Murdoch ‘ruperter’ Greg Sheridan has long been out of touch with reality. He recently published a book entitled ‘God is good for you: A defence of Christianity in troubled times’. It almost goes without saying that the only god that Sheridan thinks is good for you is the one in which he believes. All those other people who believe in one or more of the myriad of other gods are clearly mistaken. The world he inhabits is a small self-centred one and that is commensurate with his rampant conservatism and support for the small-minded Liberal Party.
Now Sheridan has gone completely off his trolley. In a piece in The Australian, what Newscorp attempt to portray as a ‘newspaper’, he has whined about having his trip to work impeded by a protest by ‘vegan militants’ and likened this to ‘Green criminals’ invading the properties of ‘innocent farmers’. Then he coalesces these into a perceived ‘Green-Left army’ and later in the piece adds a portion of the Labor Party into a Green/vegan/Labor-Left anti-development coalition. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, living in a democracy means you have to put up with protests on occasion. Sheridan is only upset because it is something with which he disagrees. This is always the case among the ultraconservatives. They always pretend to be about free speech, but it is only ever their speech which should be free.
As befits Sheridan’s employment by Newscorp, he is a climate change denier, having his article ‘The great climate fiction’2 put up on the Lavoisier group’s website under their ‘Articles Conference Papers and Submissions’ tab. The Lavoisier Group is one of Australia’s most strident climate change denying organisations (apart from the Liberal-linked Institute of Public Affairs). It is interesting to note that the most recent posting was in August 20153. Could it be that the organisation has run out of lies to propagate? Fittingly, ultraconservative Sheridan complains that if we do not have coal to sell, how can we earn a living. I get the impression that Sheridan is the sort of person who would have whined about the demise of whale-oil street lighting and its replacement by gas or electricity; and by the demise of the steel rimmed wooden wheels of buggies and their eventual replacement by those awful inflatable rubber thingies; and by the demise of the asbestos industry as those do-gooder scientists established its link to mesothelioma. God knows what he would have thought about the replacement of cables with wifi; he must have been ropable.
Perhaps in one of the most outstanding examples of a lack of self-awareness, Sheridan maintains that these protestors are simply trying to impose their self-righteous diktats on others1. This is largely what most churches try to do, including Sheridan’s, and which his has done for many hundred of years; even to the extent that in the past it would burn people for not toeing the line. In the past, the churches were quite happy to abuse children, endorse slavery, and tell animists and other religionists that if they continued along that path, they would burn for eternity in the non-existent ‘hell’.
There are several other misleading statements in Sheridan’s piece. These include “…iron ore, can only be used with coal”. This is currently mostly true. However, several countries are in a race to produce steel using a radical new carbon-dioxide free method which uses hydrogen to replace coal. Their emissions will consist of water4. Sheridan also states that “Bauxite is no good, as well because it needs a lot of coal power to turn it into aluminium.” Aluminium smelters use much electricity, but it is immaterial what the source of that electricity is. This sort of disingenuousness is symptomatic of Sheridan and his rabid support for the Coalition. He rails against the sort of progress which is forced upon us, but is all for the type of ‘progress’ which has put us in the position we are in at present, where we are in danger of making much of the planet uninhabitable. These Murdoch ‘ruperters’ are either lacking in intelligence and relevant knowledge, or they are completely without principles. Both are equally dangerous.