Our national broadcaster, the ABC, has struck again with a new low in responsible journalism.
In ‘PNG – That Sinking Feeling’, broadcast last night as part of the ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program, reporter Steve Marshall has trashed any credibility the ABC had left on environmental reporting.
The unambiguous message in the documentary and all the introductory material was that here was firm “evidence” of rising sea levels producing climate refugees.
The most powerful scene was of one islander and the reporter standing waist deep in water where the islanders father had once had his veggie patch. The implication being that sea levels had risen by close to two metres over recent decades.
The only problem with this is that the Carteret Islands are only a short distance from Bougainville where no such sea level rise has been reported. Moreover, the area is only 500km from some very serious recent volcanic activity at Rabaul and form part of an active volcanic chain through the Solomon Islands.
The Islanders appear to have been convinced that they are the victims of rising sea levels and global warming, no doubt from a procession of publicly funded planet ponces.
But if Marshall and the program managers at ‘Foreign Correspondent’ had been able to deal with more than one variable at a time they would have drawn the inescapable conclusion that the islands are sinking.
Instead they appear to have manufactured a piece of green propaganda that neatly dovetails with Al Gore’s thoroughly discredited claim that Pacific Islanders are already being displaced by rising sea levels?
What I find most offensive is the way a group of islanders who are confronted by a serious problem appear to have been exploited.
If the ABC can get something this simple completely wrong, then what does that tell us about the veracity of their reporting on much more complex issues elsewhere?