Jan 13, 2014

The Big Oil-backed climate denier who hoodwinked Fairfax

"Expert reviewer" John McLean wrote a climate denialist opinion piece in the Fairfax media -- despite its papers vowing not to. Researcher Elaine McKewon asks: just who is John McLean, anyway?

  NOTE: A complaint to the Australian Press Council about this article was partly upheld. Read the full adjudication here.

Last October The Sydney Morning Herald announced it would not publish letters from climate change deniers that misrepresented the facts. So naturally I was shocked to see an opinion piece from right-wing think tank operative John McLean published on both the SMH and The Age websites earlier this month. Not only was the piece misinformed, but McLean was falsely presented as an expert on climate science.

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102 thoughts on “The Big Oil-backed climate denier who hoodwinked Fairfax

  1. Tamas Calderwood

    And yet even the IPCC now admits there hasn’t been any global warming for 15 years…

    I just thik it’s important to keep that point in mind when talking about “denialists”.

  2. illywhacker

    Important article. Has a response been sought from Fairfax?

  3. Boerwar


    Congratulations on an excellent analysis of the sicknesses at the heart of denialism.

    And, while I am on the topic…


    You could always try to address the substance of the article.

  4. Chris Hartwell

    Tamas, can you please provide proof of your claim?

  5. Will

    Thank you for doing this routine garbage collection – unfortunately it is necessary. I would have been flabbergasted that Fairfax allowed such a disingenuous byline if their record wasn’t already burnished by providing an accountability-free platform for hacks from the IPA.

  6. Jimmy

    I would also like to see some evidence for your remark – the point you make in your first line is exactly the sought of misinformation the aritcle is talking about.

  7. Dawson Colin

    @Tamas, where did the IPCC make that admission? Given the recent run of worldwide record average temperatures, that is an astonishing claim.

  8. JohnB

    Chris, please don’t feed the troll.

    Crikey diminshes its own credibility whenever they publish certain contributors’ stuff… somewhat akin to Fairfax being damaged through associating with such as John McLean.

  9. Don

    so what has fairfax said?

  10. Chris Hartwell

    Sorry JohnB, I’ve seen on several other sites (news and blogs) where if an inaccurate comment isn’t called out and either proven or disproven in a timely manner, someone else will repeat it further along, complete with the “Ah ha! I’ve seen this written somewhere before, so it must be valid!” reasoning.

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