News Corp., parent company of the notoriously anti-green Fox News, plans to go entirely carbon neutral by the end of 2010.
In her Mother Jones article “Fair and…Carbon Neutral?,” Kate Sheppard explores Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to make his media conglomerate completely green through “reducing energy use in its office facilities, moving to renewable energy, and purchasing offsets to take care of the remaining emissions.”
Not surprisingly, News Corp.’s green movement seems to be fueled less by altruism or any meaningful concern for the environment than it does financial gain and economic incentives (Rupert Murdoch referred to the whole effort as “simply good business,” and Sheppard points out that News Corp. is merely making a voluntary change that will soon become mandatory for many companies).
Still, recognizing its relative insignificance in the grand scheme of global emissions reduction, the corporation is focusing on spreading its eco-friendly mindset to a group with a much larger carbon footprint than its own: its audience. By “encouraging subsidiaries to run public service announcements on global warming” and “weaving climate-related themes into its entertainment programs,” News Corp. hopes to initiate more far-reaching change through its viewers.
After listening to Sean Hannity denounce carbon offsets as a “fraud” or Glenn Beck sneer derisively at the shrinking polar ice caps, I can’t help but think Fox News’ audience will be slightly confused when they are met with a PSA promoting greener living during the subsequent commercial break.