame Bob for that. The media had several hours to ask the questions of Abbott. They let him shut down that press conference without one difficult question? Not Bob Brown. Why didn’t Uhlmann go after Abbott last night? PM? AM? The World Today?

    The media have shown their true colours. Bob’s been vindicated in his criticism I feel – not that I needed convincing!

  63. Frank Campbell

    Cold shower time.

    Watching Brown lately he’s looked tired and a bit haggard. For the first time, the reptiles of the media are questioning him – rather than letting him bang off a quick soundbite.

    Brown is getting old, and there must be post-prandial depression after the orgy of hubris after Dec 2 2009…the Greens were on the march etc.

    But he’s an old campaigner and far more politically gifted than Gillard.

    Break needs a holiday. And he has to let the reptiles do their thing and wear it- or become the story himself.

    Problem is there’s no obvious replacement- none of the Greens are tall enough to reach a microphone.

  64. shepherdmarilyn

    I think it was Andrew Probyn at the West Australian.

  65. klewso

    Really, would this be an issue if that vast majority of the media could refrain from insisting they insert their personalities and views over the news, spinning it, to influence voter perceptions?
    If they took a consistent stance when it came to any party, and not play politics? Not play “Pets and Mongrels”?
    If they could bring themselves to scrutinise what others of their “club” do, and criticise them – as they do “rubes” not conforming to acceptable standards of behaviour? Publicly – holding them to account?
    Rather like their “vast” minority – still left with regard for their “craft”?

  66. klewso

    But won’t Labor be watching – to see how he fares with this (new) tactic of “straight talk”?

  67. ConnorJ

    Oh. Wow. That piece by Uhlmann on The Drum was atrocious. What a big ****!

  68. Peter Forrest

    Bob Brown’s press conference was the best viewing I’ve seen for some time. He was just toying with them, showing them up as immature try-hards. The best part was when he said he had a role model on when to retire – “Rupert Murdoch” and that he’ll be watching to see when Rupert retires. The second best part was when Bob said the Green vote was rising faster than their newspaper’s circulation. Take that!
    Its time the media took the Greens seriously. They’ll have the balance of power for quite a few years to come.

  69. Catching up

    I wonder how they would have reacted if Mr. Brown did become angry or lost it.

    To me after listening more that once, it was the reporters whose voices were raised and showed signs of anger.

    I must compliment Mr. Brown for remaining cool, calm and collected throughout the interview.

    Mr. Brown was not abusive at anytime.

  70. green-orange

    “By the way I think you will find Murdoch is not a foreigner but holds dual citizenship which he had the law changed here to suit himself.”

    Wrong. Dual citizens cannot own TV networks in USA.

  71. Venise Alstergren

    “”One journalist, Fairfax radio reporter Michael Pachi, repeatedly challenged Brown on his views, asking him why he was “obsessed” with attacking News and the “press you don’t like”.””

    MICHAEL PACHI should remember that 90% of news coverage is owned by that happy socialist, Rupert Murdoch. And “”the “press you don’t like”.”” Just happens to constitute this 90% of the press.

  72. Michael Harvey

    If the country WAS in Brown’s hands we’d have a leader with integrity at last. BRING IT ON.

  73. davidk

    Congratulations Bob, it was a joy to watch. Wouldn’t it be good if all the other politicians were to step in and rally round Bob? I’m sure they’ve all copped it from time to time. Take on this mob of disingenuous so and sos who repeatedly misrepresent much of what others say in order to tell the story they want to be true. Tony and Julia and Warren and Bob should hold a joint press conference to denounce the fouth estate. That would fix them.

  74. my say

    Thanks bob, we are proud of you. when are journalists going to realise it s just the news we want.
    not their opinion, the abc are the worst at this after every question time, they like a little club that sit around disussing what he said what she said, if we have just watched qt why do we need their opion, same with the 7.30 report

  75. ConnorJ

    @MY SAY

    Couldn’t agree more. the lurch towards vacuous opinion over substance is really what makes the ABC so bad these days.

  76. Simon Mansfield

    Bob Brown is an intellectual, political, economic and environmental fraud.

    His whole mission in life is to win votes no matter what the consequences of his actions are in achieving power.

    Never forget the sight of he and the other Green Five sitting on their overpaid arses in November 2009 while the CPRS (ETS) bills went down.

    His excuse was it would lock in failure. And that they had legal advice that to change the CPRS targets later on would mean compensation would have to be paid. Oh my god, fixing the climate is going to cost money.

    And now look at where we are today. On the verge of a stupid sin tax that will destroy Labor and put Tony Climate-Change-Is-Crap Abbott into the lodge by late August 2013. Oh the Winds of August will be booming that year.

    My estimate is that Australia will not achieve any significant progress on climate change until the late 20s. Which by then it won’t really matter as energy technology will have progressed so far that the problem will be fast on th way to being fixed by pure market forces. Solar energy will be so cheap by 2030 they’ll be giving away PVs with every fridge you buy.

    When NASA’s James Hansen came to Australia last year to promote his latest book – Bob Brown made sure to not appear with him anywhere. Hansen is a major supporter of the nuclear option and that obviously does not fit with Bobbie’s 2 dollar action plan to do nothing about climate change until he has destroyed Labor. Which is and always will be the primary goal of the Greens.

    The sad joke about the Greens is that last year they took a million dollars off a guy who has made a fortune out of getting more people to take planes and drive their cars to go on holidays by luring them to do such via cheaper hotels and motels. And not a single journalist called Brown to account over the hypocrisy of such.

    Gillard might be fast becoming a sad joke, but Brown and Abbott are dangerous extremists out to win votes by trying to scare people into thinking that they and only they know the answer to life’s many complex problems.

    That so many people with a university education in this county buy into the Green’s anti future gospel is the truly frightening aspect of modern Australia at present.

    The blue rinse set that listen to Alan Jones can be forgiven for their ignorance as most never saw a day in school past the age of 15. But for those that vote Green with such sanctimonious righteousness there is no excuse. You had access to the best education in human history money could buy and you assuage your Western guilt by voting for an old man who hasn’t done a bloody thing for the environment since 1983 and the Franklin Dam protests.

    Go ahead – attack me for having a contrarian view as to why Bob Brown and co are political and environmental frauds of the first order. Just don’t come whining to anyone in September 2013 when the Owning Class take back power for another decade of doing nothing but handing out tax breaks to all us nice white people.

    For the record – Murdoch should be denied reentry into Australia as he is a clear and present danger to our nation and does not meet the good character test.

  77. Go for it!

    Hey Green-Orange can you show me the regulatoin that prevents Dual Us citizens from owing TV networks?
    Heres an extract from the US State Dept

    ‘This site is managed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.”

    US State Department Services Dual Nationality

    The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy.Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

    A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship


    Simon Mansfield, I share some of your pain. What this ‘renewables’ debate has done is utterly hijack the facts so people just literate enough to read about it, but innumerate enough not be able to calculate risk, get to waffle about bottling sunbeams while the emissions just keep on inexorably rising.

    The Greens are fundamentalists about certain types of (highly) inefficient energy production being “pure” and others (ie nulcear) being “impure”, without ever acknowledging that coal burning kills more people than nuclear ever has, or will. The risk of NOT using nuclear power is that we cook the planet, while the possible radiation risks are extremely low to negligible over any time horizon you care to examine objectively. (Stress on the last word!)

    Oh, and Liz45, I’m looking at you.

  79. Oscar Jones

    The media at Brown’s press conference were rather sad and pathetic including the goose from 2UE.

    Questioning their God given right to distort news and set the agenda will work to Bob Brown’s benefit. Those who vote Green don’t fall fro the gasbags and hacks of the tabloid press and TV.

    It has been an instructive exercise that Brown has mounted.

    Seeing how the popular press has responded and basically threatened Brown with revenge, albeit it dressed up as ‘scrutiny’ shows how we now have a corporate media that is a threat to democracy.

    We do not get the media we deserve-no-one deserves the self serving gutter press we and the rest of the Western world now has.

  80. shepherdmarilyn

    Every second story on our former aunty begins with “the opposition says …….blah, blah, blah” as if every spewed out piece of bile is news.

  81. Liz45

    I think we’ve proved a good point. Most of us see through the msm and have no respect for it, and even less for those ‘prostitutes’ who work for Murdoch? What a gross human being he is!

    Anyone read any of the articles that instance some of Murdoch’s most gross reporting? They (allegedly) involved people, young people, being driven to suicide! Wouldn’t wipe my rear on one of his papers. Even feel guilty on the very rare occasions that I go onto one of the web sites!

    @CHRISTOPHER DUNNE – What does that mean? Do you know who I am? Scary!

    Chris, did you watch both of the 7.30 Report interviews between Kerry O’Brien and David???re solar power for base load electicity supply? He was forced out of Australia due to lack of interest of Howard govt, but a wealthy company in California was interested. They predicted that it would take about 5 yrs for adequate solar for base load use, which would be cheaper than nuclear(safer too) and perhaps even cheaper than coal – we’re into year 3 now! Imagine how far down the track they could have gone if just half of the subsidies that go to fossil fuels each year(about $11 billion now) went to research into renewables like solar!

    Why doesn’t the govt/s put solar panels on peoples’ roofs over time? Or big buildings or hospitals or???Imagine the jobs that would become reality then. I think what the Greens articulate about alternate energy is viable – we just need govts to believe it as a priority – which they don’t at the moment! I was involved with Friends of the Earth in the 70’s.

    Anyway, this is off topic I know, but I didn’t start it, you did!

  82. Cuppa

    I see the right-wing shock jocks immediately started shouting at Senator Brown from their toilet bowls. It is time for the hateful content of AM talk radio to become a national issue. Hateradio is is the most biased and toxic component of ‘our’ media.

  83. negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com

    It will be to Bob Brown’s benefit. Watch the Daily Show with John Stewart to see how its done. Stewart effortlessly exposes Murdoch almost daily for the unprincipled ideologue that he is.

  84. Liz45

    @SIMON – I agree with you re Abbott, but not Bob Brown. If he was a good bloke over the Franklin River why isn’t he now? And who’s the “guy” you refer to? 2UE only have about 20,000 listeners anyway? I’m perhaps in the right age group but wouldn’t have a bar of them or any of the others run by hateful shock jocks spewing lies and bile.

    @CUPPA – @OSCAR and like minded others – love it!

    @MARILYN – Drives me nuts too! As though every news item is important from the Opposition’s perspective. I yell at the radio! Or TV? Abbott’s tight mouth on the news last night was classic. I laughed! What a petulant boy he is?


    LIZ45, read this analysis of Florida’s solar thermal plant, and how to scale it up to cater for projected needs would result in 19% of the state’s land being used for this purpose!


    Australia’s a bit luckier, but the sheer scale of this stuff is beyond anything most people could ever conceive.

    The problem is that the numbers for renewables just don’t stack up when you start talking about scale. And heavily subsidised projects only help to disguise the fact that it can’t feasibly replace coal into the future. Spain is backtracking at rate of knots, and I suspect California will eventually follow suit.

  86. john2066

    One of the biggest lies run by NewsCorp is that they are just reflecting public opinion. But actually if you look at it, an idiot like Piers Akerman lowered circulation at the HeraldSun when he was there, and has cost them a fortune in defamation payouts. Andrew bolt has also cost them a packet.

    They are clearly hired to write biased garbage to please their proprietor, they are not providing what the public want. A quick look at whats left of Newscraps circulation confirms that.

    Its going to be great to see the News Corp snivellers have to get jobs in the real world.


    LIZ45, if you really do want to wade through the numbers, nothing quite comes close to this:


    (just put http:// in front…sorry, but the silly moderation thingy slows down communication)

    Once you’ve grasped what’s entailed, you can then ask yourself if you really want to ‘save the planet’ from destructive climate change, or just ‘feel good’ saying things about renewable energy that just do not make numerical sense.

    Your choice.

  88. Kinkajou

    love it – all the murdoch maggots ( and nervous fairfax wannabees) squealing in unison…well its a small employer market and fairfax are laying off…

  89. john2066

    Its pretty simple- newscorp prints lies, when you buy their ‘news’ papers you are only reading one side of the story. And people are waking up, hence the collapse in circulation.

  90. Venise Alstergren

    FRANK CAMPBELL: Seldom has the good Senator, Bob Brown, been more relaxed, charming and eloquent in the face of some troglodyte amateur journo given the job to represent Rupert Murdoch’s interests. Deflecting the clod’s whining and aggressive attitude, Brown tellingly used elegant, rapier-sharp and witty points, all seemingly delivered with an almost lazy eloquence.

    The Scarlet Pimpernel couldn’t have done a better interview. God I admire someone with the class to dismiss one of Rupert’s henchmen with the contempt he deserved.

  91. Cuppa


    Notice how Chris Uhlmann’s points echo the general gist of News Ltd reactions.

  92. guytaur

    Now Al Gore has joined in. This is at The Huffington Post.

    Michael Calderone
    Become a fan of this reporter
    Al Gore Claims Rupert Murdoch Is Pushing Current Italia Off Air Because He Hired Keith Olbermann

    This along with the News Corp scandal in the UK with bugging phones scandal raises serious questions about how News Corp including The Australian operate.

  93. michael r james

    @Go for it @Green-Orange

    Unless the law has changed since 1995 (when I enquired) Murdoch would not have met the very restricted conditions that Australia permits dual citizenship (parent born in other country; or even grandparent in case of UK I believe).

    The laws that Hawke changed I think relate to media ownership.

    OK, just read thru his whole Wiki entry, here it is:

    In 1985 Murdoch became a United States citizen to satisfy legislation that only United States citizens could own American television stations. This also resulted in Murdoch losing his Australian citizenship]

    Rupert is an American and no longer an Australian citizen.
    Since 2004 News Corp (owner of News Ltd subsidiary) is incorporated in Delaware (for tax reasons) but headquartered in New York City.

    Also he is not even a very good corporate citizen where ever he is:
    In 1999, The Economist reported that Newscorp Investments had made £11.4 billion ($20.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but had not paid net corporation tax. It also reported that after an examination of the available accounts, Newscorp could normally have been expected to pay corporate tax of approximately $350 million. The article explained that in practice the corporation’s complex structure, international scope and use of offshore tax havens allowed News Corporation to pay minimal taxes.]

  94. Frank Campbell

    Venise: but it was a Fairfax journo who stirred Brown’s possum…

    maybe he has an eye on getting a job at Pox News when Fairfax finally capsizes…

    All media are reptiles. Biting back at them in interviews just gives them a bigger target…


    Steel concrete and land usage for solar, wind, and nuclear power generation: The resource consumption of the renewables are stupendous, one or two orders of magnitude greater than nuclear power.

    (from the link above)

    Between ten and one hundred times more!

    Go on, tell me we can do it all with wind and solar. The Greens are a cult, ‘believers’ in their own improbable version of reality; one that just does not even add up. No wonder Bob Brown would not be seen dead with James Hanson, a scientist who can really add up, and who isn’t religiously infatuated with “purity” over reality.


    This ‘debate’ is a sideshow, and a complete distraction from the real question that should be asked of Bob Brown: why won’t the Greens back nuclear power if they really do want to save the planet from climate change?

    Good luck getting an answer to that one. Bob’s playing us all for mugs.

  97. Frank Campbell

    C Dunne et al: “What this ‘renewables’ debate has done is utterly hijack the facts so people just literate enough to read about it, but innumerate enough not be able to calculate risk, get to waffle about bottling sunbeams while the emissions just keep on inexorably rising.”

    well, what took you plankers so long to wake up to this?

    Even now you seem incapable of realising that the transfer of wealth (and guilt) via the “renewables” fantasy is a key example of class discrimination. In Germany, solar feed-in tariffs are locked in for 20 years. These massive subsidies have led to a solar boom. The result? Solar produces 1% of German power. 50 times more expensive than FF power. 20,000 wind turbines produce a small amount of pathetically irregular power- four times more expensive.
    In Australia, wind rents go the most reactionary rural class: owners of large tracts of degraded farmland. It’s vomitous to listen to this redneck scum mouthing Green slogans…

    We can thank the caaahbun tax for concentrating minds on these class-driven frauds.

    At the root of these self-inflicted problems is the colonisation of the Left over the past 25 years by corporatism- critical ability has decomposed, along with the ALP. The Greens (my party) were tempted by a final coup against capitalism- they took a short cut: using fear of Armageddon to excuse everything. They’re now so cult-driven that the daily rape of the environment is largely ignored.

    As I’ve argued for two years here, the price is political oblivion for progressives. The ideological banality of Gillard is both a natural excretion of the ALP’s decay and a tool to stave off a decade in the wilderness. So the “carbon tax” is subverted by the government itself. There is NO strategy for solving the crucial problem: technological and economic unreadiness of alternative fuels. Lomborg may be a shonk, but he states the obvious by (belatedly) asserting this.

  98. Sean Doyle

    Absolutely delightful stuff from Bob Brown in giving the press pack (particularly the Murdoch faction of it) a well deserved belt. I haven’t seen anything this good since Katter started laying into the press at an airport during the hung parliament negotiations.

    As for Murdoch’s citizenship, whether or not the US allows dual citizens to hold TV licences is irrelevant as Australian law didn’t allow for dual citizenship until 2002, when the government finally got tired of losing the children of European migrants hand over fist as they moved over to Europe and acquired the very attractive EU passports rather than hold on to their Australian booklets.

  99. Marrickville Mauler

    Christopher Dunne: The only way nuclear power (either in the form of uranium/plutonium cycle reactors or the much preferable but less developed thorium version) has any chance of stacking up economically in Australia is with a serious carbon price. Much as I dislike most Greens they are the ones out in front on that score.

    Consider too please for a moment whether your backing of particular technologies is as much a “complete distraction” as people backing particular renewable approaches as THE solution ?

  100. Competitive Australia

    Brown has cracked.

    He is negotiating with Gillard on Carbon Tax. Gillard is saying NO NO NO to certain points as her poll ratings are almost record rock bottom. Both know the carbon tax is toxic with voters

    Brown goes for soft targets, the media.

  101. reko

    from what i understand, thorium reactors are cheaper, cleaner, more efficient and have no possibility of meltdown as opposed to uranium-235 reactors (current tech). they’ will be available within the next 5 – 10 years, as clean energy will be more highly demanded thus making them more attractive as an investment. it makes no sense now to build a uranium reactor, which will take some 5+ years to build, when better technology will be available very soon. this will hopefully tide the world over until nuclear fusion becomes a viable source of energy, perhaps within 50+ years.

  102. reko

    oh and btw china and india are currently two of the world leaders in developing green energy. china being number 1, india being number 1 developing thorium nuclear energy tech. so before everyone screams “china and india will just take our jobs” in 5 – 10 years they will be MILES ahead of australia if we don’t do anything now. china especially, having the number 1 research output across the whole world (yes, china currently outpaces even that behemoth the USA in R&D). best to act now, because australia really WILL be left behind if we do nothing. guarantee you of that.

  103. klewso

    John 2066 you’re right, when you own so much of the publicising/publication of public opinion -as reflected in correspondence/letters to the editor – it’s easy to “manage public opinion”, or at least “work-over” the perception.
    “Reflect it in their own image” maybe – wanting to discourage alternate views, from people who might think they’re in the minority and thus discouraged from pursuing such ideas.

  104. westral

    The Australian newspaper – Fox News with long words.

  105. Dave Sag

    What good company Mr Brown’s critics keep. I can’t bear The Oz any more, the word that comes to mind is ‘hateful’. If it vanished off the face of the Earth tomorrow I’d not lose a second’s sleep over it. Most of the other papers could join it quite honestly. And surely we’ve all played that game where you ring up a talkback host and pretend to be some duffer having a whinge about a topic of concern, and seeing how much of a frenzy you can whip the DJ into? If you haven’t it’s a brilliant game you can play with friends and I assumed 80%+ of callers to talkback shows are regular players.

  106. Arlen

    @Christopher Dunne

    I’ve read a lot of Barry Brooks’ work and completely agree that nuclear is a necessary part of the equation (as does the world’s best environmental journalist George Monbiot) but I still vote for the greens. It’s obvious that neither of the other parties are any more likely to push for a nuclear future and more importantly I find it very hard to believe that any nuclear power proposal put forward by the major parties will be based on a legitimate desire to reduce emissions and not some kind of dodgy welfare program for their buddies in the power generation business. For me the number priority is to get greens sincere about reducing emissions to look at the data for themselves.

  107. shepherdmarilyn

    You know the Murdoch hacks have lost the plot when Michael Stutchbury can manage to write a whole article about how private prisons are best.

  108. LisaCrago

    Dont shoot the messenger Bob.

    It is hard to believe after all these years that Bob has NOT wised up politically to manage the media. If it was not News LTD there would be another and you can’t shoot them all Bob.
    More proof that after all these years this minor political party is unable to behave like a “real” political party, is best at tub thumping, scare mongering and running to hide under mummys apron when the heat gets turned up in the kitchen.
    Politics is an adversary hard ball playing field and manageing the media *IS* the easy part….. time for this tired whingy old man to retire.

    And if THE GREENS really believe that possible changes in future weather patterns that may be linked to the actions of industry is “the most important debate of the century so far” then maybe they need to WAKE UP. THERE IS A BLOODY WAR ON in ‘ Ghan’ that has gone longer than ‘Nam’ and conflicts or “WARs” do much more damage to mankind and the earth than using power from a coal fired power station.

    If Bob wants to be the ‘leader’ of the new age weather political movement and ignore realpolitic then he best start dressing like a wizard, because that is about as serious as the majority and the press are going to treat him.


    Good luck with Arlen! From what I’ve seen, no one is more religiously opposed to nuclear power than the Greens. Ironic that they complain all the time about the denialists and their avoidance of the science, while at the same time they refuse to even talk about nuclear power based on the data ie renewables will not scale up.

    So ‘we are the rational ones’ is in fact massive self-delusion, and they are so determined to label anyone who even talks nuclear as a blasphemer.

    Like I said, good luck converting them!

  110. Lorraine Leach

    Frank Campbell, with all due respect, you are so wrong. The Greens are the only party with a trove of worthy successors to Bob – if you can think of stature beyond physical height. Further, the depth of educated, intelligent, ethical party members in every state surpasses any other party too. This is why the regressive major parties are so frightened of The Greens.

  111. Frank Campbell

    Yes it was a cheap shot, Lorraine. Couldn’t resist. The parliamentary Greens lack of altitude is the least of their problems.

    To “educated, intelligent and ethical” you might have added “inner city” and “middle class professionals”.

    This current brawl is about hypocrisy: until now the Greens have been treated leniently by the reptiles of the media. A moralising sideshow, their credibility rested on activists in the field- environmental warriors battling vicious extractive capitalism in the forests, seas and mines. Brown’s quasi-sainthood derives from his leading role in direct action over the forests and dams of the most primitive state, Tasmania.

    How things have changed. The Greens now represent one thing: the war on “carbon”. The other policies are still on the books, but all effort and energy goes into “tackling climate change”.

    Far from this crusade leading to the apotheosis of the Greens (as many progressive pundits opined after Abbott toppled Turnbull), it has crippled the party. Environmental activists are dismayed at the Greens disengagement from the real environment. Worse, the “solutions” demanded by the Greens to climate Armageddon are premature (the technologies aren’t ready) and class-biased -massive subsidies for solar and wind go to the well-heeled middle-class and the most reactionary rural class respectively.

    The Greens are discovering that the curse of the moral high ground is hypocrisy: nothing done in Australia can possibly affect global climate; unilateral action penalises the rural poor and the remnant industrial working class; infestations of wind turbines provide a trickle of useless irregular power but cause great loss and distress to those nearby, not to mention the slaughter of raptors and bats.

    Brown’s hypocrisy is brazen: demanding a moratorium on Tasmanian wind turbines (which he originally promoted) because of Wedge-tailed eagle deaths while insisting that they spread everywhere on the mainland.

    The devil is always in the detail. Expect many more Green contradictions and hypocrisies to be exposed by media reptiles in the near future. They’re finally doing their job.

  112. no_party_preferred


    “Go ahead – attack me for having a contrarian view as to why Bob Brown and co are political and environmental frauds of the first order. ”

    Won’t happen, you’ll be labelled a troll and ignored.

    While I agree that the MSM are really the main reason that our politics and indeed the country are heading into an era of dumbed down hollywood antics, vote buying and rent seeking. This whole argument is really about the fact that the greens are now in the hot seat and are being made to justify their position and they don’t like it. They are politicians are have the same propensity to put forward misleading points and arguments to get their way as all the rest. They just haven’y had the experience in politics to let the scruitiny bounce off without the bottom lip coming out

    A few weeks ago, Jules said some things about the greens which admittedly were a bit stupid and were clearly just posturing but they all cracked the sads over it. the other night Bob got grilled a bit on the ABC and got cranky. He saiys he wants to replace the bastards but they get all sooky when the heat’s on. If you want to play in the big boys sand pit learn the rules.

  113. no_party_preferred


    “he Greens are discovering that the curse of the moral high ground is hypocrisy: nothing done in Australia can possibly affect global climate; unilateral action penalises the rural poor”

    The rural poor don’t vote green. So who cares.

    On the ABC the other night Brown made repeated comment about the money from mining generally going overseas. What he should have said was the a percentage of the after tax profits.

    No one seems to care about the money they pay out in wages or spend locally on goods and services to keep their operations which has a multplying tax benefit to Australia and is far above after tax profits.

  114. Captain Planet

    @No Party Preferred,

    Re mining companies,

    No one seems to care about the money they pay out in wages or spend locally on goods and services

    Really? Yet all I seem to hear in the MSM is constant bawling about the money mining companies pay to local wages, goods and services.

    Obviously you have never lived anywhere faintly near a mining town or the capital city of a mining state, either.

    Or would you just LIKE for the facts to fit your dummy – spit observation that “No one seems to care”.

  115. calyptorhynchus

    For the myth that renewables can’t supply energy needs:


  116. Johnfromplanetearth

    Bob Brown is the most dangerous man in Australian politics, a complete nutjob in cahoots with the PM and would send this country back to the dark ages given any more opportunity than he already has. Everything that is wrong with Australia currently can be found in Bob Brown.

  117. no_party_preferred


    Actually, I live in and work in mining town in Queensland and I lived in Brisbane before that. and when I say no-one I meant greens supporters. I know damn well how much money they inject into local communities infact it is company policy to do so. It’s only those that would drive them out, for their own idealistic whims that don’t know or care. I wonder if you have ever lived more than 10 minutes away from a convenience store, or even spoken to people in remote communities that survive on mining because successive goverments have done all they can through neglect and one sided free trade agreements to erode the agricultural enterprises they used to survive on.

  118. no_party_preferred

    It just annoys me that some, not all, greens supportes bang on about the ethics, honesty and nobility they have when their party uses the rubbery figure tactics as the rest of them

  119. Barry 09

    Who left the Troll gate open ?? Put up your hands , Who wants to insure Australia’s 1st Nuclear Disaster Factory , on the shores of Sydney Harbour ??
    Labor needs to grow some balls and do what Bob Brown has done and take on a very powerful world wide Corporation owner , while the CONservatives polish his boots. Bob should be PM.

  120. Liz45

    @CHRISTOPHER DUNN – “This ‘debate’ is a sideshow, and a complete distraction from the real question that should be asked of Bob Brown: why won’t the Greens back nuclear power if they really do want to save the planet from climate change?

    Probably because they don’t want to add to the nuclear waste, weapons etc that could destroy the planet from another source!

    If you take nuclear power without all the ‘trimmings’ you might have a point, but neither you nor anyone else can guarantee against the ‘trimmings’ and that’s the main reason why The Greens are against it. Also, we have alternatives. There’s enough energy via the sun per day to supply the world’s energy needs for at least one year – we have ‘access’ for longer than many other countries. We have no justifiable reason to go nuclear!

    Tell me what safeguards are in place re the 16? countries that we sell uranium to?

    Your abusiveness of The Greens, and those who support them does your argument little value. Anyway, this discussion is about the fact that the gutter press have gunned for the Greens prior to the last federal election in particular. They don’t report news, they create hysteria by lies and misinformation. That is not journalism – that’s tittilating bs – with hateful components!

    That is what this subject is about! As for questioning BobBrown? The Murdoch press wouldn’t even know how to do it. They’d need to really study journalism in order to commence that task!

    I though BB was great. He didn’t lose his dignity, he just quietly stated his case – and made the point. He riled some, that’s why they started to put the boot in, and that’s why they completely misrepresented the situation the following day! They’ve been euchred by a person with integrity and balls! Unlike those snivelling little creeps!
    Can’t see any of them with the guts, let alone commitment to go to jail over a matter of principle?Weasel words, weasel people(I use that word advisedly too?).

  121. Venise Alstergren

    FRANK CAMPBELL: Then I was wrong. If Fairfax, he was probably wanting to jump ship anyway.

    JOHN 2066: You are just so hysterically wrong, and I feel like tearing out my own throat to say this. The shock jocks write for their market. All those Zimmer-framed old ladies adore these uxorious wafflers (replace the word uxorious with the word Murdoch and you’ll know what I mean). They remain faithful to the jock of their choice, no matter what nonsense he utters. He is their friend, lover, their rock to lean on, YUK! Please understand, John we, the readers of Crikey, are N O T the great Oz public. If we were, there would be no need for Crikey.

    CUPPA: It’s because Chris Ullman’s wife is a Labor MP and he doesn’t wish to sound biased. That’s the story, anyway. Perhaps they just have an extraordinarily colourful partnership?

    CHRISTOPHER DUNNE: LOGIC tells me it would be impossible for Nuclear Power to wreak greater havoc more, kill more, and pollute more than our Carbon-based economies are currently destroying. This makes a killing field, or a playing-field for all those wonky old Luddites who spring up in odd-years who quote reams of factoids to deny the world the very thing the world most needs. I don’t care if someone can prove to me that a table must be square, rectangular, round, or triangular.

    The point is does it work? There may be miracles over the horizon with a different form of technology. However, it is here and now that matters. Quoting all those figures is just another form of stalling. Just the same way we are stalling about the Oz Republic. Left to the Luddites, the world would still be powered by horses.

  122. no_party_preferred


    “ROTFL In breaking news: Fresh from his “interruption” disguised as an interview of Bob Brown on abc730. Chris Uhlmann has burst into print today via The Drum, with a suitably snarky response to Bob’s lack of respect for the media.
    Jack Hughes indeed”

    So why shouldn’t they explain themselves or be scruitinised? They are currently (but perhaps temporarily as recent polls suggest) in a very powerful position and are shaping the goverment’s policy quite forcibly. So again, why should they not be subject tothe same scruitiny as any other party? People’s memroies are very short here. Go back and have a look at newspaper articles from past years. EVERY party is scruitinised by the press and should be.


    Liz45, “nukes will destroy the world” is so much cold war twaddle, based on nothing but hysteria and a total lack of numeracy it makes me fall about laughing. It’s the fundamentalism of old hippies and those wet behind the ears who have neither the intellect nor the integrity to look at the facts objectively.

    As a species we face tough decisions, but putting your ‘faith’ in frauds who absolve themselves with ideological ‘purity’ is just condemning us all to the ravages of climate change.

    Take your pick.


    No_Party, the issue is not whether Limited News is against Bob Brown and his party (they are, demonstrably), but whether they are giving a reasonably balanced assessment of the risks of climate change (they demonstrably are not).

    Like I said earlier, this is ALL a sideshow, because the real issue is how we can globally reduced emissions while we have a growing population and a growing demand for energy.

    It’s a very difficult problem, and it’s only exacerbated in this country by the appalling anti-intellectualism of Limited News and it’s rightwing agenda.

    Attacking Bob Brown for being against coal is NOT the problem. Replacing coal is the problem, which just might entail replacing Limited News first.

  125. michael r james

    Dang, the Rapture didn’t happen!

    Orrrrr, it did happen and simply everyone is a dirty rotten sinner (obviously all you Crikey readers) and will have to suffer the endless Groundhog Day of News Ltd printing almost the identical dull distorted stories by Dennis Shanahan every day until hell freezes over.

    Or News Ltd finally gets Tony Abbott elected and hell will happen for real.

    Oh, and of course the same post by Tamas Calderwood at least once a week. (Unless he got taken by the Rapture.)

    Wait, I just realized, we are already in hell!

  126. Fran Barlow

    Disclosure: I am an active member of The Greens in Sydney, and a strong supporter of a technology-neutral approach to energy solutions (i.e. solutions should be composed based on those that maximise public utility; in practice that would allow nuclear power to be judged on its potential to contribute to low footprint qualit5y energy service solutions)


    You are trolling in this thread. This thread is about Brown’s response to the band of wailing banshees lead by the Murdochracy. It’s not about nuclear power, as sympathetic as I am to including that technology in the mix. The noise from the Fourth Estate is utterly corrosive of sound public policy because it reduces all such discussion to banality and sloganeering. That’s far more serious than if or when Australia becomes a country relying in part on nuclear power.

    The fish stinks from the head, as the saying goes, and the mass distribution media is a key vector for the underlying pathology.


    Fran, I think the problem is not just that Murdoch’s minions are distorting the entire climate change debate, are players in the political process who want to get the conservatives elected and who will say and do anything to discredit sensible discussions about the issue. The problem I see is that by focusing on the Brown/Murdoch stoush, the fundamentally irrational set of solutions which the Greens countenance (what can only be called ideologically pure) to abate CO2 emissions is getting a free pass.

    Attacking Brown because he says we should stop burning coal, (which produce 80% of our GG’s) is missing the point entirely. Brown is correct, in that without replacing coal we cannot make the huge changes required.

    But instead of us now debating how this can be feasibly achieved, we are bogged down in Brown’s spray against Limited News.

    In other words, this is a sideshow which deflects attention from the simple fact the Greens are religiously opposed to one of the main solutions to reducing emissions, and one that could be argued we cannot do without.

    Call that trolling? OK, if you want to, but it’s a better contribution to what really matters than stating the obvious ie Murdoch’s press hates Brown and vice versa.

  128. Catching up

    the reaction if PM GillaWhat is different about Mr. Brown’s treatment of the media and what Mr. Abbott does at every media encounter.

    Mr. Abbott’s statement before that stack of weet-bix is interesting. After asking some embarrasing questions on Mr. Turnbull, MrAbbotttt then said, any other questions on a different subject. Why was this statement ignored and the media continue their previous questions. The norm for Mr. Abbott is to answer questions, until one is asked he does not like, he concludes the interview by walking away.

    Most ask if there is anymore questions, then conclude the interview.

    I could imagine rd or Mr. Brown used the same tactics.


    On the Business Insiders this morning the UBS energy analyst talked about Victoria’s brown coal power stations and when he mentioned the Green’s idea of replacing them with solar he chuckled. Not because he’s an evil supporter of polluters, but because he knows it can’t happen.

    So here is the disconnect in the ‘Bob V Rupe’ thing: Rupe’s mob are right, Brown is dangerous,but not because he wants to kill off coal, but because he’s peddling ‘solutions’ which just do not stack up. (OK, this is one HUGE area of debate, but the reality is that solar, without massive subsidy, will not replace coal, and the sheer volume of resources needed is up to a couple of orders of magnitude greater than nuclear power).

    The complacent notion that seems so readily expressed is that ‘we can just do it all with renewables, because hey, I believe what Bob Brown says’ is intellectually flaccid and, unfortunately, false.

    In as much as this debate is worth having, I think the Greens are dangerous, offering not much less than a false messiah set of ‘beliefs’ that just do not stack up to real scrutiny.

    On the other hand, Murdoch’s mob are unlikely to present the facts of climate change, nor argue for solutions with anything like rationality.


    Scott Ludlam: “Uranium mining poisons the environment, nuclear power generation is unsafe and then there are intractable problems with nuclear waste and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The industry fails on all four counts. The solar and wind energy sectors are growing 30 per cent a year. All credible political parties in this country need to embrace renewable energy as the only clean, long-term power source available.”

    “The Greens nuclear spokesman Scott Ludlam said that his party will use its current alliance with the Labor party to try and stop planned uranium mines, halt exports and phase out three existing mines.”

    So the story is not just that Murdoch wants to crush the Greens, it’s also that the Greens want to stop uranium mining and end nuclear power anywhere on the planet.

    Sounds to me like the kind of absolutism that you get with religious cults.

  131. Catching up

    Is not there some connection between the owners of the Japanese damaged nuclear power houses and the brown coal power houses in Victoria. What will be the future of these power houses if the Japanese pull out or make economical adjustments.

  132. Fran Barlow

    You know very well @christopherdunne that The Greens do not now and won’t ever get the means to stop uranium mining and end nuclear power anywhere on the planet. It will take something a lot more impressive than anything my party can or will be able to muster in the foreseeable future to achieve that.

    What is conceivable is that The Greens will succeed in making existing public policy less irrational in a number of important fields, and may eventually soften their view on nuclear power. You can’t spend a decade saying that science and evidence-based policy is an intrinsic good and then say that nuclear power is an exception to that rule. Australia has ample supplies of thorium, and that doesn’t have the same potential for weapons development as does uranium-fuelled reactors. I see that as a loophole, given that much of the campaign around nuclear power at the time The Greens became a national party was around proliferation and uranium mining. If the policy was to swap old cola-fired power plants for new thorium plants the policy would be easier to sell. Note also that in many parts of the world, old nuclear and coal plants would be replaced by GenIV reactors using existing waste as feedstock. Again, this undercuts the waste argument run by enemies of nuclear power.

    Yet this is all moot. Right now, the public policy agenda is at the mercy of The Murdochracy and Brown has rightly called them out.

  133. Venise Alstergren

    One of the first things the uber-Greens come out with is “We haven’t even tapped the power of the sun, yet people would have us using nuclear power!”. This is o argument at all. We have only what man can, or wishes to, utilise that power. Clearly man is unable to, or wishes not to, find the technology to utilise solar power.
    Perhaps the reasons are economic; beyond our present capabilities; beyond our 2011 capacities?

    Psychologically we in the Western World must be pretty damn stupid that we have had to start a political party in order to restore some balance to our society. Or pretty damn greedy to allow omnivorous mining companies to have carte blanche with our economy.

    One day someone, somewhere will wake up to the fact that our energy crisis is not aligned with some ideological football, a party political trinket to be booted about in some make-believe sports arena with the ecologically concerned forming one side, and the right wing louts forming the opposing team. In case nobody had noticed, life is not a game.


    I’ll agree with most of your points Fran, and let pass the idea that the Greens could not stop uranium mining here (which could be an ultimatum delivered for support in the Senate, for example.) It’s one thing to sprout crazy ideas and another to be in a position to implement them…but I’d prefer to call out the crazy idea as indicative of a mode of thinking which reflects poorly on their other policies.

    I suspect we agree on far more than we disagree on, and that these issues are worth discussing, and far from moot if we don’t let the Murdochracy sidetrack us.

    Cheers, and good luck influencing the Greens on nuclear power, I must say I admire your stance but don’t rate your chances terribly highly from what I’ve seen,

  135. Liz45

    @JFPE – Bob Brown has been involved in politics in a public sense for well over 30 yrs. He must have something going for him as he keeps on being voted in. More than can be said for most who are in federal parliament at this time?

    Ever been prepared to end up in a paddy wagon or in jail for your beliefs, or are you just a bag of wind. If we had more Bob Browns with his integrity, many of the problems in the country would cease to be. If I had to nominate one person in that parliament who I’d trust it would be him. I’ve been to many rallies etc where he’s been, and I’m always struck by his genuiness and open relationship with anyone who wishes to speak to him. I’ve never seen him behave in a negative or dismissive manner.

    I applaud him standing up to the media for their disgusting abuse of their positions – journalists most are not!

    If Bob Brown is a threat to this country – then he has about 100 other politicians who are worse – one of them is Pell’s boy in Parlt. – Abbott! How anyone can ignore the racist hatred and bile that spews forth out of Morrison’s mouth has a weird perception of how to behave when you’re a public figure. He’s a disgrace! And Hockey almost spits when he speaks! Disgraceful!

  136. Fran Barlow

    [Cheers, and good luck influencing the Greens on nuclear power, I must say I admire your stance but don’t rate your chances terribly highly from what I’ve seen,]

    Whether I succeed, or whether I don’t, what else can one do but the best one can and go about with one’s head held high? Fukushima has been a setback, but the issues of energy supply persist. Nobody I’ve heard of would want to build a plant like Fukushima, and not in the path of a tsunami either. Let’s not forget that Japan, at the time of the plant’s specification in the 1960s, was effectively a one-party state and remained so until a couple of years ago. The US didn’t care as long as the “reds” were kept away from power. So one would expect that a culture of impunity would develop.

    Nevertheless, what we have here is a media behemoth attempting to manufacture pliant governments regardless of whether it is Team ALP or Team LNP holding the reins. That is what needs to be addressed here.


    Yeah, agree, we need to hold Murdoch accountable, but at the same time not fall into the fallacy of just siding with however is against Limited News.

    On the thorium issue, my hunch is we will be buying thorium reactors from the Chinese within a decade or so.

    And equating 40yr old technology’s failings under horrendous conditions with the nuclear industry as a whole is, as you say, pretty silly. In fact the entire “nukes are evil” thing is a legacy of the US military’s interference and preference for plutonium breeding cycles in the post war period. In other words, it was a choice, not a necessity that the nuclear fuel cycle must produce weapons grade materials. Unfortunately, once again, the Greens help to promulgate this misconception along with many others, and it really saddens me that the one clear voice against the status quo should be so unscientific in areas that really matter.


  138. netvegetable

    Once again Bob Brown makes history, by criticizing the Murdoch Press.

  139. Venise Alstergren

    FRAN BARLOW: You are almost right. Right up to the point you make about teams ALP and LNP holding the reins. Surely the real problem is that the team is now ALPLNP, and the GREENS have taken the ground which the ALP used to occupy.
    Many people are still thrashing about trying to find a label to sustain their political beliefs. Thus does a vacuum become the spectral bone about which two dogs are fighting…………You know the rest………

  140. Liz45

    Read these two articles Christopher!

    .Australia ignoring solar power, says pioneer
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Broadcast: 31/01/2007

    Reporter: Matt Peacock

    Australia’s leading solar power innovator leaves the country tomorrow, frustrated because he believes this country cannot see past its rich coal and uranium reserves, and recognise that the sun is Australia’s richest energy resource of all.

    Read full article here – http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1837616.htm

    PM – Ministers queue to see expat’s solar technology
    Australian solar expert Professor David Mills has built the biggest solar manufacturing plant of its kind in the world in the United States He says solar-thermal could be the energy solution for the
    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2274415.htm – 13 Jun 2008

  141. MLF

    As always, big up Bob. May you continue to smile and charm and give a straight answer to a question (whether the answer is favorable to you or not) and work to keep the buggers honest. I don’t agree with everything, but its hard to argue with integrity.


    I’m well aware of David Mills LIZ45.

    Let’s take the figures from Florida, a state with roughly the population of Australia and about the same current generation (their peak power is 52GW and ours 49GW) :

    Even at the conservative growth rate of 1.9%, Florida would need a peak generating capacity of 289 GW by the year 2100. Thus over the next 90 years we might expect 289 – 52 = 237 GW of new generating capacity to be created. What would this mean if the generators were all solar powered? The Martin solar plant shows that 18 MW of solar power requires ~500 acres of mirrors so the needed capacity would correspond to 6.6 million acres for mirrors alone, without allowing anything for energy storage.

    …that’s 264 thousand square kilometres! (Or 19% of Florida’s surface area!) So even if we could put that area of mirrors somewhere, we’d have to also build massive transmission lines to the population centres, and this is not even accounting for the huge storage required to even out the daily cycle of there only being sunshine for about half a day. The cost of this works out to be much more expensive than nuclear power, by at least one order of magnitude or more.

    Also, any turbine driven system requires cooling to recapture the steam, so not only must we allocate a huge area to this, we also have to do it where we can find enough water to operate the cooling system, so just saying we do it all in the desert is not even slightly feasible.

    You see, the problems of scaling up this extraction of solar energy to replace coal have no obvious solutions that are really feasible.

  143. twobob


    your mistake is to assume a trajectory of life as usual. This cannot continue. Humans must stop the reckless waste of manufacturing items designed to break. Have you ever considered that more energy is used to make a car than the amount of energy that that car uses during it’s working life? Simply put we need to stop this disgraceful waste of our resources. Laws must be enacted to stop the foolish manufacture of items that cannot be repaired or upgraded.
    How long can humanity continue to exponentially increase it’s population? Is it crueler to limit couples to 1 child than it is to let them have as many children as they please and then to watch them starve? Oil has peaked and so has food production and the thing that has yet to peak is human misery. The thing that the nuclear industry offers us long term is more human misery as the residents around Fukushima would testify. No human culture has ever lasted for anywhere near the timescale that we must look after nuclear waste and for this reason alone what you suggest is sheer bloody minded lunacy. Greedy, corruptible, forgetful humans have proven themselves to be too immature as yet to deal responsibly with the waste products of such industry and no amount of looking at it through rose coloured glasses will ever change that fact.

  144. Pritam Sekhon

    Christopher Dunne, you’ve finally convinced me to move from being a Greens supporter to becoming a Greens member. Thank you.

  145. tentomushi1

    Chris would you be so good as usual to answer the following questions;

    Where in the world do we permanently store, nuclear waste?
    What is the half life of uranium tailings, the by-product of uranium mining?
    Is it not possible that, with a combination of renewables, we can achieve base load power?


    I’m pleased for you Pritam, and hope you contribute to the real debate.

    Twobob, you are absolutely correct on one front: human population expansion is unsustainable, predicated as it is on plundering a very finite resource ie fossil fuels. If for no other reason, the plain fact is we will eventually run out of it, but of course nearly end civilisation if we don’t quickly.

    As for the spray about nuclear power, well, what can I say except that you are mostly wrong? The very idea that we should park highly radioactive material that’s the end product of some incredibly inefficient reactor models needs to be critically examined.

    Just for once, think about what you saying. The post war models went for quick inefficient energy extraction of enriched uranium so that plutonium could be produced along with lots of other isotopes that could not be ‘burnt’ in those same reactors.

    Get over that notion that we’d extract just a few percent of the available energy, and think in terms of modern designs that are capable of taking out nearly all the energy and leaving a minuscule amount of much lower grade radioactive material. Oh, and no bomb material made available in the process.

    By being rational, and not distorting the facts for a quick knee jerk hysterical reaction, the whole nuclear debate could be had as a real component of our goal to eliminate coal.

    Can I suggest you read up on it and stop living with utterly out of date concepts that are mostly wrong?

    (As for Fukushima, the long term public health risk will not even be measurable, and no one would even think of building a design like that one today.)

  147. Fran Barlow

    [Where in the world do we permanently store, nuclear waste?]

    Anywhere that we can gurantee that reckless people cannot stumble across it. A secure industrial estate might be the cheapest and most practical place.

    [What is the half life of uranium tailings, the by-product of uranium mining?]

    The same as the U238 ore from which it was extracted. The only difference is that there is, by definition, less radioactive material in the environment that there was before, because humans harvested the lion’s share of it.

    [Is it not possible that, with a combination of renewables, we can achieve base load power?]

    It is possible, but …

    a) Schedule feasibility — when will this occur? Will it be available on the timelines needed to address the structural changes to a low carbon-intensity economy we need to effect ASAP?

    b) Technical feasibility — Can it scale to the size required, including also the demands currently shouldered by nuclear power, if that is the ultimate aim? Can it acheive availability, CF and LOLP similar to existing baseload-capable technologies?

    c) Financial feasibility — how much will the solution cost? Do the financial resources exist (or can they be contrived) to acheive the solution? Do the financial demands of this solution exceed equally effective low-carbon-intensity solutions? If they do, what is the warrant in other net utility over the cheaper options?

    d) Environmental feasibility — would these solutions have a greater or lesser footprint than any alternative solution at equal scale, effectiveness and cost?

    e) Operational feasibility — will most people accept the technology as it is implemented, with all of the land use change implications?

    Simply wondering out loud whether renewables can do it doesn’t answer fundamental questions of utility.


    tentomushi1, the first thing to realise is that nearly all of the radioactive material that’s been accumulated as the bi-product of fission since the end of the second world war is valuable; it can be fuel. We can extract energy from it, very, very efficiently with the right types of reactor designs and what will remain will be tiny, and, not so radioactive that it cannot be stored safely. (The storage problem only exists because we have all this very ‘hot’ stuff that can’t be used easily with the old reactors, and it stays ‘hot’ for a very long time.)

    So, we can take this ‘problem’ and then make fission a process that can last for probably thousands of years! (Yep, hard to imagine, but we have a zero emissions fuel, abundant and available but somehow we shouldn’t consider it because a lot of people refuse to get up to date about the facts…go figure!)

    As for uranium tailings being radioactive, see above.

    The combination of renewables must of course happen, it’s just that on current projections of population growth and energy growth they cannot feasibly replace coal.

    OK, I’m in agreement with some people who think the human population will have to crash, or will be forced to by either food/water limitations or microbes or a combo, but it’s not fashionable to utter such stuff. But the cold hard reality is that we cannot consume energy like this and have 10 billion people on the planet. Still, the quickest, solution to dumping coal on scale is the technology and fuels we have, and it is, by a very long shot, the far lesser of two evils if you want to continue with the idea that nuclear energy is evil.

    By the way, Fukushima released one tenth the radiation of Chernobyl. The epidemiological evidence is that there is absolutely no measurable increase in leukemia as a result of Chernobyl.

    Sorry, but popular accepted ideas are often nowhere near the facts, and the Cold War did more to corrupt a rational debate of nuclear energy than most people realise.

    Oh, and sorry to anyone who thinks this debate is trolling…it stems directly from our media and what is and isn’t being discussed openly and factually.

  149. guytaur

    @Christopher Dunne
    This is not a discussion on nuclear power or renewables.
    It is all about the media and how it operates. In particular was Bob Brown Right or not with his “presser”.
    I say yes he is.
    Assuming you agree then I will say your arguments for Nuclear Fail.
    As you have seen the politics of nuclear are bad. Lots of negative perceptions correct or not.
    Also nuclear has another disadvantage when compared to renewables. One you can ask the Tasmanian Government about with all those dams producing hydro power.
    Hydro power has in common with solar, wind, geothermal and others that ones the initial capital cost of setting up the generator it is only maintenance costs incurred.
    Nuclear has all those miners to pay and the transport industry to for moving both the incoming uranium, thorium or whatever and the taking out of waste.
    Thus economically in the long term there is no doubt renewables are much more cost effective.


    Fran, I feel like we really are batting for the same team! LOL


    guytaur, yes, I understand that the discussion did begin with Bob Brown’s media event, but I think it masks other issues ie if you say we should replace coal, then tell us how, and then actually justify what you say with the facts. Isn’t that what the media should be doing? Reducing this to a gladiatorial competition between personalities, Brown Vs Murdoch, we are just being fed beer and circuses while Rome literally overheats.

    As for your comments about the nuclear cycle, can you read through Fran Barlow’s post above and think about what she is saying. Once you’ve really understood the issues in their cold hard factual reality, then see if your attachment to renewables is emotional or rational. Renewables will of course have a place, but thinking they can replace coal is not rational, sorry to inform you.

  152. guytaur

    Mr Dunne, you have failed to address the economic issue. I forgot to add that Tasmania proves hydro power is base load power. So the claim that renewables do not have base load is a flat out lie. Hydro power is hydro power generated from dams or wave power. Nuclear is more expensive than renewables. There is no doubt about this.
    No paying for the fuel needed to generate makes it inherently cheaper. This is why there will not be nuclear power in Australia. It does not make economic sense and thus there is no practical incentive to replace coal with nuclear.
    Scotland is going for 100% renewables by 2020. It is currently at 25%.
    Renewables make economic sense.


    Guytaur, hydro power is 3% of global energy production, and it can only happen in very selective locations.

    If you are using Tasmania as a model for the entire world then you really do not have much grasp on reality, and are hardly in a position to say anything does not ‘make economic sense’.

    Oh, and didn’t the Bob Brown try to stop hydro power in Tasmania? Just askin’! LOL

  154. Captain Planet

    @ LisaCrago (Saturday, 07:40 a.m.)

    And if THE GREENS really believe that possible changes in future weather patterns that may be linked to the actions of industry is “the most important debate of the century so far” then maybe they need to WAKE UP. THERE IS A BLOODY WAR ON in ’ Ghan’ that has gone longer than ‘Nam’ and conflicts or “WARs” do much more damage to mankind and the earth than using power from a coal fired power station.

    Come off it, Lisa.

    Firstly, The Greens are the only Australian political party to have opposed the War in Afghanistan. It was the Greens who forced a parliamentary debate about the war recently, and the Greens were the only parliamentarians to advocate ending Australia’s involvement in that conflict.

    So, your nonsensical ravings (in CAPITALS!!) about the greens needing to “wake up, there’s a bloody war on” do not stand up for long in the face of the facts. The Greens are not only aware of this fact but have been campaigning strongly about it.

    Secondly, Bob Brown’s point in labelling the climated change debate, “the most important debate of the century so far” is completely correct.

    If climactic changes due to increased CO2 continue even as per the most conservative estimates, we will see human misery and destruction within this century which makes the war in Afghanistan look like a walk in the park. This does not mean the Afghanistan conflict is not terrible. It means that climate change will be worse.

    Wars have been fought in the middle east for a hundred years over control of the oil resources there. As they started to become scarcer in the closing years of the 20th Century and the first decade of the 21st century, these wars have become more frequent and more bloody.

    As water, arable land and other resources become scarcer in a world with a changing climate and a growing population, wars will be fought over these, too. Wars which could be prevented if we act on climate change now.

    Hence, the most important debate of the century so far. Spot on, Bob Brown, and it is far, far too important to allow the Murdoch press to hijack this issue, as a populist lever to manipulate Australian politics and governments into serving the short term financial interests of News Corporation.

  155. Captain Planet

    @ No Party Preferred, Saturday 3:40 pm

    when I say no-one I meant greens supporters.

    Then you should say so in the first place.

    “No one seems to care” means…. everybody does not seem to care.

    “Greens supporters don’t seem to care” means…. Greens supporters do not seem to care.

    Now that you have clarified your statement, there is a little bit of truth in it. It is true that there are people within the greens who do not understand the importance of mining, not only in terms of the Australian economy, but as an essential material input into the world economy. Only those who are willing to go without mobile phones, cars, refrigerators, solar panels, wind turbines and electricity, can campaign to stop outright the mining of copper, aluminium, steel, gold and other base metals.

    Actually, I live in and work in mining town in Queensland and I lived in Brisbane before that. I know damn well how much money they inject into local communities infact it is company policy to do so. …… I wonder if you have ever lived more than 10 minutes away from a convenience store, or even spoken to people in remote communities that survive on mining because successive goverments have done all they can through neglect and one sided free trade agreements to erode the agricultural enterprises they used to survive on..

    I have not lived within 10 minutes of a convenience store, or within 600 km of a town of more than 25,000 people, for more than 10 years. The nearest convenience store to my house is 400 km away.

    Have I “ever spoken” to people in remote communities that survive on mining? I am one of those people.

    It is not correct to say that nobody in the greens cares about mining, mining towns, and their contribution to the local economy. Many of the greens supporters, members and certainly the elected representatives, are quite cognisant of the need for mining and the benefits it brings to local communities. This does not mean that the negative environmental effects of mining can be simply ignored. Most within the greens don’t want to “drive out” mining companies, we want to see sustainable methods of mining developed.

  156. galeg

    There is never ending discussion on whether the Gov can commit to renewable energy targets, and if any targets decided will ever be met.
    We all need to remember that it is the Australian electorate that will / will not meet any targets, and any Gov stupid enough to go against the wishes of the electorate will be thrown out and a Gov more sympathetic with the electorate requirements elected.
    In other words, if the Mr and Mrs Average in the mortgage belt electorates (swinging voters or marginal seats) agree / accept, a carbon tax / renewable energy targets, then they may be successful. This also goes for business. If they do not due to possible price increases, job losses, or any other reason, then the Gov will be thrown out at, or before a scheduled election, and the carbon tax, renewable targets thrown out by the next elected Gov.
    Sorry people, but those are the facts, and the Greens will have to like it or lump it. If the Greens have half a brain, they will survey the community to see what they will accept, then try to convince the electorate of stretch targets, close to what they will accept.

  157. Catching up

    Which question should we be asking?
    What will it cost us or what is the price our descendants will pay.
    Keep in mind, we have a choice, they do not.

    What I finding amazing over the last week there is a suggestion, that it is not prudent for politicians to challenge the media.

    Does anyone believe that Mr. Brown, the Greens, and Labor for that matter will be treated any better for shutting up and take what the media dishes out.

    Can some one tell what puts the media above everything else in society? Where did they get the right to be a law unto themselves?

    Where is the outcry that any organization can threaten our democracy by threatening to get even with those who dare to disagree with them?

    If the media take unto themselves the right to support one side in politics, and put in place a government that suits them, they must be held accountable. In other words, if they insist on playing politics, not just reporting politics, they must be open to questioning and scrutiny, as all other parties in politics are.

  158. Catching up

    The media and Mr. Abbott have been very successful in burying the budget, I wonder why this is so.
    The only reason I can think of, is the budget is right for our times, that the media and Mr. Abbott could not allow the public to see in a positive way.
    Are we as stupid as the media and Mr? Abbott believes us to be?

  159. Venise Alstergren

    CATCHING UP: “”Are we as stupid as the media and Mr? Abbott believes us to be?””

    We are. Because A) We refuse to understand the impossibility of feeding a world population of 7-9 Billion people. B) We allow the Media to misinform us. C) We are not even concerned by the fact Rupert Murdoch has, by his own volition, become a foreigner, and it is inimical to his interests to allow MSM to report anything without an hysterical right-wing bias. Had Mr Murdoch been Chinese he wouldn’t have come close to owing the local MSM. Being a renegade Australian mobster seems to endear his image to the readers of the MSM.

    THOUGHT FOR THE FUTURE: The minute a politician says “The Australian people are not stupid….” Is the minute he believes we are that stupid.

  160. guytaur

    @Christopher Dunne. Name a city that is not near water. This means you can use that water for power generation and for drinking. I did not suggest hydro alone would be the solution. That is your viewpoint. That one fixes all.
    It does not. There has to be a mix. My point is only those going around saying renewables are not base load energy are in fact lying. Tasmania proves it. Scotland proves it with its hydro from wave power.
    Your nuclear solution is not a good economic solution. Assuming you can get over the political barriers.

  161. Venise Alstergren

    GUYTAR: Brasilia, Baghdad, Tehran, all of Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, etc, etc?

  162. Liz45

    @CHRISTOPHER DUNN – Did or are you a Physician? There was a Dr Dunn(christopher) in the Illawarra some years ago?

    I’ll listen or read what David Mills has to say. I’m against nuclear power. All the frills and so-called logical answers etc don’t convince me as to the need for it or its safety. What’s happened in Japan has confirmed this. ‘Once in a lifetime I hear you say?’ – Once is enough!

    I am NOT interested in even discussing it. Australia doesn’t even have any safeguards re the sale of Uranium to overseas countries. If you disagree, show me the info. It’s not necessary for this country, and anyway, they take years to build; require lots of billions of investment by countries; costs always blow out; people don’t tell the populace the truth(Japan again) and so it goes on. Thanks, but no thanks! We have alternatives.

    Why do we need the huuuggggeee reactors anyway? Why don’t we have regional solar energy outlets for example. Germany has solar cells along roads, on farms(it’s also another means of income for farmers – when times are tough?. This is the driest country on earth. To contemplate an energy source that requires lots and lots of water is dumb!

    I’ll stick to eating the fish and prawns out of Lake Illawarra thank you. I don’t want to ‘glow in the dark’ if a reactor is set up near this great bonus in our lives.
    Areas in the US have had fish stocks die due to the ‘hot water’ going in to rivers etc. Sadly, it allows the rogue fish like our carp to reproduce but many others just die out. This facet isn’t even mentioned by most pro-nuclear people.
    Please don’t suggest a desalination plant, as that would be dumber than dumb!
    I’ve also followed Dr Helen Caldicott over the years, and her concerns I share!

    You didn’t even mention the indigenous peoples of this country. They’ve already suffered enough due to ‘white man’s progression’ – this is a bridge too far I believe!
    I fully support their stand against the nuclear waste dump! How disgusting to just bulldoze over them again! First Maralinga etc, then all sorts of other mining activity, and now this!

  163. klewso

    We could take “journalism” a lot more seriously if more of them than the present handful(?), “played” politicians equally – and stopped playing “Animal Farm (some politicians are more equal than others)”!

  164. guytaur


    We could start by requiring that all capital cities have a minimum of two newspapers.
    Maybe then we could have a version of Crikey in every Capital city.

  165. Competitive Australia

    @ Guytaur

    State Controlled Media like China or old USSR?

  166. Catching up

    How would we bring this about. All we can do is stop one ewner from having more than one.

  167. Competitive Australia

    Yea, just like China

    Have you ever been there. You are watching foreign news and the screens goes blank and come back after the segment.

  168. Arlen


    I’m not going to argue all the points with you but I’ll tell you that it is painfully obvious you haven’t bothered to do any research into the facts of modern nuclear power and the limits of renewables. Apparently, you made your mind up years ago and to hell with rest (including dealing effectively with climate change). If environmentalists who want to cite the scientific evidence for climate change can’t bring themselves to look at the numbers regarding renewables and nuclear then there’s really very little difference between them and the head in the sand deniers. Both are standing in the way of any effective action taking place. If you haven’t already I hope you’ll have a look at George Monbiot’s recent writing on nuclear: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/nuclearpower+profile/georgemonbiot

  169. guytaur

    @Competitive Australia.

    So now more news diversity and competition is to say make Australia like China is it?

    Are you a News Limited troll?

  170. guytaur

    @Catching UP

    Adelaide had two newspapers once. Murdoch history in contributing to the demise is undoubted.
    It is commercially feasible. Especially now in the days of reduced costs of production. Offer as many online versions as you can to save both trees and costs. This will reduce the cost of a print run.

  171. Competitive Australia

    @ Guytaur

    Mate, completely the opposite?

  172. klewso

    Could we get the Fair Trade Act applied to the media?

  173. Catching up

    What is the modern media?

    Is it to disperse news and information?

    Is it about journalism where quality is the main aim?

    Is it to entertain?

    Is it to make money as a platform for advertising?

    Is it a platform that wealthy and powerful people used to put the party they desire into power?

    I can remember reading about past press barons where they had great pride in the media they controlled. They were proud of the investigative journalism and the standard of what they produced. It was not unusual for older press across the world to be held in high regard and respect.
    Yes many were powerful and some feared.

    I believe the media today is to make money, full stop. They see their role as being entertainers. The size of the press has decreased to a small numbers of very powerful players, who are law unto themselves.

    We have a media that governments are plainly scared of; because of the power they have and use.

    What they do not have is the desire to produce quality. Journalism is no longer necessary. When you see fit to outsource your sun editors there is not much left of the old media.

  174. Venise Alstergren

    ARLEN: Whereas I do believe Nuclear Power to be the way ahead, I thought George Monbiot’s comment was very much to the point.

    “”31 Mar 2011: George Monbiot: We must apply the same standards to all energy-generating technology as we do to nuclear power””

  175. Liz45

    @ARLEN – The only people who are fixated are those (like you – not all?)who believe in nuclear power. I’m not alone by any means. I’ve also read the anti arguments written by people in recent years. If your only contribution to those who differ from you is arrogance and belittling people – you’re the one with the problem.

    George whatshisname put 4 conditions on his change of view. Those points can’t be guaranteed, and so the logical conclusion is that he hasn’t changed his mind. Go back and read yourself. In the meantime, stop being superior and offensive!

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