Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corporation, in an interview marking the 50th anniversary of his newspaper the Australian, described the effects of climate change as “overblown”, and said that Australia “shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish”.
On his Sky news channel, talking to the current editor of the paper Paul Kelly, Murdoch described the long history of the newspaper and its ideological changes and perspectives. In particular, the decision to oppose the Whitlam government in the 1970’s, which caused a journalist strike.
Murdoch has also lambasted the previous Australian Labour government’s decision to install a nationwide, state-owned high speed broadband network known as NBN (National Broadband Network) – something he referred to as a “a ridiculous idea, and still is.”
The media mogul described the idea as a waste of money, which he said would be overtaken by mobile networks and technology, anyway.
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He added, “People think I’m talking from my pocket and Foxtel [but] in fact NBN would be great for Foxtel because it would take all those programs into every home.”
Kelly quizzed Murdoch on Australian issues and also International ones. When discussing Australian industry, however, Murdoch describes worries surrounding the shrinking Australian car market as well as the international energy market.
“The car industry is leaving us,” Murdoch said.
“All I can see from this distance is the prospect of a lot of unemployment unless we can get small people starting businesses and some bigger industries coming too. We can be the low-cost energy country in the world. We shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.”
When questioned on climate change, Murdoch replied that climate change should be approached with extreme scepticism, adding, “Climate change has been going on as long as the planet is here. And there will always be a little bit of it.
“At the moment the North Pole is melting but the South Pole is getting bigger. Things are happening. How much of it are we doing, with emissions and so on? As far as Australia goes? Nothing in the overall picture.”
Australia has recently been under pressure from the international community to adhere to carbon emission targets set by the UN’s environmental committee.
A decision by Unesco has also been recently put on hold until 2015 regarding the protection of Australia’s barrier reef from increased environmental damage.
The worst case scenario, added Murdoch, was that the global temperature will rise by 3C over 100 years, and that if “the sea level rise six inches it’s a big deal, the Maldives might disappear, but we can’t mitigate that, we can’t stop it, we just have to stop building vast houses on seashores”.
When asked about Europe and other international concerns, Murdoch also criticised the level of state welfare, stating, “It sounds bad coming from me but I think the welfare state has been overdone particularly in Europe.
“With the welfare obligations in Europe you are not going to get growth of more than one or two per cent. We have huge unemployment of young people for many years to come. We’ve got to see this doesn’t happen to us.”
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