Dear Leader Rupert

Rupert Murdoch has rightly been in trouble for talking about the 'minute' death toll in Iraq, and he has no regrets at all about 'supporting' the invasion, but I will leave it to others to take him apart on those gems.

I want to take up his other theme - climate change. He has it seems a little bit of 'a change of heart'. In the bad old days (before yesterday) - 'I have to admit that, until recently, I was somewhat wary of the warming debate. I believe it is now our responsibility to take the lead on this issue.' But he won't get too carried away - 'Some of the presumptions about extreme weather, whether it be hurricanes or drought, may seem far-fetched. What is certain is that temperatures have been rising and that we are not entirely sure of the consequences.' So don't expect him to release his attack dogs to stop preventing and start supporting action on global warming even now, at least not until he has sold some shares and bought others.

Now if Dear Leader Rupert was one of the trolls on HuffPo, writing, endlessly about Little Ice Ages, and the lack of Katrinas this season, and cold days in Kansas, that would be one thing. These guys, unable to comprehend anything but the junk science of professional climate deniers, will undoubtedly keep denying climate change even as they sink beneath the waves in Manhattan, or die in the desert sand dunes of Ohio. But this is a man who because of his wealth and control of the media, has had a massive impact on American politics and consequently the politics of the entire third planet from the sun. Being 'somewhat wary' didn't translate into after dinner debates over brandy and cigars, but massively dishonest campaigns on his Fox network and in newspapers all over the world. His lack of any scientific knowledge, any understanding of climate change, didn't stop him from not only thinking the findings of top scientists were 'far-fetched' but of massively imposing this view on politicians and the public. He has spent the last ten years catapulting the propaganda of climate change denial, so effectively that if you had to choose one person who is most responsible for the failure of governments, particularly the American and Australian governments, to act over the last critical ten years, Rupert Murdoch is your man. No point in saying 'to hell with Murdoch' he has taken us down with him.

This damage to the only planet we can live on is a consequence of applying free market principles to the media. The fact that Murdoch 'owns' the ability to massively influence the public for the worse doesn't give him the right to do so. Until there is a control, by the people, of the way that people like Murdoch use the air waves and newsprint to push their own whims, their own inadequate or warped understanding of the world, let alone their economic interests, and to hell with the other 6 billion people on the planet, we are doomed. Information is a public benefit, a right of every citizen, just like the right to breathe (and, oops, I was going to say drink water, but that right has now gone down the privatisation drain hole all over the world) - who decided that the distorted and ignorant views of a man like Murdoch could ride roughshod over that right?