As two of maybe three different newspapers in the country, The Australian and The Age don’t normally agree on much.

As of today, however, they have at least agreed on something: the words of energy transition specialist Simon Holmes à Court are worth publishing, and worth publishing in replica on the exact same day.

Both papers have put out, with minor edits, the same op-ed from Holmes à Court fact-checking the Minerals Council’s misleading and largely futile attempt to spruik “clean coal”. 

For example, this pops up on page 16 of the Oz‘s paper: “It is no wonder the world has gone cold on so-called clean coal” ($).

Jump over to The Age’s page 19 story, “No one is buying the Minerals Council’s coal ‘slime’“, and what do we find:

Despite that strange incongruity over whether the anniversary of ScoMo’s inane coal stunt landed today or yesterday (it was today), the pieces more or less follow the same pattern: dismissal of “clean coal” as a cheap, clean or efficient energy source; analysis of global cooling (!) on coal; and a pretty neat “SLIME” acronym.

This is almost certainly a genuine mix-up, as any freelancer/commentator will tell you that they pitch to multiple outlets and that miscommunication is, weirdly, rife in the media industry.

And while Holmes à Court, The Australian and The Age are all yet to comment, he did tweet that the Oz piece would be his first for the publication, so our money is on the Fairfax piece coming as a fun little surprise.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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