In an exclusive interview with The New York Times, Kathryn Murdoch went public in discussing her thirteen years of behind-the-scenes climate activism, contradicting the stance of the conservative empire she had married into.
“There hasn’t been a Republican answer on climate change,” Ms. Murdoch said. “There’s just been denial and walking away from the problems. There needs to be [an answer].”
Ms. Murdoch is the daughter-in-law of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox News. Fox did not issue a response after requested.
Similarly to her husband, James Murdoch, Ms. Murdoch has begun distancing herself from the conservative news outlet. In a recent New Yorker article, he said there were some “views I really disagree with” on the major news network.
This was the first time Ms. Murdoch discussed her work in climate advocacy, spanning over a decade.
“I’m very comfortable staying in the background and continuing to work quietly,” she said to The Times. “[But] I’ve decided doing that means I’m not working hard enough, I’m not doing everything in my power to do.”
Ms. Murdoch says she was inspired after listening to Al Gore’s 2006 talk at the Fox retreat, where the former Vice President—who created the Inconvenient Truth, a documentary on global warming—emphasized the urgency of climate change.
“I decided to switch everything I was doing,” she said. “I wanted to be able to look my children in the eye and say, ‘I did everything I could.’”
As a self-defined “radical centrist,” Ms. Murdoch has taken major steps to bridge the partisan divide and raise money for Unite America, a nonpartisan organization dedicated towards “working to bridge the growing partisan divide and foster a more representative and functional government.” Murdoch said the her and her husband are “anchor funders” for the organization. Although she wouldn’t disclose the exact amount of money they were donating, she said they planned on investing “nine figures” for the group’s efforts.
“I’m not saying I have all the answers—I don’t,” she said. “But what I know and what I feel very strongly is that sitting around not doing anything is the wrong answer.”
Although Ms. Murdoch’s contributions to Unite America initially drew some skepticism given the notoriety of her last name. However, the founder of the organization, Charles Wheelan emphasized that she was “an important ambassador” in communicating to the affluent as a friend within that community that climate change was a serious issue that would soon become the burden of their children if action wasn’t taken.
In 2008, Ms. Murdoch’s work with climate advocacy began in the then newly created Clinton Climate Initiative. Later on, she obtained a spot on the board of the Environmental Defense Fund, and then created Quadrivium with her husband in 2014 to invest in issues dealing with “democracy, technology and society, scientific understanding, climate change, and ocean health.”
In openly announcing her commitment towards fighting climate change, Ms. Murdoch largely distinguished herself from the brand associated with her surname. Although such an action might seem inconsequential, there’s hope Ms. Murdoch’s public devotion towards tackling the climate crisis will influence more prominent figures to take further action as well.
Emily is a Writer at The Rising, a Copywriter for 7SecondMedia, a Business student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a former writer for the Daily Illini. For any inquiries or story pitches, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
World War Zero: Leonardo DiCaprio, John Kerry, And Others Start Climate Coalition
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and others, have started a climate coalition called World War Zero to combat climate change. By spreading the word, Kerry’s team hopes to add to the momentum of the climate activism movement. Along with Greta Thunberg’s push for action, World War Zero intends to inform people around the country about the devastating effects of climate change.
What The World War Zero Coalition Entails
Under President Trump’s administration, the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord in a year. Of course, most Americans aren’t happy with the decision. Still, the Trump administration plans to leave the accord.
Trump claims that “The Paris accord will undermine the economy.” The withdrawal, however, will undermine the effects of climate change.
Desiring to better inform individuals, John Kerry and his partners hope to create more initiative for climate activism.
With big names such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Clinton, the coalition aims to “Mobilize an army of people who are going to demand action now on climate change sufficient to meet the challenge.”
Specifically, members of the union will travel to many places to spread the word about climate change. From traveling to swing states before the 2020 elections to military bases, individuals can learn about climate issues.
Moreover, representatives of the coalition can advertise their personal opinion on the topic.
Why The Work Matters
In an interview with the New York Times, Kerry stated that the World War Zero coalition isn’t attempting to propose a specific plan. There are people who believe in many different plans in this coalition.
While free to advertise these proposals, the World War Zero coalition shares a universal goal: to simply inform the public. Katie Eder, a member of the coalition, stated that “collaboration is key to our survival.”
Furthermore, people may create a unified understanding of the detriments of climate change by hearing the many different proposals.
In a bleak report by the UN, the richest countries in the world aren’t doing enough to lower carbon emissions. Another report also illustrates that global emissions today are extraordinarily off track from achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
By using the “World War” rhetoric, Kerry hopes to display the global risk that climate change poses to everyone.
There Needs To Be An Attitude Shift
A change in attitude towards climate change is imperative. Companies and politicians are constantly making promises. However, in the end, only action will truly make a difference.
Like John Kerry’s World War Zero coalition, the spread of information is among the most important methods of initiating action. Along with the movement started by Greta Thunberg, Kerry’s coalition proves that the momentum for change is building up.
Most Australians Want Businesses To Be Fully Powered By Renewables, Poll Finds
A whopping 68.5 percent of respondents urged Australian businesses to source power entirely from renewables, according to a uComms poll. Moreover, the poll also found that 78.9 percent of people wanted businesses to use more solar and wind energy. Additionally, some 65.7 percent said they would be more likely to buy products or services from companies that do so. It is safe to say that the poll is a signal.
Australians Want More Action On Climate Change And Pivot Towards Renewables
The poll finds Australians want the business community to do more to integrate renewables into their energy mix.
“This poll clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of Australians want businesses and corporations to step up and take action on climate change,” Lindsay Soutar, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, says in a media statement.
He was quick to point out Australia’s over-reliance on the fossil fuel industry. Consequently, he believes the issue is something the business community needs to address.
“The biggest driver of climate change in Australia is coal, which is still burned to make a large amount of our electricity.
“As some of Australia’s biggest users of electricity, businesses and corporations have an obligation to clean up their act and make the move to 100% renewable energy,” he added.
Businesses Respond To Call For Renewables
There are many examples of Australian businesses that are already committing to change towards a renewable energy future. One is the banking and investment firm Macquarie Group. The company recently announced it has joined a new sustainability initiative.
It is the RE100 initiative, which encourages influential businesses to source their entire energy supply from renewables.
“Macquarie will seek to develop projects to supply the green energy for its new Sydney headquarters and Melbourne office,” said the bank in a recent media release. “Macquarie has been carbon neutral in sourcing its energy supply since 2010 through the purchase of carbon credits.”
“The commitment from Macquarie Group means that it now joins the ‘Big Four’ Australian banks in agreeing to source all of their electricity consumption from renewable sources under the RE100 initiative.”
Macquarie Continues To Support Fossil Fuel Investments
However, while Macquerie’s public pledge to source 100 percent of its energy from renewables has been applauded, others remain skeptical. Even some of Macquerie’s own shareholders question Macquarie’s continued investment in fossil fuels.
Market Forces reported that Macquarie’s shareholders have grilled the company over its financial backing of oil, gas and coal projects. After all, why would it do so after announcing a global risk scenario analysis on climate change?
Al Gore Calls Climate Change The “Single Biggest Investment Opportunity In History”
At a recent event in San Francisco, former Vice President Al Gore spoke about the economic benefits of dealing with climate change now, rather than putting it off or trying to avoid it altogether. According to Gore, one way to motivate people to fund research for and invest in new solutions to climate change is the shift the way we are looking at the problem. For some, the monetary motivation of framing climate change as “the single biggest investment opportunity in history” may help them get behind the cause.
How big does Al Gore estimate the solution of this problem to be? To put things in perspective, he claimed that “the sustainability revolution has the magnitude of the agricultural and industrial revolutions but the speed of the digital revolution.”
Al Gore’s Involvement In Climate Activism
Al Gore is not a newcomer to climate activism. Though his activism began when he was a politician, one of Gore’s more famous pushes for climate action was his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, released in 2006.
Now, Al Gore gives frequent talks all over the country. He also puts on a climate awareness event called “24 hours of reality”. This year’s event just occurred on this past Wednesday and Thursday.
So, What Is The Payoff?
It’s difficult to quantify the exact payoff of resolving the climate crisis. However, it is not too difficult to imagine the losses that would occur if current emissions and pollution rates continue.
The Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that the global economy would undoubtably shrink. Current estimates hover around 3% in the next 30 years if climate change goes untreated.
However, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in August, the growth per capita could decrease by 10.5% by the end of the century without climate change action starting now.
A Problem Too Costly To Ignore
Letting the problem of global warming sit for the next 81 years could also have direct costs to nations across the world as we attempt to deal with repercussions. The most costly and evident now include dealing with natural disasters and increased premature death.
Other concerns include lost property on coasts due to rising sea levels and lost wages due to heat waves.
Specifically in the United States, The Fourth National Climate Assessment predicted some dire impacts by the end of the century. Some of the highest costs would come from heat-related deaths at an estimated $141 billion.
Another is lost wages in outdoor industries due to heat waves at $155 billion, and lost coastal property at $118 billion.
A Look Forward
The biggest reasons for fighting climate change shouldn’t be purely economical. Instead, they should be rooted in the ethical obligation of maintaining the planet for ourselves and our posterity. However, different arguments can spur more action and persuade a larger audience to fight for change.
Thus, looking at climate change from an economic perspective might help to foster changes to prevent tragedy.
If we deal with climate change effectively and with a strong commitment, then we can reap the benefits. If we let the problem sit and grow worse, then we will pay the price.
Subscribe for the most important sustainability stories sent to your email every morning!
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.
Sustainability1 week ago
Time’s Up: Climate Change Displaces Another Person Every Two Seconds
Politics1 week ago
New Zealand Steps Up To The Plate On Climate Action As Australia Lags Further Behind
Sustainability7 days ago
Bad Move: 31 States Significantly Reduce Funding To Environmental Protection Efforts
Energy5 days ago
Here’s How European Homes Are Curbing Energy Emissions
Sustainability4 days ago
Latest IUCN Report Shows Ocean Deoxygenation Is Happening At An Alarming Rate