If at first you don’t succeed, buy the opposition
Ms.Rinehart is a mining magnate, which means that her long-term business strategy can’t really work with any climate mitigation strategies, since that would involve admitting that we need to leave around 80% of the world’s remaining fossil fuel resources in the ground. As the Economist pointed out last week, that’s not so great for your mining company shareprice. It's not the kind of thing that the mining industry wants to hear.
By all reports, Rinehart is cut from the same ideological cloth as her father and mentor Lang Hancock, which is to say really conservative (the elder Hancock once suggested lacing drinking water to sterilise Indigenous Australian people in order to make them ‘breed themselves out’). When Rinehart moved from Perth to study economics at Sydney University, she lasted less than a year, finding the university ‘basically communist’ according to a profile on Rinehart in the Sydney Morning Herald this January.
She supports many of the reactionary right-wing beliefs that would make her quite comfortable within the Tea Party in the USA and has recently started purchasing large shares in Australian media companies including an AU$165million 10% stake in Channel 10 and an AU$300million 18.7% stake in Fairfax Media – the only non-Murdoch owned broadsheet newspaper company in Australia.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Murdoch media empire doesn’t just cover the hysterical right wing in the US and the previously-all powerful tabloids in the UK. The Murdochs own 70% of all national and state newspapers in their home country of Australia.
So, given that 70% of all Australian newspapers are already pushing a conservative climate-denial agenda, it's concerning that Rinehart is purchasing additional media shares because she doesn’t think it treats the mining industry well enough.