How Murdoch ‘ruperters’ operate 20

Serial recidivist in the Murdoch stable of liars and obfuscators, ‘ruperter’ Geoff Chambers1,2  has now come out with more drivel topped by a ludicrously misleading headline3. He states in Murdoch’s The Australian that, in the eastern states, electric vehicles are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than ‘regular’ petrol vehicles. One presumes this ham-fisted statement means on a ‘per vehicle’ basis, as plug-in electric cars make up less than 1% of the cars on the road in Australia.

Chambers quotes a report by engineering consulting company, ABMARC, which states that the Labor Party’s plan to have 50% of new car sales to be electric by 2030 would require between $5 billion to $7 billion in charging infrastructure. This sounds like a great deal of cash, but it pales into insignificance alongside the money spent on creating the mobile phone network, which, in 2018, generated $44 billion in revenue alone for its operators. Indeed, telecommunications carriers have spent $5 billion on spectrum licences alone4. One can imagine someone like Chambers, 100 years ago, whining about the huge cost of building petrol stations for all those new-fangled internal combustion engined vehicles, or the huge initial cost of replacing gas street lighting with electricity. Chambers then supposedly quotes from the ABMARC report with “Installing this level of charging infrastructure would require a significant increase in the rate of investment in recharging infrastructure…”3. This does make you wonder about the quality of the report or, at least, the author’s facility with English.

Chambers further quotes the report “CO2 emissions from electric vehicles in Victoria are particularly high, similar to the average diesel CO2 emissions” and petrol vehicles in NSW Victoria ACT and Queensland “provide less CO2 than electric vehicles”. This disparity doesn’t sound reasonable, until you realise, as Chambers states, it is because of “Australia’s continued reliance on coal-fired power stations”3. This is the reason that the headline of Chambers’ piece is at best misleading. It is, of course, not emissions from the electric vehicles, but emissions from electricity generation that are the problem. The reason Victoria’s emissions are so high is because they generate much of their electricity from brown coal (lignite), which is even less efficient (~30%) at generating electricity (per tonne of CO2 emitted) than black coal, which in turn is much less efficient than natural gas5. Chambers also states that, strangely enough, electric vehicles provide greater environmental benefits in Tasmania, where almost all electricity comes from hydroelectric generation. What a surprise!

So, this article should have been an explanation of why we need to dump coal-fired electricity generation, but the climate change deniers at The Australian have attempted to skew it the other way, to indicate that electric vehicles are environmentally dangerous. If Chambers wrote his headline, he is either an idiot or dishonest. If someone else did, then Chambers is simply a lackey who does what he is told. Either way, to call him a journalist is overstating his capabilities.


  3. Chambers, G., August 27, 2019. Electric vehicles have ‘higher carbon emissions’. The Australian.


  • Mark Dougall says:

    I agree with everything you say although, like Rowan Dean*, I would have no idea who this twerp is if I didn’t read your blog.

    *Bit of a lie. Media Watch also told me about this strangeling.

    • admin says:

      I may be just one lone blogger shouting at lies and injustice, but if there are enough of us, we may be able to stop them. The cracks are starting to appear in the Murdoch media. A few of its journalists with some integrity have jumped ship.

  • Russell says:

    At the Rupert Moloch creative news outfits, the sham articles, factoidal misreportings and high dudgeon prattle get ever more devious. The dreary underlings who front Murdoch’s “climate change is crap”, bash-anything-green vaudeville show must become increasingly shrill and sneaky about their sorry task. That’s because they know at heart, which I reluctantly grant them to possess, the matter of causes is fully apparent, the nonsense of differing scientific views has been swept away. In constant succession for a decade at least, awful events across the planet indicate the truth of research, summations and predictions on human-induced ecological disruption, some being three decades old. Mere hacks such as G. Chambers can go on twisting the genuine evidence inside-out to support a totally disproven case on climate, just as they may continue duping some sad minority of die hard neoliberal types who waste cash on The Australian or drastic echoes of it. None of that will prevent a now rising tsunami of general recognition that if there is any viable future for Earth, it starts with huge switches to renewable energy, eliminating coal and oil mining and a zero-carbon, minimal waste economy. More and more will the average person demand such changes, given concurrent food-depleting droughts, bleached corals, monster hurricanes etc, seen on everyone’s TV. If, as one pessimist said in a related book title, “the water will come” yet also will come more grass-roots demonstrations for immediate genuine action, then electric vehicles, gigantic solar arrays, geothermal power, mega-batteries, nuclear energy and so on. Non-hydrocarbon power and industry are commoner than thought here in Australia, which means some Aussie leaders should be heartily afraid to meet their like overseas. No, instead it’s Australia’s thinking people who experience shame for what a laggard Canberra has been on a global disaster – one hurting us also. True inattention and scientific blindness of world leaders have abetted huge ecological ills and helped destabilise climates. But better transformation very late than never. Those who formulate (or foment) lies on climate, earn only a place where Rupert the Unwise is bound soon: “on the trash-heap of history”.

    • admin says:


      Yep. However, I think the ‘trash-heap of history’ is too good for them. These bastards need to face justice of the same sort faced by the Nazis at Nuremberg in 1945-46. They have committed a crime against humanity by delaying action to mitigate the effects of climate change, and that delay may result in the deaths or displacement of millions of people.

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