On this day in 2013, Jonathan Moylan, an activist with Frontline Action on Coal, sent out a false press release, pretending to be the Group Head of Corporate Sustainability of ANZ (a big bank).
“With the aid of nothing more sophisticated than a mobile phone and a laptop, Moylan put out a fake press release stating that ANZ had pulled their funding from the project on ethical grounds. He found a logo on the bank’s website, used the name of an ex-employee, and his own phone number.” [source]
The press release falsely claimed that ANZ was cancelling its $1.2 billion loan facility for Whitehaven Coal’s open-cut mine project in Maules Creek, NSW.
It was tweeted by an Australian Financial Review journo (who had at least bothered to phone Moylan) but quickly pulled when the journo’s editor saw it (by coincidence he knew
the ex-employee). Other outlets ran the story without the phone call, and Whitehaven’s share price briefly plummeted. Moylan’s house was raided, and after pleading guilty he was sentenced to two years in jail, but released with a two year good behavior bond.
A press release the following day by the Australian Coal Association showed them to be less than impressed…
see also – the December 2008 action by Tim DeChristopher
Also on this day-
2006. The Bureau of Meteorology (more bout them tomorrow) takes a break from faking climate data and Suppressing The Truth to warn of tricky times ahead –
Anon. 2006. Dire warming warning; Dearer food, more bushfires, less water on way. Canberra Times 7 January.
Rising food prices, increased bushfire risk and diminishing water supplies are some of the challenges Australia will face as the pace of global warming accelerates. The Bureau of Meteorology delivered its annual climate summary this week, showing that 2005 was Australia’s hottest year on record. The nation’s annual mean temperature for 2005 was 1.09C above the average, well- above the previous record of 0.84C in 1998.