ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the contemporary coverage of climate change politics in the Australian media sector, focusing on patterns of engagement with far-right environmentalist positions. Building on the discussion in Chapter 3, the analysis sheds critical light on the ways in which mainstream and far-right alternative news media in Australia can mutually reinforce denialist, resignatory and accelerationist attitudes about the anthropogenic causes and impacts of global heating. The investigation also reveals how reactionary social attitudes towards climate change are promoted by media and political institutions that are influenced by neoliberal commercial interests in Australia, including New Right political lobbying since the 1980s, and the concentrated corporate ownership of Australia's legacy media networks. The discussion examines how the discourse on climate change in the Australian media operates within online media ecosystems characterised by disinformation, which enable the viral spread of counterfactual news. Combined with post-truth and the anti-intellectual politics of far-right political networks, this mediatised environment is argued to reinforce societal scepticism about the scientific realities of climate change and contribute to its weaponisation by the far right.