climate change news corp
News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt.

Oh God, it’s time for flame wars with Andrew Bolt again.

Readers will remember how I noted that Bolt’s purported mea culpa column on global warming — “it’s happening, but it doesn’t matter, and it’s gonna be great!” — was really a repositioning, to separate himself from the out-and-out craz… erm, enthusiasts such as Craig Kelly, who continue to insist that there’s no warming at all.

The Bolter — he has earned the nickname after bolting from full denialism — now insists that he fooled us all because the “I was wrong” at the start of the column was the head-fake we said it was. 

Sigh. This is Bolt at his Boltest.

The misfit Dutch boy in Australia, who didn’t fit in when he returned to the Netherlands, trailing a broken engagement with a belly dancer, is a graduate of Hawke Labor’s National Media Liaison Service — Barry Cassidy’s Flying Circus, spinning the news for Labor in the ’80s.

After that, his most prominent story was 100 words of text accompanying the famous photo of a soldier’s kilt flying up in the wind at the Hong Kong handover in 1999. 

He invented the character “Andrew Bolt” for the Hun after that, and hasn’t looked back since.

He is both zealot and apparatchik, evincing both a desperate need for simple certainties and a keen eye for shifts in News Corp positioning.

He says he’s always said that global warming was happening. But then again he’s said pretty much everything on global warming, except for the truth: that its occurrence is virtually certain and either catastrophic or an extinction event, which makes reversing it a survival imperative. 

But outright denialism is now on the out at News Corp, and so waving around those “pause” graphs from East Bumcrack University (h/t Annabel Crabb) has to be abandoned.

The man who purports to be an independent thinker is a News Corp lifer, the Good Soldier Schlock. Whatever his thoughts on warming, he knows when the climate has changed in the office. We will watch this big do-over with his addled blog audience with great interest. 

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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