Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones speaks during a rally in Sydney on July 1, 2011 against Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's plans to introduce a carbon tax. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Australian radio commentator Alan Jones has been ordered to undergo "factual accuracy" training over his remarks denigrating man-made global warming, local media relates.
Jones apparently said Australians produce just "1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air," and that "nature produces nearly all the carbon dioxide."
But, the Sydney Morning Herald continues:
University of Melbourne climate change scientist David Karoly said Australians were in fact responsible for .45 per cent of total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. ''Obviously, we would much rather prefer that the comments of people like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt were, in fact, correct, so it is pleasing to get this ruling from [the Australian Communications and Media Authority],'' Dr Karoly said.
The radio station told ACMA Jones' claims should have been taken as commentary...But the authority said any ''ordinary, reasonable listener'' would have taken his claims to be fact. [Emphasis added]
The radio's news and current affairs staff will also be participating in the training, and while Jones has apologized for his remarks, he still seems pretty defiant.
Questioning whether this is ''another chapter in the campaign of punishment for anyone who dares challenge the prevailing Government ideology of global warming," Jones says his program is "fastidious" about getting their facts right, and certainly apologizes for misquoting the reported amount of carbon dioxide emitted by Australians.
However, while many of the man's detractors are celebrating the news, others are calling it "scary."
Nigel Milan, a former chief executive with the radio station, explained:
"Are we to assume Alan Jones's listeners (and there are a lot of them) have but one source of information?...With the power of social media campaigns and the strongest libel laws in the country, do we really need the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the federal government to protect us? I think not. Indeed, whatever you think of Jones's views, surely the thought of a government-controlled media is more scary." [Emphasis added]