News Corporation, the parent company of Dow Jones and Fox News, has declared itself carbon neutral. According to a memo from Chairman Rupert Murdoch:
We have become carbon-neutral across all of our global operations, and we are the first company of our kind to do so... We made a bold commitment in 2007 to embed the values of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability into all of our businesses -- for the benefit of our communities and our bottom line.
Murdoch's memo also says its businesses in Britain now obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. And its offices in South Brunswick, N.J., shared with Dow Jones at a corporate office campus, is nearing completion of a 4.1-megawatt solar power system that will provide nearly half of the facility's electrical needs at peak capacity.
How wonderful that the owner of Fox News, in particular, is so forward-thinking and progressive when it comes to issues concerning the environment. Murdoch is one of the most successful media moguls on the planet, and part of this is due to his focus on the bottom line. And if installing solar panels can bring down expenses, then this certainly makes perfect sense. However, when one of his media outlets continually discredits manmade climate change and also promotes the political views of politicians and pundits who want to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its funding, it makes one wonder which side of the issue he is on.
Is Rupert Murdoch a closet environmentalist who truly believes that we need to do our best to make our planet a cleaner and healthier place to live? If this is so, then why would he be party to a group of people who denigrate this line of thought? For example, Fox mainstay Glenn Beck has been quoted as saying, "For those of you who think climate change is real and man-made, you should know this, that -- I mean, you don't have to be a socialist, I guess, to believe in global warming. It's just that almost everyone who does believe in global warming is a socialist."
Obviously, Beck doesn't agree with the idea that climate change could be man-made. But is he also calling his boss a socialist?
And then we have the notorious leaked memo from Fox News' managing editor Bill Sammon sent to his staff last year in which he wrote: "... we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."
This doesn't even begin to address the sitting U.S. senators and representatives who are frequent Fox News guests, who feel that the EPA should be scaled back or completely eliminated.
The good news is that Murdoch's News Corporation is taking great strides towards creating a greener and more sustainable place to work and live. And if this is the firm's true core values, more power to it. However, it must be tough balancing act for News Corporation to justify its product line that doesn't agree with those values.
Jonathan A. Schein is CEO/ScheinMedia, publisher of GreenRealEstateDaily.com
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