The Unsinkable Child-Stealing Myth

Abit of judicial biffo goes on all the time as appeal courts rule on whether a trial judge got it right or wrong. A case in point is the High Court’s unanimous critique last year of two Victorian appeal judges who sent the innocent Cardinal Pell to prison. Such court language has a polite veneer. But do you ever wonder what judges really think? To find out go buy Nicholas Hasluck’s Bench and Book,  (Arcadia, $44), published a month ago. It’s his two-year diary from 2000 when he became a WA Supreme Court judge. He reitred in 2010.

Barrister Nick, also novelist, memoirist and poet, took crimson while continuing as chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and finishing a Jacobean-era novel, Arbella’s Baby, writing as “Margaret Martin” in a post-modern identity twist.

Book and Bench publishes for the first time his private biffo with ex-High Court Judge Sir Ronald Wilson over the latter’s Bringing Them Home Report of 1997, source of the “stolen generations” story and alleging government-administered “genocide”.

Hasluck’s father, Paul, was Commonwealth Minister for Territories running Aboriginal policy and administration in the Northern Territory from 1951-63, and Governor-General 1969-74. Paul Hasluck, with his devotion to Aboriginal welfare, didn’t actually spend his time stealing part-Aboriginal kids from their wailing mother’s arms.[1] Equally absurd is that Paul’s bureaucrats did the stealing behind his back; Paul was fanatical about portfolio detail.

Yet if Bringing Them Home were true, Paul had to be a genocidal monster. Paul’s son, Nick, was not having any of that.

The intra-judicial explosion detonated when Sir Ronald wrote effusively to Nick congratulating him on becoming a judge (their Perth homes were only 7km apart as the crow flies). Sir Ronald doubtless expected a grateful reply. But Nick was stewing over Sir Ronald’s telling the National Press Club in 1999 about NT ‘genocide’ in the Hasluck era. Nick blasted Ron; Ron lashed back. They banged heads to mutual exhaustion. And later, Ron admitted to Patrick Carlyon of The Bulletin (June 2001) that his ‘genocide’ claim was a crock (p258) – which hasn’t stopped the Australian wokerati spraying the term around regardless.[2]

Drafting his Bench and Book, Nick overcame qualms about publishing the letters.

Sir Ronald

wrote to express the congratulations, pleasure and approval I feel in your appointment to the Bench…As you will understand, I have felt a real affinity with your fine leadership of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal over the past ten years and congratulate you on your work in that regard… (p105-8)

Nick fumed for several weeks. Then, on a quiet Saturday afternoon, between writing up two court judgements, “I realise that the time has come to send a candid response. I can’t prevaricate or postpone the unpleasant task any longer. I work away at it for a while and eventually settle upon a somewhat lengthy reply in these terms:

…I cannot pretend to agree with much of what you have had to say in recent years about the so-called ‘stolen generations’ issue, especially in regard to the Northern Territory in the post-war era. Accordingly, I feel that I would be lacking in moral courage if I simply responded to your letter with a bland, and thus insincere reply.

It is apparent from your Bringing Them Home report and your subsequent utterances that you will allow no merit or humanity to anyone involved in the administration of Aboriginal affairs prior to 1972. This, inevitably, brings with it a condemnation of my father, the late Sir Paul Hasluck. Indeed I saw you on television at the National Press Club saying, unequivocally, to a vast viewing audience, that ‘genocide’ was being perpetrated in the Northern Territory throughout the 1950s as a deliberate policy; that is to say, during the period my father was in office as Minister for Territories. And yet, it is also apparent from your report that no serious attempt was made by you or your colleagues to explain the policies of the day or to allow any of those involved to be heard in their own defence.

I regard this lack of due process as reprehensible and the meagre exposition in your report as a travesty. This makes the characterisation of my father as a genocidal murderer doubly offensive, especially when one remembers that Paul Hasluck’s call in his maiden speech in Parliament on March 14, 1950, for the rights of Aborigines to be respected was, to use Gough Whitlam’s words, ‘the most thorough speech ever to have been delivered in the national Parliament.’ Now, under your leadership, an insidious attempt is being made to demonise Paul Hasluck and many others like him.

Perhaps you will be inclined to respond to this with semantics, and seek to convince me that ‘genocide’ is being used in some special sense that doesn’t encompass a murderous intention to exterminate an entire race.

But that is not the way your followers see it. At Writers’ Week in Adelaide recently, Bob Ellis and many other speakers had no compunction in comparing the so-called ‘genocide’ in Australia to the use of gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and those responsible for the former as being in the same ring of hell as Hitler, Goering and Goebbels. Inflammatory comments of this kind are now de rigueur in Australian intellectual life, as I discovered again at a recent conference at the National Library in Canberra. This is the level to which debate in this country has now sunk as a direct consequence of your report…[3]

Hasluck next criticised Wilson for

tarnishing the names and reputations of many people of an earlier generation – the patrol officers, the nurses, the teachers, the missionaries, the administrators – who laboured in good faith with limited resources to confer benefits on those who might otherwise, at that time, have been left without a future. I cannot see that defamations of this kind are a necessary or desirable part of ‘reconciliation’… it is a tragedy that as a consequence of your report so many Australians of goodwill now feel that this is a subject that is ‘out of bounds’ and can no longer be discussed.

Hasluck attached a letter he wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald on March 11, 1999, quoting Paul Hasluck himself on the NT that

an earnest effort was made to change Australian neglect and indifference towards Aborigines, to improve their conditions and raise their hopes for the future. We strove for full recognition of their entitlements – legally as citizens, socially as fellow Australians.

Wilson responded within three days that his inquiry had solicited evidence from all quarters and by ‘genocide’ he referred to cultural not physical destruction. He denied trying to demonise Paul Hasluck, and said the report’s finding of genocide was based on the states’ Protectors conference of 1937 aiming “to persuade all governments to adopt the policy of biological absorption of Aboriginal children of mixed descent into Western society” and eliminating the children’s cultural identity and traditions.

Wilson: The Report voices the changing motivation underlying the assimilation policies from biological absorption to what was thought to be best for the children. Unfortunately the stripping away of all traces of aboriginality was still thought to be in the best interest of the children, such was the insidious impact of the racist White Australia policy on this aspect of Australian life.

Sir Ronald ended by saying the Report’s “credibility is beyond question. I am truly sorry that it has occasioned you such distress and anger. Yours sincerely, Ron. PS Please do not feel obliged to respond to this letter.”

Within three days, Hasluck did indeed reply:

…To my mind, your Report’s failure to take account of contemporary sources of this kind [namely Paul Hasluck’s book Shades of Darkness] is inexplicable and justifies my earlier reference to the Report’s ‘meagre exposition’. (P111-12)

Hasluck complained that Wilson’s Report also ignored the PhD of Colin Tatz on NT administration in the 1950s, which has “not a single word about forcible removals, genocide or human rights abuses of any kind.”

Wilson replies, ending the exchange:

I sadly agree that we shall have to agree to disagree. I believe the gulf between us centres on our respective understandings of the breadth of the term ‘genocidal’. The Report acknowledges that removal may have been motivated by the belief that it was in the best interests of the children.

In a later glorious aside, Hasluck remarks (p139),

The credibility of the report is not assisted by the fact that its principal author, Sir Ronald Wilson, was a Senior Crown Prosecutor in WA for many years during the assimilation era, but failed to prosecute anyone for the crimes of the kind he now contends were taking place his home state during the period he was in office. Paradoxically, it seems that as a former Moderator of the Uniting Church and as a member of the governing board of Sister Kate’s hostel for part-Aboriginal children, Wilson was an active collaborator in the policies and practices he now condemns.[4] [5]

In his lawyerly way, Hasluck quotes the High Court case  – Kruger (1997) and Full Federal Court –  Cubillo-Gunner (2001) [6], affirming that NT child policy was oriented to their welfare, not genocidal in any sense.  Likewise the Wilson report itself says the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal deaths in custody “contains the specific finding that child removal policies were adopted not for the purpose of exterminating people, but saving them.” (page 138) 

Hasluck also had little time for “the sanctimonious Sir William Deane”, another one-time High Court judge (1982-95), who was Governor-General  from 1996-01. At the 2001 Centenary celebrations, Deane was “managing to suggest, as usual, and very piously, that any members of the audience who are not ashamed of their nation’s past are clearly in need of Orwellian re-education.” (page 210) 

Keep in mind that Bringing Them Home of 1997 suggested 100,000 or so “stolen” children, and Kevin Rudd in his 2008 Apology said “up to 50,000”. The alleged total is an elastic figure.

But try this: When Paul Hasluck became Territories Minister in 1952 he asked for a report on numbers of NT Indigenous children removed from camps and sent to hostels and schools in Darwin and Alice Springs. This pre-dated any “stolen” controversies. His officials told him that, from 1927 to the World War II, the incomplete records indicated 77 boys and 32 girls had left their families, all with the consent of the mothers. That’s under ten per year, from an NT Aboriginal population of around 17,000.[7]

Nick Hasluck: The number since the War, where records were complete [to 1951], was 45 boys and 65 girls, much less than 1% of the Aboriginal [NT] population and less than 3 percent of the [NT] Aboriginal children of the period. Not exactly the picture of widespread removals now presented to the Australian public in the 21st century by activists with an axe to grind! (page 135).

Neither Paul nor Nick refer to whatever happened to part-Aboriginal children in other states, since Paul’s ministerial remit was solely the NT. The South Australian archives, for example, have now revealed that numbers of removed children in SA were even fewer than in the NT – averaging two to three per year from 1840-1940, including a SA government count of five per year from 1900-13, and that’s for all reasons.

Keith Windschuttle from his archival research for The Fabrication of Aboriginal History (Vol 111, p617) puts the national total of child removals from 1880 to 1970 at 8250 or 92 per year for all reasons, including orphaning, neglect, jeopardy and consensual transfers for fostering and education (those dominate the NSW data). Only one compensation court case has ever succeeded, involving a well-meaning but misguided Adelaide welfare officer who separated infant Bruce Trevorrow from his family in defiance of state policy against such removals. Trevorrow was awarded $775,000.[8]

The late Professor Colin Tatz AO mentioned by Nick Hasluck spent the early 1960s in the NT doing his PhD thesis (1964) on Fifties era administration of NT Aboriginal policy. This is a crucial contemporary record. Tatz, previously a crusading South African lawyer, was well placed to note any malpractices (let alone genocidal tendencies). Nick read Tatz’s thesis in the ANU libary.[9] He writes,

Tatz was given entry to every corner of the NT in the early 1960s. Whilst there … he interviewed some 300 people, officials and others active in Aboriginal welfare. His thesis mentions administrative shortcomings and even suggests that not enough was being done to implement the assimilation policy of the time – that is, a policy to ensure that Aboriginal people had the same entitlements as other Australians. Curiously, as I now confirm by a careful study of his text, there is no mention whatsoever of any problems concerning the ‘removal’ of part-Aboriginal children from their parents. How is it that Colin Tatz, a human rights campaigner, failed to protest, or even notice, the ‘genocide’ that was allegedly taking place at the time he was writing his thesis? Probably because, contrary to current [2000-01] propaganda, it wasn’t there to be noticed. Perhaps it simply wasn’t happening! (p73) [10] [11]

Hasluck cites a 1959 book, Medicine Man by an NT medico, Dr F McCann, many years before the “stolen” controversy:

It establishes, contrary to [academic] Robert Manne’s contentions, that many ‘half-caste’ children (a term used in that era) were abandoned by their communities and were ‘rescued’ by removal to places such as the refuge in Alice Springs, the Bungalow , and the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin.” (page 257)

If Nick Hasluck was concerned in 2000 that the genocide myth was taking root in a “constant note of recrimination and hysteria”, he must be in despair today. Every schoolchild is now coached that Australian governments sponsored genocidal “stolen generation” policies. Only last week NSW’s $605,000 bureaucrat Jim “I got fired” Betts  farewelled his Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in these terms:

I hope DPIE continues its journey towards genuine reconciliation with our First Nations people, acknowledging the reality of the genocide inflicted upon them … DPIE can make a difference by taking its own bold steps on the journey to Truth, Voice and Treaty. Maintain the rage.

Cue applause for Mr Betts. In today’s Australia, impeccable historical accounts, judicial findings to High Court level and plain common sense count for zilch in rebutting the genocidal child-stealing myth.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] The same could be said of WA Labor Premier (1953-59) Bert Hawke , uncle of advocate for Indigenes Bob Hawke.

[2] Carlyon wrote: “Wilson is sorry for that most shocking finding in Bringing them Home, the verdict that elevated Australian practices and policies to levels of evil associated with Hitler \

[3] Another Festival panellist was Bernard Schlink, a visiting writer on the Nazi Holocaust. He was heard to say, “What is happening in this country that people cannot tell the difference between taking children away to be educated and to the gas chambers?” p43

[4] Hasluck writes that the now-acknowledged flaws and exaggerations of the Bringing Them Home Report would not have been brought to light “unless Quadrant writers and people such as Reg Marsh, Ron Brunton and Michael Duffy had possessed the courage in an age of political correctness to separate fact from fiction.” P262

[5] Hasluck also finds it ironic that such Indigenous proponents of the genocide narrative as freedom-rider and bureaucrat Charles Perkins and Wilson Report protégé Mick Dodson were themselves advantaged by advancement measures including boarding and education scholarships. P140

[6]  “The three judges on appeal agree with the trial Judge, Justice O’Louglin, that there was no general post-war policy in the NT to remove part-Aboriginal children. Rather, the personal circumstances and welfare needs of each child were considered… it certainly casts further doubt on the Bringing Them Home Report.  (P279). Hasluck says of the original case,

“The (ABC) listener will surely be left with the impression that governments of 50 years ago were in the business of snatching babies and children simply for the malicious pleasure of doing so…I can’t imagine where it will all end, now that leading academics and malleable institutions like the ABC have thrown to the four winds any concern for truth or objectivity.” (p59).

I was not previously aware that the Federal Attorney-General’s Department was persuading the Liberal cabinet to fold and not defend the Cubillo-Gunner case. This Munich-like surrender was thwarted by several days of phone lobbying led by libertarian Ray Evans.(p143).

[7] The 1954 census indicated a 17,163 Indigenous population in the NT and 75,040 nationally.

[8] For detailed exposition of a subsequent 2014  failed claim, see my account here

[9] He found a mere 11 people had accessed the thesis, none from the Bringing Them Home inquiry.

[10] Similarly, among the many injustices cited by the Aboriginal tent embassy outside federal Parliament in the 1970s, there was no mention of any stolen children. (Windschuttle, Fabrication, p34).

[11] Tatz authored “Australia’s Unthinkable Genocide”[11] and the question-begging “Genocide in Australia: By Accident or Design?” (2011).  

Sit down for the national anthem please

What! I wouldn’t believe it, except I have the print-out sitting in my hand. Australian schoolkids in their thousands in the classrooms are being coached to disrespect the national anthem by sitting down through it. The coaching is via the green/Left crowd Cool Australia, founded by Jason Kimberley of the Just Jeans multi-millionaire family.[1] By rich, know that last November Christine and Roger Kimberley sold their Sorrento mansion for $25 million.

Cool Australia is aware its anti-Australian claptrap might make some kids uneasy or upset. I’d put more than half kids in that category – i.e. kids coming from conservative homes, so Cool warns teachers (my emphasis):

“It is important that teachers subtly monitor the welfare and wellbeing of students during this lesson [specifically, on “Invasion Day/Survival Day”] and for a couple of weeks afterward to make sure they are feeling safe and able to cope with the content raised in this lesson.” (Paywalled and for teachers only. [2]

First I’ll give some background on Cool, then I’ll quote its Teacher Guide to getting kids to sit down during the national anthem.

Cool boasts that its overall goal is “active empowered young people”, or for short, kid activists, and certainly not activist for conservative causes like free speech and small government. Here’s more (my emphases):

“Our resources embed environmental, social and economic issues into core subject areas. Cool resources address inequality and the precarious state of our natural world. [The planet and humanity has never been in better shape, absent COVID-19].Our lessons cover climate change, social justice issues, creativity in STEM…and much more. Our action-based pedagogical approach means that kids are enabled to take action on issues that are important to them.”

Education departments, abetted by Labor and the Greens’ militant teachers’ unions, in effect have contracted out a good slice of primary and secondary education to the leftist curriculum experts at Cool. These experts create free, ready-to-go lessons with all the trimmings, neatly collated and referenced to state and federal curricula. Teachers love to download and use the lessons, since this is a damn sight easier than concocting them themselves about topics they know little/nothing about. (Cool says that 76 per cent of teachers find their workload unmanageable, and 45 per cent teach outside their expertise).[3]

The usage of Cool’s lessons is staggering –a word I was trained not to use lightly. At least 8400 of Australia’s total 9000 schools use their lessons, as do 52 per cent of all teachers. Cool says it reached 3.6 million students last year, with lesson downloads more than trebling since 2015. CA claims 9 million hours of teacher prep time saved, and $252 million worth of teacher time saved since inception in 2008. To give the devil his due, 90 per cent of Cool’s material seems positive and valuable. This makes its 10% of propaganda material much more effective.

Cool’s material is pushing against an open classroom door. The annual costs of distributing its material nationwide to schools is a piddling $1.65 millionincluding staff ($0.9 million), IT, offices and overheads.[4] It must be running the most cost-effective mass political campaign in Australian history.

Possibly in homage to last year’s Black Lives Matter riots and looting, Cool has swung its resources into racist indoctrination, by which I mean teaching kids of pink skin to acknowledge and jettison their unwitting “white privilege” and defer socially, culturally and especially politically to the Aboriginal industry. Cool’s previous obsession with asylum seekers as a stick to beat conservative politicians appears to have lost traction these days.

Cool’s race weapon of choice is the propaganda documentary The Final Quarter by Ian Darling, about the alleged race-inspired booing and alleged persecution of Sydney Swans’ Aboriginal star Adam Goodes. The 52 lessons stretch from school years 5 to 12. As if that were not enough, the ABC’s unaccountable education TV service (currently slobbering over fauxboriginal scam artist Bruce Pascoe) offers a comparable array of lessons involving Stan Grant’s lookalike documentary on Goodes, Australian Dream.

In my previous research into Cool and Adam Goodes, I didn’t notice them bringing the term “White Privilege” into play. But now in a single edition of Cool’s “Teacher Preparation” notes (paywalled) I count more than 50 uses of the term “Privilege”. The national anthem is supposedly a manifestation of white privilege. This sit-down lesson starts

Learning intentions: Students…

♦… understand that privilege can hide within recognised institutions as well as individuals.

♦… understand the impact that symbols can have on those who don’t experience privilege

♦… develop the capacity to analyse symbols of oppression and privilege in the world around them

♦… consider opportunities for challenging privilege at the systemic/symbolic level.


Success criteria:
 Students can…

♦… identify how symbols, texts or events include and exclude different voices/perspectives.

♦… explain the impact of symbols, texts or events on audiences .

♦… collaborate to problem-solve and consider alternatives to the status quo.

This document of 3600 words coaches teachers to coach kids to “deconstruct” three of Australia’s most important symbols – the Australian flag, Australia Day and the National Anthem. In each case, Coolprovides a loaded case, with a token nod to conservative values for the “pro” case. Cool’s “anti” case packs an emotional wallop and there is no way that kids get, or could properly examine, the conservative position. (Of course, one might wonder why the flag etc need reconstructing in the first place, any more than motherhood, the Enlightenment, or the rule of law).

Anyway, I’ll skip to page 10 of Cool’s 12-page teachers’ guide, dubbed Part C: Evaluating Alternatives.

Step 1. How can people challenge symbols of white privilege? …

Step 2. Show students this clip as an example of a response and complete the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis below as a class on this response:https://www.youtube.com/embed/piEGpCGnFU0?feature=oembed

The clip is worth the click. It shows the Queensland nine-year-old girl who refused to stand for the National Anthem at her school and was sent home/suspended. The kid declaims all the woke mantras down pat and good luck to her – I was pretty obnoxious myself at age 9 (and thereafter). Her parents must be delighted to see their little darling on the front line of the culture wars.

CA then pretends to run SWOT analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) on the 9-year-old’s sit-down strike/protest, which is just another excuse to indoctrinate. Cool’s printed table for teachers is headed, “Response 1: Seated protest of (sic) national anthem”.

  1. Strengths:

♦ Anyone who witnesses the national anthem can do it. 

♦ Easy – doesn’t cost money or require organisation

♦ Non-violent [that’s a relief!]

Weaknesses:

♦ May (sic) not get a chance to share reasons for sitting down [what a woke tragedy that would be!].

♦ Doesn’t necessarily change any other people’s (sic) behaviour

Opportunities (ways you could build upon the response

♦ Post about it on social media to gain media attention [thus putting kids in the firing line of being trolled and abused on-line, nice work Cool Australia!]

♦ Get other students to partake (sic – do these sub-standard writers mean ‘participate’?). 

Threats (ways the response may be impacted)

♦ Students could receive penalties for partaking (sic)

♦ Backlash against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and community members may (sic) occur. 

Thatlast point is preposterous. If a kid sits during the National Anthem, why would anyone set about attacking Aborigines?

Alongside this Soviet-style miseducation, Cool offers blank SWOT boxes for the kids to fill in. Teachers are referred back to “Step 1 – How can people [kids] challenge symbols of white privilege?” The elaboration of “Step 1” involves kids absorbing the whole panoply of leftist attacks on Australian nationhood as embodied in the 3600-word teachers’ guide. They lay out their favorite attacks on white privilege and the teacher writes these memes on the blackboard. Then, as “Step 3”, kids select any of these blackboard memes for a SWOT exercise. My suggested example: “The national flag is racist and should be taken down from the school flagpole and ceremonially burnt outside the principal’s office”.

Cool Australia isn’t done yet. We move on to “Step 4: Ask students to discuss on (sic) their tables”

♦ How might the race of the person challenging white privilege affect their actions?

♦ How might the race of the person challenging white privilege affect the reactions they experience from others?

♦ Which options resonated with you? Why/why not?

♦ Would you consider pursuing any of these options? Why/why not? 

And there’s more. The Teachers’ Guide finishes the section with “Reflection”. Cool tells teachers to show their kids yet another propaganda documentary clip for the Aboriginal industry, namely the Indigenous rapper Adam Briggs on the ABC’s left-drenched Q&A whining about “Indigenous Disadvantage and Racism on Social Media”.

Cool’s point is that some kids have doubtless become uncomfortable during the previous indoctrination session. I judge that the new clip teaches them that their discomfort is their own problem rather than an imposition from the teacher or Cool Australia.

Ask students to reflect on this statement, using the following prompts:

♦ When did you feel comfortable or uncomfortable in today’s class? Why?

♦ What types of experiences make people uncomfortable?

♦ What are some positive outcomes of discomfort?

♦ Do you think there is value in leaning into discomfort?

 These SWOT examples only scratch the surface of the Cool onslaught on conservative values. To deal fully with their “Teachers’ Guides” would be like wading through a rancid soup of the Left’s causes du jour,  so I’ll just pick out a few highlights.

♦ Cool’s offered photo of an Australian who is proud of the flag depicts a redneck swigging a beer and covered with union jacks and stars.

 ♦ Cool wants kids to study a girl’s “heartfelt” scrawled letter in felt tip about Australia Day. It starts, “Dear govmint”. This kid wants the January 26 celebration scrapped because “it’s the day we stole Australia from the Aboriginal people … It’s like celebrating because we killed lots and lots of Aboriginal people.”

♦ In pushing the “racism” angle on booing of Adam Goodes, the material makes no mention of Goodes verbally attacking a 13-year-old country girl who in an excess of Collingwood-supporting zeal called him an “ape”. The girl said she just shouted the insult as a joke, and was unaware of its racist possibility. Goodes said of the identified 13yo “Racism had a face last night”. She was separated by police from her grandparent and interrogated solo for two hours, and forced to apologise.[5] Even teenage murderers are not publicly identified, brow-beaten and shamed in such fashion. This, plus Goodes’ ersatz war-dance at Carlton supporters, was responsible for much of the booing (a Daily Mail poll showed 60 per cent rejecting any racist motive). Cool however says the booing “revealed an undercurrent of racism that still exists in Australia today.”

♦  “White privilege is structural and as such may not be recognised by those who hold it.”

♦ “Talking about white privilege can be uncomfortable because it is unfamiliar to many Australians. This is because, as Dr Tim Soutphommasane, the former Race Discrimination Commissioner, argues, ‘…conversations about discrimination tend to focus on those who are disadvantaged by prejudice. It isn’t always the case that we consider the other side of the coin: what it says about those who do not experience discrimination.’ For a comprehensive description of white privilege and how the concept came to be articulated, read his speech in full.”

♦ Cool even raises the ogre of heterosexual privilege – “White privilege does not discount other disadvantages that people may have experienced, for example, they may not hold socioeconomic privilege, religious privilege, heterosexual privilege.”

 ♦ On the national flag – “Suggested answers – Union Jack is a symbol of the colonisers…Celebrates colonisation and erases the colonisers’ violent history towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples… may offend/upset those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who see the Union Jack as a constant reminder of the genocide and oppression of their people by the colonisers.”

♦“Conclusion: Whose experiences, views and contributions do Australian symbols reflect, celebrate or include?” [a typically loaded question].

I haven’t included other-than-race Cool propaganda here, but there’s plenty of it.[6]

Somehow in recent decades, education bureaucrats and their enabling politicians have swapped the purpose of education from teaching kids about the world to turning them into horrid little know-nothing woke activists. That goal is now coded into Australian education’s DNA.

I’ll head off now to wash my hands after touching Cool Australia’s anthem sit-down coaching for teachers and their pupils.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] For previous essays on Cool, see here and hereand here

[2] “The Final Quarter – Symbols of Privilege – English – Year 10.

[3] “There is so much that’s demanded of teachers now, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Cool resources are planned with every aspect of the curriculum in mind, so we can rest easy and teach with confidence that we are meeting the needs of students and the curriculum.” Renee Chen, Secondary Teacher QLD. Primary teacher Shannon Ruskin (NSW) says that when students act upon the lessons, they “contribute to making our world a better place.” According to Shannon, anyway.

[4] The bulk of funding is from “grants”, particularly left-wing charitable foundations. I didn’t pick up on how much of Cool’s work is funded by local, State and federal governments.

[5] Goodes conceded it was the first racial abuse he’d heard as a footballer for the previous eight years.

[6] For example, Cool’s lead writer, Krista Nisi, has written a letter to kids of 2030 that is overall OK but includes nonsense like her pious hope that “the Poles [in 2030] are still icy” – poor thing doesn’t know the Antarctic hasn’t warmed in 70 years and Antarctic sea ice has long been on a small rising trend. The Arctic ice levels are cyclical long-term and have been rising for the past decade. Krista needs to get out more, rather than chant her woke memes to kids.

The Strange Thoughts of Catastropharians

I was about to plough through the global politicians’ summary of the IPCC’s sixth report,[1] but then I saw the Australian psychologists’ guidelines for reading it safely.

How you read the IPCC report or climate media reports bears thinking about. It is important to be kind to yourself, and to be in as calm and grounded a state as one can be. Ideally do this with a trusted companion or a group of colleagues. Choose the time of day to read and a pleasant setting, perhaps first walking or meditating in a natural setting. It can be helpful to read slowly, noting your feelings, taking pauses to focus on your breath and checking in with yourself and with others. Try not to take in more than you can digest, and take time out for refreshments.

Their alert includes a twilight pic of a maiden on the end of a jetty, considering a dip pending the planet’s fiery demise. The Melbourne-founded group called Psychology for a Safe Climate provides the warning. I laid the IPCC aside and tucked up in bed with psychotherapist member Dr Sally Gillespie’s Western Sydney University  Ph.D. thesis “Mapping Myths, Dreams and Conversations in the Era of Global Warming”.[2]

I found another group spokesperson is Melbourne psychiatrist Charles Le Feuvre, who has written:

In Australia there continues to be Government denial. Our leaders could be seen psychiatrically as deluded and a danger to others and if so certifiable. At worst they can be seen as guilty of crimes against humanity and nature-homicide and ecocide — and indeed in the future they may be found to be …What is the nature of Scott Morrison’s denial? 

Le Feuvre, who sees the unfortunate Greta Thunberg as “an incredible role model” and “highly rational”, had his climate motives reinforced by the Wye River (Vic)  bushfires: “Our house was completely destroyed apart from a statue of Venus.”

Here’s Sally’s dream on Page 1 of her thesis, a dream that turned her into a climate activist:

It’s the end of the world through climate change. Whole continents are sinking beneath the sea as water levels rise. Millions of people are attempting to cling to the shore, and to their lives, fruitlessly. At one stage I swing in the air clinging to a rope as land masses shift around beneath me. At another stage I cling to the shore line and a poodle swims up into my arms. I steal biscuits for us, and someone says about the poodle “He’s a salesman”.

I know billions must die and only tens of thousands will remain… It’s horrifying. Any possibility of distancing myself from climate change reports collapses through this night vision which awakens such intense feelings of vulnerability, for myself and all others on Earth.

She doesn’t say whether the poodle is a Royal Standard, Standard, Moyen, Toy, Miniature or Tea-Cup, but it’s definitely not a goldendoodle, Labradoodle or Pekapoos.  Whichever the peckish paddling poodle might be, I share Dr Sally’s intense identification with all other poodles and peoples on Earth.

 The dream crashed through my justifications and denials, insisting that I live fully in the knowledge of the seriousness of climate change” she writes. “I closed my psychotherapy practice of twenty five years to focus on research into psychological responses to climate change and its reports … I start to calm down.

In another dream, Dr Sally is assigned to critique a Doris Lessing novel about climate change. She gets low marks from “a young woman, a smart cultural theorist” who provides comments written on ravioli.

The tantalising image of the ‘ravioli marks’ stayed with me, strangely apt in its sensual interplay of inner and outer, forms and fillings, offering richly-embodied sustenance and meaning.(p39).

She writes that climate denials are not directly comparable to Nazism. Thanks for that, Sally. But she does “observe some mutual resonances in our responses to them”. But Sally has her own “dictatorial fantasies”, writing

When my self-righteousness flares, dictatorial fantasies appeal, eager to impose my version of right thinking and behaviour in an attempt to bolster ego, constrain anxiety and control ‘the other’… I feel all this in my body as a dullness and heaviness–and a thud in my guts, something like uterine cramps with a bit of nausea. It’s hot, I sweat–hot flushes and global warming combined …

 When a hot flush creeps up on me as I read yet another report on melting ice caps, I feel overwhelmed by its slow burn along with my anxiety about living in a hotter world, and the powerlessness of my responses to stop either.[3]

To Sally, we denialists are desperately cowering from “unbearable anxiety or loss”, rather than laughing at doom-criers’ 50 years of failed predictions.

She created a seven-member group of mainly excitable women, some 50-plus, to share their own climate-apocalypse dreams –  “fellow crew members sailing a vessel of inquiry.” It’s thrilling to discover what makes climate  feminists tick. By their second meeting they’re fantasising about  surviving “systemic collapse.” They suspect their present core values might alter. For example, “stories of cannibalism are shared”. (p106).

Dr Sally: I wonder what those stories are serving for us at the moment, in teasing us into these questions. Not only the literal question: would I eat someone else or not? [but] what’s the value of human life and culture and society?

If you’re on the plump side and walking up Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy, cross the median strip if Sally’s team’s is coming. You just never know!

She writes in her journal:

This morning I find I have left the iron on for days, while I have been sick–I am horrified and guilty–it’s the emissions that I feel so bad about–more than fear of burning the house down or an expensive electricity bill. This cannot be undone. How to compensate? How to be more responsible, conscious? I decide to put the iron away. I hardly ever use it anyway–a relic from when ironing was a part of daily life, no longer necessary or important. (p139).

But Sally nonetheless does some planet-unfriendly flying:

I tell our group that “I have to confess” that I will be travelling to conferences overseas in a few months. (p144).

Some members contemplated their early demise via what we might deem “Darwin’s Law”.

Veronica leads the way by disclosing that she and her husband have decided they will be ‘suicide people’ in the event of a breakdown of civilisation. (p108).

Veronica recounts her involvement in the assisted suicide of a friend with multiple sclerosis years ago. She says:

because I’ve done that and… I have a spiritual belief in the eternality of the soul… that gives me comfort. So having gone all the way out there to the shit, and said “OK, I’ve got a plan”, it helps me… because however it goes I am going to be OK. And I don’t plan for it, I don’t have any suicide pills… it’s not at all crystallised or real… other than that I have a sense of trust with my husband that we would not be violent. 

I can imagine Veronica’s next visit to the pharmacy.

Mary X, BPharm (Hons)Here’s the Ventolin for your inhaler and ointment for your bunionectomy. The allergy-free suicide pills are not yet on the approved list so we’ll be charging you $37.80. Take two before meals and be sure to finish the whole packet.”

Sally’s group melts down over planet-friendly disposal of dead AA batteries. This angst is ‘battery incapacitation’ – no pun intended — and introduces into the ladies’ dreams.

Veronica: I have [dead batteries] hidden in one of my kitchen drawers. One day they will take over my kitchen and I’ll be like ‘Shit! I’ve got to do something!’(p167).

Sara: I am not going to spend hours upon hours thinking about where I should put the batteries. I want things to be easy for me … if I can find an ecological solution to something, fine–but if I can’t, then I have to accept I have to put it into the rubbish bin … because it does my mind in thinking about it.

Lisa announces that she has just had a dream about this very problem:

I didn’t know where to do it. I was surrounded by people. I surreptitiously just did it in a deckchair [laughter]. And it’s about shit. It’s exactly what we are talking about …  And I’ve had this dream before … I just couldn’t bring myself to tell [it]. It’s so strong, I couldn’t possibly forget it, and I have to say it now because it’s so appropriate… 

Sara immediately feels the connection between this dream and her feelings about dumping her batteries, prompting Lisa to speak about the lack of functioning toilets in her dream, further adding:

I just had to do it … everybody was just going on with their lives … I was just intensely embarrassed and uncomfortable and not knowing what to do … not knowing how to dispose of it without doing something gross … The dream was very visceral animal kind of thing. So when I woke up … my first thought was like I was out of control, and then I thought the way I’m living, we’re all living, is out of control. [Pause] It’s a mess.” 

If Sara invites you to lunch, be careful where you sit.

Sally pauses from running her group to dropping in on her local council’s environment meetings.[4]Describing her team as “seven brave souls”, she thinks their “breadth of expertise and interests was a major strength in this research”.

Speaking personally, I found Veronica the most spectacular member, in a car-crash sort of way. She watched the dopey documentary Gasland on television one night and sobbed “huge wailing tears–my parents live right near where fracking is going on, they’re having earthquakes for the first time in recorded history.” (p119).

She and her husband fled to Australia from “their very grief filled time” in the US, “in the hugest bastion of denial”. If she didn’t believe in the eternal soul, “I would be one angry bitch.” (p77).

Rather than coveting Zoloft like some of her peers, she says

climate information [makes] me want to go and crawl in a hole with a bottle of vodka–and a big ice bucket… Our awareness and perception of climate change is already taking a toll on our collective mental health… 

Sally writes that Veronica

broke into tears on her way to our meeting when she walked past a cat, explaining “I want a cat, but I don’t want a cat. And that’s climate change in terms of species preservation… I mean the tentacles of this issue are every freaking where!”

Amazingly, Veronica confesses that she used to be a beer lobbyist – “a whore for the beer institute” spinning to play down the risks  of foetal alcohol syndrome. (p186).

SARA: But why did you do it?
VERONICA: Because I had a husband to support. 

Sara challenges Veronica about her friends’ CO2 seriousness.

SARA: Do they use shampoo? 

VERONICA: Actually she uses shavings of a special kind of glycerine soap bar that … you put in a pump jar with water and it emulsifies.
SARA: Wow! I’ve gone through this whole process of trying to find shampoo and conditioner that is gentle to the environment but all that happens to me is that I get rashes so I’ve gone back to the chemical ones … It was really funny because I thought, “Here I am, doing the right thing”. 

LINDA: And you ended up with pustules! (p147).

 Here’s pen portraits of Sally’s brave souls, starting with Sara, who is upset by natural disasters, including the big Japanese tsunami.

Her eyes fill with tears as she speaks: I’m on this journey. But there is a part of me that just thinks, “Oh my God, Sara!… you are middle-aged and you’ve lost the plot!”(p58).

Linda is an anxiety-riddled community artist making TV-news friendly puppets for climate demos.  Her limited troupe of kids are no comfort.

They’re living their lives is that there is no tomorrow. They’ve kind of given up … that breaks my heart …  just fills me full of huge sorrow and fury and impotence. 

Linda in turn recruited Lisa, “a fellow artist who makes animations in collaboration with climate change scientists.” At Lisa’s home, Sally admires installations of fish tanks with Perspex messaging, and engraved soft-drink bottles “amongst the long grass in her front yard”. The bottles

have thermometers sticking out of their tops like straws – a provocative juxtaposition which links climate change with consumerism, endangered species and rising temperatures… We start our conversation on a chair and sofa, but Lisa is soon on the floor, and I follow, shedding shoes and formalities.(p63).

Lisa is no lightweight: she gained her doctorate in animation about subjective responses to [non-existent] crises in the Antarctic.

Lisa is a dancer who marries her artist’s love of the movement of line with the physical expression of the body. Her great interest lies in the use of gestures and lines to facilitate dialogues between different ways of knowing. Her own ongoing research practice defies easy categorisation. 

I’d have to agree with that, but let us return to what Lisa tells Sally

When I first started … someone asked me how I felt about the Antarctic environment … I remember feeling this incredible knot in my gut and my arms flailing, and going “I just don’t know –it’s just all over the place”, whereas I don’t feel that now… I still don’t understand climate change, but it’s sitting easily now. 

Sally leaves Lisa’s grass-overgrown territory

buzzing with thoughts and responses to our discussion. Out of the corner of my eye I spy yet another installation just behind the front fence; a fish tank with a plastic shrimp in it and a sign that says “Fishy Leaks.” I burst out laughing. Lisa’s stimulating and quirky perspectives add to the resilience of our group in the discussions ahead.” 

Zoe, a community policy-maker, is “heartbroken” over drowning Pacific Islands. Actually, the data from 221 Pacific and Indian Ocean islands show that they’re stable or growing.[5] Like myself, Zoe gets “fire in the belly” from dreams about Nicole Kidman, but with a different slant[6] (p66):

Nicole Kidman [is] sitting at a laptop computer by the edge of a billabong which is filling with rubbishy “consumer goods, and cars, and all of the stuff that is made from petrol.” [Not much stuff is made from petrol but let’s not quibble].

Zoe does not seem to be a Tony Abbott fan:

There’s a tone of voice that he uses that absolutely triggers something in me… like a snake wanting to strike, it’s an instinctive reaction. (p236)

Member Simon (30) got disillusioned on a Climate Camp march against a coal-fired power plant,

The march was right through a small town where most of the people worked at this plant, and so it was very confrontational to them … I just wasn’t sure that was the most productive thing to be doing, to be upsetting people that much.(p70)

Surprisingly, Simon is impressed by climate-sceptics’ science, including links to hundreds of peer-reviewed sceptic papers. He found sceptic science embarrassingly credible, confessing:

 Oh OK maybe some of the things that sceptics are saying aren’t completely, completely crazy.

I like Simon!

The other male, Sam, works in the energy sector, I assume in an environmental capacity.  His friends talk on camping trips about how humans are pests, just “a virus with shoes” which Gaia is keen to get rid of. (p74).  As the meetings progressed, Sally says the group’s

fears and our dreams became less apocalyptic … Hysteria markedly lowered as our discussions became more able to observe and reflect upon paradoxes and contradictions. (p136)

How I love such happy endings!

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] Politicians from the UN’s 190-odd countries vet the climate scientists’ draft summary and have final say on its contents.

[2] Psychologists for a Safe Climate lists Sally on its Program Development Working Group.

[3] Actually the Antarctic hasn’t warmed for 70 yearsand its sea ice is increasing. The Arctic has been gaining ice for a decade.  

[4] A discussion there was about changing the name “Climate Change Taskforce”. “People click off when they hear climate change,” the councillor says and Sally agrees.(p54).

[5] From just last month: New Study: 62 km² (+6%) Net Expansion In 100s Of Pacific-Indian Ocean Island Shorelines From 2000-2017

[6] Don’t tell my wife.

Sooking and Snivelling for Climate Justice

Doomed Planet

Tony Thomas

As we all know, universities’ tutorial and staff rooms are awash in climate-doom hysterics. But academics are not just horrifying their late-teen paying customers, they’re also traumatising each other. Here’s a real-life local example:

Another educator that my co-researchers and I surveyed mentioned that after their [sic] class one day they [sic] ‘had a long cry on my commute home, and wound up cancelling plans I had to meet friends that evening.’ Such experiences demonstrate that trying to support others to engage with and navigate their own ecological distress often leads to feelings of inadequacy and despair becoming contagious.

We can again be grateful to Dr Blanche Verlie of the Sydney University’s Environment Institute for this glimpse of mortar-board mayhem, further to her disclosures about high school brainwashing. She ran climate courses herself for five years and did her Monash PhD on climate education. She’s followed up with peer-reviewed papers and last week, launched a whole book on the traumas of climate educators and their students. It’s called Learning to Live with Climate Change (free to good homes) and I took part in the Zoom launch, one of the few males present.[1] The book “draws on and contributes to eco-feminist, posthuman, multispecies and affect studies.” Her particular villains causing global warming are — surprise! surprise! — white Western heterosexual settler-colonial male managerial capitalists.[2]

She warns that everything is connected and “leaving the lights on in Australia may mean death for polar bears”. I must have inadvertently slain thousands of the beasts.

As a tutor Dr Verlie taught 45 Melbourne students at RMIT University for three months on climate justice. She describes the shimmering “cloudy collective” that evolved in her classes. In my young days of hormone-clouded tutes, my focus ranged from skirts to staying awake, rather than shimmering cloudy collectives. In those years the looming threat of global cooling was keeping climate scientists in a tizz.

Verlie’s book “is written with climate change ‘educators’ in mind: teachers, activists, communicators, young people, parents, researchers, policy makers, community members, artists, politicans…” She describes herself as “a white settler-Australian” determined on “decolonial climate action”. Her co-authored papers include Becoming Researchers: Making Academic Kin in the Chthulucene.

 Whatever “the Chthulucene” might be, it’s dynamite on the Scrabble board — even if the concept remains thickly opaque about its

form of refuge from academic stressors, creating spaces for ‘composting together’ through processes of ‘decomposing’ and ‘recomposing.’ Our rejection of neoliberal norms has gifted us experiences of joyful collective pleasures. We share our experiences here in the hope of supporting and inspiring other emerging and established researchers to ‘make kin’ and challenge the potentially isolating processes of becoming researchers.

Dr Verlie’s book does help normal people understand why universities need safe spaces for their tribes. As Dr Verlie writes,

It is worth noting that these vignettes include stories of distress; I encourage you to approach them in a mode that cares for yourself and is responsive to your own ability to engage with the pain of climate change at the moment. As this book documents, climate change is deeply traumatic and while I believe we need to avoid the pitfalls of an individualistic approach to emotional resilience, this is not to say that practices of mindful self-care or professional counselling services have no value.

Dr Verlie provides dramatic quotes from her undergrad students. I suspect that before the kids had even hit RMIT, teachers groomed them through 12 long years of wallowing in climate hysteria, not to mention cravings for socialist world governance. There is so much insanity in the excerpts below the most extreme symptoms of derangement warrant underlining to make them stand out from the pack

♦ I’ve been crying myself to sleep a lot lately. And crying at random times too. It’s not as though I watch a video about climate change, and I cry during it. I mean sometimes that happens. It’s more like, something little happens, like my toast burns, and I have an existential breakdown because I think it’s a metaphor for how the world is burning because we aren’t paying attention.

♦ I found myself dry retching in the shower for over an hour one evening. The contractions of my stomach muscles, sense of my throat exploding, and my whole body convulsing, felt like I was trying to spew up some kind of demon, a wretchedness, a loneliness and desperation, a sense of loss for all that could have been but probably won’t, for that which is but will no longer be.

♦ I feel bitter towards individuals and systems and fail to understand why people are not being charged for climate crimes.

♦ It [climate] is a constant reminder that the Earth is f****d.

♦ The future, for me, is dark, cloudy, a black hole of uncertainty. I don’t know how it will play out.

♦ Our knowledges and ignorances about climate change will impact who will live and who will die.

# I am constantly butting heads with sceptics and non-believers (particularly my father-in-law) regarding climate change. It is so frustrating that fellow inhabitants don’t understand the magnitude of the situation, and worse still, they don’t care to learn more about it.

 It’s like, on warm, sunny winter and early spring days, with the light glistening through young green leaves. Everyone is happy due to the nice weather. But knowing about climate change, you know it means someone somewhere is not getting the rain they need. [Actually warming promotes rain, check with Prof. Andy Pitman at UNSW]. So it’s sort of, you can’t enjoy it, it’s an uneasiness amongst the glory that everyone else seems to be celebrating.

♦ I was thinking of the dark, foreboding nature of climate change, its creeping horror masked by invisibility in the here-and-now of hyperconsumptive capitalism. Sometimes I see climate change as a chasm opening up before me, and I stand on a precipice overlooking the deep ravine, teetering on the edge.

♦ My totally cynical view is that non-fossil-fuel-based energy production will only become the norm once the renewable-energy corporations can provide more money than fossil fuel corporations in bribes to political interests.

Against these morbid undertows, others of Verlie’s students were uplifted.

♦ I’m so glad I changed into this class – it’s more of a climate change therapy group than a university subject.[3]

♦ This class has given me hope as … I feel everyone is so smart, powerful and brilliant

♦ One day after class, I felt like I was floating on the way home. Maybe I was delirious because this subject matter is so exhausting. But I really felt buoyed by the energy everyone brings to class.

♦ I have been overwhelmed by joy, fear, and passion.

♦ But it’s [climate apathy] disheartening. You look around, and it’s like, where’d everyone go? And they’re running away…It’s like, (sigh), Jesus guys!

♦ I really valued the ferocious intensity of information that was shared with us.  

No student expresses the least scepticism about the horrow-show material: ‘I remember a unanimous feeling of frustration shared by the whole class.’ The groupthink sadly reflects today’s “monoversity” culture. The class also needed a renewables-powered spa retreat after class. Verlie writes:

As students and I discuss the systems that expose society’s most marginalised to lethal heat stress, our bodily reactions such as sweaty armpits, flushed cheeks and croaky voices belie the ‘thermal monotony’ of our air-conditioned comfort.

Outside the universities, climate derangement has been spreading like COVID Delta, as Verlie’s examples suggest:[4]

♦ A marine biologist vomits because of her distress about coral bleaching, mimicking her beloved polyps who purge themselves of their symbiotic algae in warming water. [Hey marine biologist! Barrier Reef coral cover is actually at record heights].

♦ Gender expert Rebecca Huntley, a frequent guest luvvie on the ABC, recounts a sensation that ‘actually felt physical, as if vital organs had moved inside my body’ when watching youth climate activists implore adults to ‘do something.’[5]

Verlie confided to her own diary:

Sometimes when I think of climate change, I see this dark, vague, tsunami towering behind me, a frothing wall of utter destruction of which we have felt tremors, but by turning our backs, have not fully comprehended. I catch glimpses of it over my shoulder, about to crash down upon me, obliterating everything, but in front of me, life goes about its daily flow, oblivious to the imminent disaster.

Here’s her summation regarding climate undergrads:

In one semester my students stated that climate change made them feel anxious, frustrated, confused, uncertain, cynical, scared, overwhelmed, emotional, devastated, depressed, frightened, angry, gloomy, resentful, challenged, isolated, desperate, disheartened, shocked, concerned, confronted, unsettled, bitter, sad, sick, upset, perplexed, guilty, stressed, amazed, daunted, defeated, dismayed, pessimistic, uneasy, tired, appalled and terrified. Given the incomprehensibly rapid and traumatic changes being wrought upon our planet’s climate, it is unsurprising that many of us are overwhelmed with climate anxiety.

Actually, July’s measured global temperature now is no higher than it was 20 years ago. Blanche, can this be “incomprehensibly rapid” climate change?

More seriously, Verlie and her feminist educators are concerned their proteges’ fanaticism might gravitate to eco-fascism. At Verlie’s Zoom book launch last week, Dr Sarah Jaquette Ray (Humboldt University, California) said she was “very nervous” about climate anxiety creating big emotions leading acolytes to aggressive eco-fascism. She praised Verlie for offering “an alternative path”.

Ray wrote in Scientific American (of all journals!) just last March:

It is a surprisingly short step from ‘chronic fear of environmental doom’ to xenophobia and fascism … Early environmentalists in the U.S. were anti-immigrant eugenicists whose ideas were later adopted by Nazis to implement their ‘blood and soil’ ideology. In a recent, dramatic example, the gunman of the 2019 El Paso shooting [22 people murdered] was motivated by despair about the ecological fate of the planet: ‘My whole life I have been preparing for a future that currently doesn’t exist.’ Intense emotions mobilize people, but not always for the good of all life on this planet.

I recently gave a college lecture about climate anxiety. One of the students e-mailed me to say she was so distressed that she’d be willing to submit to a green dictator if they would address climate change. It would be tragic and dangerous if this generation of climate advocates becomes willing to sacrifice democracy and human rights in the name of climate change.

The Christchurch mosque mass murderer (51 people slaughtered) also described himself as an “eco-fascist”.

Verlie gives similar warning in her book. She writes, “Throughout and following the fire season, approaches calling for a ‘war-like’ response to the climate crisis, including the suppression of democracy, increased in volume and frequency.”[6] Her footnote points to one-time federal Labor Climate Minister (and later School Education Minister) Peter Garrett’s speech last year wanting to put Australia back into a 1939-style footing for war on the (non-existent) climate emergency.

Getting back to the RMIT kids, Verlie’s tutes had high turnover:

In one of my tutorials there were a lot of student absences in the first few weeks of semester, but it was not the same students missing class each week. Some would show up one week, then not again for a while, then suddenly arrive energised and passionate …

Accompanying our discussions about such disconcertment, people sigh; smile; sweat; frown; pause; laugh; cry; lean back in their chairs; wriggle in their chairs; close their eyes; rub their eyes; roll their eyes; wipe tears from their eyes; establish, maintain or avert eye contact; hug each other; turn away from each other; listen or talk over each other; get up and leave; put their head in their hands, or on the table; stare at the ceiling; shrug their shoulders; slump their shoulders.

In an odd way she feels climate fanatics’ bodies reflect the gassy air:  

We are not just ‘like’ clouds. As breathing, sweating, radiating bags of gas and liquid that metabolise and reconfigure carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, human bodies are ‘only precariously contained in a skin sac.’

…These moody menageries emerge through, and in turn stimulate, our breathy practices of collectively storying climate change. Cloudy collectives are composed as our voices crack when we verbalise the violences of climate injustice; as we groan with exasperation at governments approving new fossil fuel projects; as we whisper our fears in climate grief workshops; as we shout ‘climate action now’ at rally after rally, after rally…

Don’t ask her students if they can unblock toilets or program a combine harvester’s sat-nav: “Some students took up roles facilitating environmental community building; others wrote and shared poetry; some made documentary films. Another organised a music festival and invited some of us to speak to the punters about climate change; as part of this we made a banner which read ‘loving low carbon life’ and took it to the People’s Climate March in the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit.

Quadrant Online joins the People’s Climate Marchers

Verlie writes: “Climate protests are always atmospheric… chanting ‘climate action now’ when corralled under a baking sun leaves you feeling both exhausted and justified.” [Conversely, would sleet leave her feeling unjustified?] She doesn’t say whether she actually joined Extinction Rebellion bourgeois types “playing ‘dead fish’ in public places to symbolise the possibility of human extinction.” Those who did, she says, often experienced emotional burnout needing therapy from XR’s ‘regenerative culture’ specialists.

Last week’s book launch learned that Verlie sees her task as bringing people face to face with the most incomprehensible unfathomable injustices, which had led to spaces “where people are in tears and can’t speak, and it is really hard work. You always run the risk of just being traumatic and it is immensely difficult.” She agreed that it was better to work with schoolkids about climate rather than the small privileged caste studying at tertiary level: “It will require transformation of what education is and how it works and that alone is a pretty big slog.”

She conceded students could be “grumpy from arguments with their parents” and from “how do we live on this planet that many economic systems are bent on destroying”. Questioned about how kids can ever learn to dream happily again, she replied that climate change is more about their nightmares and how one in five British kids had reported bad dreams about climate.

For myself, I’m having bad dreams about university education.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] No male other than myself posted a question on Chat. Mine, unanswered, was “How can we persuade China to stop planning and building so many coal-fired power stations?”

[2] She mentions inter alia “a very specific version of the human, typically an entrepreneurial, white, able-bodied, heterosexual, male individual whose economic rationalism inevitably leads to planetary destruction.”

[3] Verlie adds: “We did, in some ways, go on to become a kind of climate change therapy group.”

[4] References cited by Verlie include “Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.”

[5] Classicists will perhaps hear echoes of St Theresa: “The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.” 

[6] Emphases mine throughout

Getting Kids’ Climate Misery Just Right

We all suspect that educationists are brainwashing kids about fossil fuels and climate doom, but what do we really know?

Hooray! Dr Blanche Verlie has spilled all the beans. Dr Verlie is an uber-doomer at Sydney University’s Environment Institute and previously of Melbourne’s RMIT. She’s been educating students for a decade about climate catastrophism and did her PhD on climate-change education. I’ve now lighted upon her peer-reviewed 38-page paper[1]about what her fellow she-doomists are getting up to in primary, secondary and university education: Educators’ experiences and strategies for responding to ecological distress (paywalled but you might get lucky somewhere). Try this sample: One teacher encouraged

… students to express how they feel in terms of colours, animals, weather, or other forms that can help express emotions in ways beyond the intellectual. This can be opened up to making body shapes or facial expressions. It could also encompass drawing how they feel. Another had run a meditation session which they said ‘was really effective in supporting students to gently become attuned to their bodies and how they FEEL climate and relate to it. Students found this activity to be grounding and supported them to acknowledge their somatic/bodily knowing and emotions. 

Another working with primary aged students in a food garden suggested they all write their feelings on a piece of paper and ‘offer it to the compost… It wasn’t much but its affects [sic] were felt two terms later when one child said to me in class, “remember when we wrote love letters to the compost?”’ 

Some teachers “themselves were struggling with their own ecological distress and had concerns about ‘projecting’ this onto students, as well as being uncomfortable and incapable of being an authority and source on hope — tensions which are similarly identified in the literature. One respondent said that they (sic) felt like a ‘failure’ because they were unable to give students answers or solutions due to their own emotional experiences of climate change, and after one discussion ‘had a long cry on my commute home, and wound up cancelling plans I had to meet friends that evening after class.’[2]

They dished out their climate mayhem in every sort of course from horticulture to creative writing to urban design, science and humanities. Their teaching included what Verlie politely calls “interrogating cultural assumptions”. Perspectives included “social justice, economic and intersectional perspectives, Indigenous knowledges, animal rights, psychological approaches and posthuman/Anthropocene/multispecies studies lenses.” I wonder, are we taxpayers actually getting value from our billions spent on universities?

Dr Verlie has been gaining serious academic éclat with her survey results. She and her global feminist peers this morning (August 26) launched her book on climate anxiety (free to good homes)[3]Learning to Live with Climate Change: Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment, Emotion and Education.[4]  The launch at Sydney University sounds like the pinnacle of the university’s intellectual strivings, although there was a preliminary treat on August 25: “Unravelling the capitalist state: crisis and opportunity”.[5]

I’ve read Verlie’s book several times but to keep things lucid and tidy I’ll focus for now just on her survey, which began in late 2019. I might add that academics of a feather flock together, and Dr Verlie lavishly quotes and defers to work by a Canadian far-leftist education theorist Maria Ojala.[6] Curiously, Ojala was an inspiration for the Primary English Teachers Association of Australia’s infamous handbook on brainwashing primary kids this year.

Verlie correctly concedes that “climate anxiety can intersect with and contribute to clinically diagnosable mental illness” born of “hopelessness, disillusionment or apathy”. But she explains helpfully (if I might paraphrase) that the more kids suffer the better chance they’ll become green activists. In her own words,

climate anxiety is not an illness or disorder, but an appropriate and even valuable source of discomfort that can provide an important lens to help people re-evaluate what is important to them and find meaningful ways to inhabit the world. Education’s remit for cultivating critical thinking and empowerment thus makes it an exciting realm for supporting young people to contribute to what Verlie (2019a) [she is speaking of herself in the third person] terms ‘bearing worlds’: engaging with the pain that the status quo offers in order to transform it.”

Verlie and undergraduate helpers Emily, Tamara and Emma quizzed 32 eastern states educators. Unions, “environmental education networks” and friends helped round them up, so the sample was a green-biased gaggle “extremely concerned” about our globe’s prophesised fiery fate, circa 2050-2100. Both the researchers and all but about five of the respondents were women (or should I say ‘womyn’?), most from academe.

From her results we can discover how they responded to kids’ “ecological distress” from the “overarching existential threat”. Verlie found (surprise!) that kids felt overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious, angry, sad and frustrated. Their teachers, having blighted the kids’ joi de vivre with climate doom, then set about “encouraging students to engage with their emotions, validating those emotions, supporting students to navigate and respond to those emotions, and empowering them to take climate action.” In my interpretation, it means channelling the kids’ angst into anti-conservsative politics.

I smirked to discover that the teachers are terrifying even themselves with their climate hobgoblins.[7] They confessed it was “challenging” to soothe the kids because of “their own emotional distress, professional expectations, society-wide climate denial and a lack of guidance on what works.”

Another teacher tries ‘to be real about my own struggles with this. I often end up on the verge of tears in class when we’re watching videos [like grifter Al Gore’s error-riddled Inconvenient Truth or Damon Gameau’sidiotic 2040?] or talking about climate change and I let them see that and try to talk about how I manage the grief and fear.’

Another said: “We went outside and all brought food to share that held some significance to us. This was a way to build community…”

I combed Verlie’s paper looking for signs that kids are getting peed off with teachers’ nagging, ignorant climate cock-and-bull. She reported that teachers did intuit kids getting apathetic, bored and resentful even if kids were dutifully offering up the “right” answers. The teachers reported their classroom charges as “uneasy, restless and low energy” twice as often as kids were “animated”.

Verlie and her squad felt this apathy “can be really dangerous”. One teacher called it “strategic denialism” , saying kids were “not apathetic [but] if it’s so far beyond their sphere of influence, sometimes they just shut down, and don’t engage … [it’s] a way to protect themselves — aligning with literature that suggests climate denial can be a coping mechanism”.

Teachers even felt inklings of a backlash: “Another [teacher] elaborated on this possibility of misdirected emotion, suggesting that ‘the anger/frustration [students feel] can be channelled against the form of authority in the room (i.e. the teacher), representing the system they are angry against.’”

Verlie and the teachers are convinced of the apocalypse is coming, but kids and their parents – and even other teachers – just shrug.

Systemic climate denial was omnipresent in participants’ responses, and identified to be a problem even within students’ educational networks:

I find my students seem confused by the disconnect between the ways they are encouraged to see the future – other teachers and parents encouraging them to aspire to careers as though the world will continue the same, and then my class where I suggest it may be very different. I think they don’t know how to hold the two futures they are being presented with, and mostly try to forget or disbelieve a climate crisis view of the future, but also, they can seem resigned to it. 

Dr Verlie agreed youngsters were “especially vulnerable to ecological distress” since these youngsters one day (she imagines) will be challenged with “the wholesale transformation of the world’s economy”. I assume she means rubbing out capitalism as we know it and substituting the socialist nirvana currently demanded by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Democrat “squad”. The way things are going, Xi Jinping might beat them all to the punch.

Dr Verlie doesn’t want the teachers to hit their kids so hard with “the catastrophic realities of climate change” that the kids freak out or disengage. But she quotes one of her feminist climate peers, Dr Sarah Jaquette Ray (Humboldt University):

Anguish in response to the material we teach belongs in the classroom, as uncomfortable as it is, and as untrained we might feel to manage it.

This is disgusting. Verlie also quotes approvingly an academic, “Siperstein, J”:

While comfort in the classroom does not necessarily contribute to learning, the pain of disorientation that climate change invokes must be acknowledged to ensure it is not harmful.

This seems to mean that teachers should induce just the right quota of climate-doom suffering that kids can handle. To my surprise, some climate teachers actually felt pangs about brainwashing their charges, ieabout “professional norms”.

One stated, ‘I think that they [their students] should get even angrier and take action to fight for their future; but as the teacher, I have to remain ‘neutral and cannot take that stance in front of a class’ and another that ‘I felt a bit constrained by my responsibilities and position – if they were friends of mine … the range of emotional expressions available to me would be broader, as would the ways I could follow things up with them afterwards.’ 

Verlie writes that “despite educators’ efforts to engage, validate, support and empower students, many acknowledged that sometimes this does not work, and that they are not entirely sure of what they are doing. One example emphasized this:

I gave the space in the class for students to express what they feel and their anger. But it came to a dead-end, with everyone’s hope ending very low. I could feel their frustration and hopelessness, but struggled finding a way to channel it in anything constructive without sounding naive by saying positive messages that don’t mean much given the challenges we face. 

Dr Verlie’s ambitions seem limitless. Thanks to Julia Gillard and her then wall-to-wall Labor Premiers in 2008, kids nationally are now drenched in ‘cross-curricula priorities’ of sustainability, Aborigines and Asian Engagement. Dr Verlie wants a fourth horse added to this leftist troika of the apocalypse, namely climate change.

Our respondents noted that a lack of time was a key barrier to them being able to engage appropriately with their students’ ecological emotions. If educators were better supported to teach climate change across the curriculum and in transdisciplinary ways, this could potentially increase the amount of time available for the delicate interpersonal practices that are needed to respectfully and carefully support students to explore, identify and respond to their concerns about their own futures. Professional development to enable teachers to better support student emotional wellbeing in general – for example, mental health first aid courses – may also be useful.

Ultimately, the only ‘cure’ for ecological distress is to prevent ecological destruction happening in the first place. Given our respondents’ suggestions that collective environmental action contributes to active hope and thus emotional wellbeing, and that educational institutions are often community hubs with considerable political and social capital,institution-wide measures that enable students to participate in order to collectively tackle ecological crisis could be effective and achievable win-wins.

The surveyed climate teachers were kind souls “and tried to be approachable so that students would feel comfortable speaking with them when they were not travelling so well.” They tapped into kids’ moods and well-being by watching “facial expressions, body language, energy levels, general signs of restlessness and anxiety, and changing behaviours and interpersonal relations.”

Some respondents noted that they did not want to ‘infantilize’ their students by promoting an overly optimistic view of climate change.

A student asked me if I was hopeful, and if he should have hope. I said that we should have radical hope, which is different to blind optimism. I explained the volunteer activities [Greenpeace? Extinction Rebellion?]I undertook to help me feel like I was contributing to a positive world. I felt overwhelmed by the emotional burden placed on me to be the ‘authority’ on whether we should have hope (especially considering the circumstances). I was also scared for the person’s well-being, especially if I gave the ‘wrong’ response. 

Obviously, if teachers tell kids that fossil fuels are tools of the devil, the kids start to wonder about their back-sliding parents’ SUV. One teacher

had to hold a discussion about alternatives that they could undertake to not consume fossil fuels. This seemed to help students know that they could actually do something and all hope wasn’t lost.

 Teachers were keen to sign up kids with the likes of school strikers and junior climate fanatic groups.

 Verlie: A very strong theme in participant’s [sic] suggested strategies was the importance of empowering people to counteract feelings of hopelessness. Techniques to do so included exploring alternatives to the status quo, connecting them to activist or similar groups,showcasing role models [Greta Thunberg’s philosophies feature in Verlie’s writings], and providing and exploring opportunities. 

One educator tries to ‘prompt some reflection on how we might need to think differently’ and another noted that they ‘have started to incorporate “alternatives”’ into their classes: ‘alternative political systems, alternative economies, social movements, social justiceetc.’ 

An “alternative political system” lasted until 1989, when East Berliners took matters out of their rulers’ hands.

Others [teachers] advocated ‘linking them up with youth groups that are taking action,’ and another more specifically suggested showcasing role models they can look up to and emulate: ‘get young climate activists in to talk to them,’ a strategy also suggested by Ojala (2012b). As this final quotation emphasizes, cultivating active hope requires supporting students to participate in collective action.

Verlie writes,

While not seeking a ‘solution’ and conscious that painful emotions are not necessarily problematic, many respondents expressed their trepidation over whether anything they could do would help their students live with the increasingly heavy burden of climate grief and ecological anxiety.

She concludes,

By approaching this from the perspective of educators whose role is not to soothe but to enable action-competence and lifelong learning we have identified some valuable strategies for supporting people to ‘learn to live with climate change’.

Meanwhile a compendium of my other studies of how our young are being “educated” can be found HERE

By the way, I previously wrote about feminist climate-warriors and “Anthropocene hackers” on the Melbourne/RMIT/Sydney University axis in April  and June last year. The pieces gathered in outputs including tree humping, honoring concrete paths, “Composting Feminism” (not a misprint), and communicating with termites using Ouija boards.

Dr Verlie — for a doctor she is — in her own words:https://www.youtube.com/embed/AkYW5Fb1xyw?feature=oembed

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] With 51 references to other academic papers

[2] Emphases mine throughout

[3] “We invite you to join four environmental scholars as they apply feminist, intersectional and more-than-human perspectives to explore questions of climate anxiety, uncertain futures, and living as a part of rapidly changing ecologies.

SpeakersDr Blanche Verlie, Sydney Environment InstituteAssosciate Professor Astrida Neimanis, University of British Columbia OkanaganDr Sarah Jaquette Ray, Humboldt State UniversityProfessor Mindy Blaise, Edith Cowan University

[4] https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/book-launch-learning-to-live-with-climate-change-tickets-160499178363

[5] Dr Anna Sturman: “With the ongoing rise of the far-right, we can see that the stakes have never been higher. The time is now to return to a serious consideration of the capitalist state and how progressive forces might navigate it as part of a broader strategy to bring about a safer, democratic future.”

[6] Climate hope, Ojala quotes, requires a “disruption of the stubborn neoliberal worldview that we live in the best of societies, a society that furthermore has no alternative and thereby can’t be changed.”

[7] Even the top IPCC climate modellers now concede that their latest models are exaggerating warming even worse than their previous set did.

‘Stolen Generations’ and the Holocaust, Same Difference

I’ve long admired the candour of Adelaide’s Woodville High teacher and union delegate Regina Wilson, who posted on her Education Union’s Facebook page three years ago:

I am going to try to ensure that the next generation of voters in my classroom don’t vote Liberal, without being political of course.

South Australian high school “educators” seem particularly fervid, judging also by a 28-page draft syllabus for Years 11-12 for 2022-23. It’s part of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)[1], woozily sub-titled “Spiritualities, Religion and Meaning” and replacing the current and straightforward “Religion Studies” course.

The old “Religion Studies” seems okay apart from harping on undefined “social justice” issues. That’s code for whatever shibboleths the Left and ABC push at schoolkids, like boat people, “inequality”, government expansion, new privileges for Aborigines, Muslim virtue, suppression of free debate, lockdowns and CO2-borne planetary peril. The present course explicitly mentions, in tactful alphabetic order, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous, Islam and Judaism. About 5000 kids, all non-State, take the course, 70 per cent in Catholic schools and 30 per cent in independents. Similar numbers will probably take the new course.

What of the new course Spiritualities, Religion and Meaning? Not one reference, predictably, to Christ, Christianity or church, although there’s  oncer mentions of “Catholic” and “parish”. Also no mention of Buddhism, Hinduism or Judaism. But kids are invited to do

  • a transcript of an original podcast episode for young Muslims regarding the challenges and opportunities that the Five Pillars of Islam offer young people today in living a ‘good life’ (Spiritualities, religions, and ultimate questions) 

As for “Indigenous” and “Aboriginal” piety: ten mentions.  The draft syllabus includes this bobby-dazzler (page 7 and repeated p21, my emhases):

  1. Evil and apathy: Spiritualities and religions grapple with the harsh realities of evil and suffering. This is especially true in the face of such profound global challenges as war, genocide, and nuclear armament. The Holocaust, the Stolen Generations, and other tragedies present urgent moral challenges to spiritualities, religions, and their followers. The role of ‘religious’ people in these atrocities, even as bystanders, raises ongoing questions about the moral dimensions of religious practice. Similar questions arise when we explore the lives and actions of religiously motivated people who courageously resisted evil. 

What sort of people dream up such nasty stuff? First, that the Holocaust and the so-called “Stolen Generations” are comparable and somehow current and thus “urgent moral challenges to spiritualities, religions, and their followers.” Second, indoctrinating kids that Hitler’s industrialised slaughter of six million Jewish men, women and children, was abetted by “religious” people, “even as bystanders”.

Quite an agenda is here at work, when your average kid couldn’t find Poland on a map. These kids are coached that religious Germans, Poles, Hungarians and Ukrainians either played a direct role in the Holocaust or were interested “bystanders”. This has elements of truth but, for heaven’s sake, why push such a peripheral, contentious issue at 16- and 17-year-olds? Isn’t the Holocaust per se a large enough class topic? Let kids assess side aspects later as young adults aware of historical complexities and nuance.

On August 13 I emailed SA Certificate of Education CEO and board member Professor Martin Westwell:

Does SACE endorse this prose for 16-17yos which appears to equate the Holocaust with the so-called “Stolen Generation” and links religious people with Holocaust facilitation?

He replied the same morning (commendably) via his media person, Robert Johnson,

OFFICIALQuotes attributable to Professor Martin Westwell

Spiritualities, Religion and Meaning is intentionally flexible to allow students to explore key beliefs, values, and practices of one or more spiritualities or religions.

As with all SACE subjects, teachers design the learning program so that students meet the required standard in a way that’s flexible and appropriate for their context.

Professor Westwell needs a sign on his desk, “The buck stops elsewhere.”  

I then asked him about his SACE website saying this material “involved extensive consultation with Religion Studies teachers, leaders and religious education experts from schools, universities and other educational institutions.” My question:

Were religious experts from outside the education sector consulted, in particular were any Jewish authorities consulted?

Westwell’s reply:

The SACE Board consulted with a diverse representation of different religious faiths and spiritual traditions, through [external]  faith leaders, Religion Studies teachers, and religious education experts from schools, universities and other educational institutions.

Westwell says Jewish leaders were among those consulted.

I emailed the Liberal’s Education Minister John Gardner to ask if Professor Westwell’s response was satisfactory and what he, Gardner, thought of the Holocaust passage. No reply.

I then emailed Peter Wertheim, co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. He replied ( my emphases):

Section 6 of the draft curriculum for “Spiritualities, Religion, and Meaning” raises questions about how human beings recognise, account for and respond to the existence of evil in the world. Whilst these are appropriate questions for Year 11 and 12 students to grapple with, the questions have been posed in a way that could lead to confusion.  

The draft document groups together war, genocide, nuclear armament, the Holocaust, the Stolen Generations and unspecified “other tragedies”, as if they are all of a piece. Yet each of these occurrences belongs to a species all on its own. Each had its particularities, and without understanding those particularities there can be no real insight into the nature and power of the evil that was at work. It does a disservice to the victims and to the survivors in any particular case to suggest that the evil they endured can only be recognised as extreme if it is bench-marked against a common standard that does not exist. Extreme evil takes many unique forms.

As regards the Holocaust, I would encourage the drafters of the curriculum to consult with educators at the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre. 

The other problem with the draft is that it seems to assume that the existence of evil poses a challenge only to people who hold spiritual and religious beliefs. Yet many people who hold no spiritual and religious beliefs also seek to find “meaning” in the world. They too make moral judgements. Their morality faces similar challenges when confronted by extreme evil, especially that which is enabled in some societies by mass popular support or acquiescence.  The curriculum should also explore the challenge which the existence of evil poses to secular ethical beliefs. 

Whether people confronted by extreme evil become perpetrators, by-standers, victims or heroes has less to do with whether or not they hold spiritual and religious beliefs than with their essential character. That is the lesson of history, and the curriculum should not mislead anyone into believing otherwise.

As for the so-called “Stolen Generations”, let’s get some facts on the table. Contrast the Holocaust’s six million with total Indigenes removed. They show the claim of “genocide” by Sir Roland Wilson, co-author with Mick Dodson of 1997’s Bringing Them Home report, are absurd.

In SA from 1911-20, according to archival researcheers Alistair Crooks and Joe Lane, the numbers of “half-caste” SA children taken from the interior camps averaged only two per year — mainly girls in jeopardy of sexual abuse and venereal disease. And this average included children neglected, orphaned, destitute or willingly given up by a parent. In the 1920s the numbers taken were even fewer. An average two or three per year applies even to the 100-year SA record to 1940. [2]

Historian Keith Windschuttle arrived at a similar figure for the 1895-1914 period in SA. He counted 54 children “taken” during about 20 years, two or three per year. His total for SA Aboriginal children taken into care for all reasons from 1900-1970 was 1100 — about 16 a year. Nationally, from about 1880 to 1970, Windschuttle counted 8250 Aboriginal children taken into care for all reasons, including NSW (2600); WA (2500); NT (1000) and Victoria (700). That’s about 90 per year, including orphans, the destitute, the neglected and those given up voluntarily by parents.  

As for the minutiae of the Holocaust, here’s one fragment to give SACE educators more perspective. Last month I watched the Netflix series on the trials of Ukrainian John Demanjuk, a Treblinka guard. A Treblinka survivor, Pinhas Epstein told the Israeli court a 12-year-old girl somehow emerged alive from the gas chamber crying “I want my mummy”. Guards grabbed her, shot her and threw her into a pit. The survivor said that 40 years on her voice still rang in his head.

SACE’s draft is full of “progressive” memes and loaded questions. Try this:

♦”Australia is a land of many spiritualities and religions. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spiritualities are at least 65,000 years old, forming part of the oldest continuous cultures on the planet. Since Australia was colonised in the late 18th century, spiritualities and religions have arrived with many different groups of migrants, making this country one of the most multicultural and religiously diverse in the world.”

I emailed SACE and the Education Minister (getting no reply):

Is it policy to minimise references to Christianity and Church of England in religious and other education? Are you concerned that the draft passage fails to mention that the Australian settlement was by Church of England adherents?

Globally, CO2-boosted agriculture is outpacing population and poverty and hunger have been declining since 2000. But SA kids are force-fed that woe prevails:

How do spiritualities and/or religions respond to widespread human and planetary suffering today? 

The “suffering” is claimed by SACE with its 104 bureaucrats, who happen to be on average pay of $101,000 notwithstanding COVID. Professor Westwell suffers on only $400,000 a year. How and why the planet per seis suffering, SACE doesn’t say, but wink-wink-nudge-nudge, think CO2 emissions.

As everywhere in schools in poor fellow my country, kids are coached to be horrid know-nothing activists. Via SACE, they are literally marked and graded according to their activist fervor:

♦ develop and apply an initiative designed to generate transformative social change, or call others to action (advocacy), based on spiritual and/or religious values 

♦ evaluate the impact and/or possible future implications of their initiative on stakeholders, and reflect on spiritual and/or religious belief as a motivation for social action and transformation. 

For a 20-credit subject, the transformative action should be a maximum of 2000 words if written, a maximum of 12 minutes if oral… 

Examples of a transformative action include, but are not limited to: 

♦ exploring the issue of rising sea levels in a specific location and its impact on that community [15-20cm sea rise in the past century has hardly caused much distress]. Students explore this issue through the lens of one or more spiritualities or religions to understand the implications of rising sea levels from a spiritual/religious dimension. [They might do better “exploring” sea rise by consulting the SA tide gauges.] They initiate change by writing a letter advocating for climate justice [What’s that? Australia’s highest power prices in SA?]to a relevant elected official such as a Minister of Parliament. Students evaluate the efficacy of this form of civic action, and reflect on the spiritual and/or religious principles that underpin student action (Life, the universe, and integral ecology).

♦ researching the issue of asylum seekers to Australia (Community, justice and diversity). Students reflect on the issue from a spiritual and/or religious perspective. They facilitate an online petition to improve conditions for asylum seekers to Australia, and reflect on the potential positive outcome of this strategy. 

Genuine educators should point students to the 1200 drownings at sea[3]after the Rudd and Gillard governments gave people-smugglers their head.[4]  Here’s some more:

Examples of tasks may include: 

♦ organising a group to participate in a social-justice event or program at school or in the community [is a student climate strike eligible?]

♦ developing a real or virtual event/ program to advocate or provide support for the work of an organisation [my bet: Youth Climate Coalition/Greenpeace/Extinction Rebellion] or spiritual/religious community 

And even more! Kids are invited to make

♦ a speech advocating for higher unemployment benefits, including future predictions regarding youth homelessness [eh?], with justification drawn from Catholic social teaching and/or another spiritual or religious social-justice framework (Community, justice, and diversity). 

SA’s secure educators have no idea about downsides of taxpayer-funded “higher unemployment benefits”. In Joe Biden’s America millions are now refusing to ditch their sit-down-money welfare and take jobs, so inflation is running at 4-5 per cent .

The justice warrior-educators want 16- and 17-year-olds not just “exploring the issue of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody” but also

evaluating the work of an organisation — such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, Change the Record, or Close the Gap — that works to reduce incarceration and ensure just treatment of Aboriginal people in custody (Community, justice, and diversity). Students consider what further preventative/remedial measures, drawing on social-justice principles from a specific spiritual or religious perspective.[5]

You’re right, the last sentence isn’t grammatical, but we’re dealing with leftist educators here and their “future predictions” etc. Will SA teachers advise kids of research that jailed Aboriginals are safer in custody than jailed whites, let alone that young Aboriginal offenders are safer in jail than they would be in their own violence-wracked communities?[6]

Examples of a “reflective analysis” include: 

♦ inviting a guest speaker to reflect on the issue of environmental refugees (Life, the universe, and integral ecology). Students reflect on the theme from one or more spiritual or religious perspectives, and consider strategies for transformative action.

Leftists have a thing about multi-millions of phantom climate refugees. In 2005 the UNEP predicted 50 million climate refugees by 2010. When that year arrived there weren’t any, so UNEP furtively extended its prediction to 2020. Last year there still weren’t any, apart from dud NZ refugee claimants Ioane Teitiota of Kiribati and a married couple from Tuvalu.

It’s not often that leftists’ school brainwashing programs emerge into the light of day. The South Australian Certificate of Education is a case study for the curious. And the state even has a Liberal government!

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($A29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[1] “A modern, internationally-recognised secondary school qualification designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and personal capabilities to successfully participate in our fast-paced global society.”

[2] Voices from the Past: Extracts from the Annual Reports of the South Australian Chief Protectors of Aborigines, 1837 Onwards. 309pp. Hoplon Press, Adelaide. P198-99. [Forward by Tony Thomas].

[3] This total excludes boats sank without trace

[4] The kids might also take note that President Biden is now overseeing arrival of 200,000 illegals a month into the USA, many with covid.

[5] There is no reference in the SACE guidelines to the Human Rights Commission’s years of persecuting and ruining innocent students at Queensland University of Technology who commented unfavorably on QUT’s “Aborigines only” computer room. The HRC also trawled for complaints about The Australian’s cartoonist Bill Leak, who died of a heart attack during the furore.

[6] “The death rate of those Aboriginal people on non-custodial orders is approximately twice that of Aboriginal prisoners.”

The Left’s Long March Tramples Rotary

I guess it had to happen – the green/left has now captured Rotary International, headquarters for 1.2 million members of 35,000 clubs. Rotary leaders and activists have side-stepped Rotary’s constitutional ban on engaging in politics, and swung Rotary against fossil fuels and cheap coal and gas-fired electricity.

Rotary’s switch illustrates Quadrant’John O’Sullivan’s First Law that “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”[i]

From last month, and for the first time, Rotary Foundation’s $US1.1 billion fund began accepting applications from clubs for international climate projects. These are premised on “climate change and climate disruption” and can include renewables for villages, support for communities hurt by alleged global-warming-influenced droughts, storms and floods and promoting “community-based advocacy initiatives” for the environment.

Rotary’s creators were determined it should and must stay out of politics. The Standard Constitution , proving as effective as wet Kleenex, says clubs

♦ shall not “express an opinion on any pending controversial public measure” (Article 14/1)

♦ “shall neither adopt nor circulate resolutions or opinions and shall not take action dealing with world affairs or international policies of a political nature.” (Section 3,1a: “Non-Political”).

♦ “shall not direct appeals to clubs, peoples, or governments, or circulate letters, speeches, or proposed plans for the solution of specific international problems of a political nature.” (Section 3, 1b). (My emphases).

The paradox is that Rotary International would inflict added harm on close to a billion Third- and Fourth Worlders with higher costs for fossil fuels.[ii] These mainly-African unfortunates toil without electricity and mechanisation. The Rotary activists accuse their defeated conservative opponents of being “politicizers” for resisting green/Left illusions about climate “disruption”. It’s as if they themselves are non-partisans innocently seeking overthrow of centuries of capitalist progress. The activists are literally rejoicing at Rotary International’s “glorious announcement”. They cite Mexican Rotarian Salvador Rico

I am in tears of joy, gratitude, and full of hope! I know that we are going to save the planet, all living beings, and all of humanity!

 Things aren’t actually so rosy at the Rotary fund:

Foundation Funding Crisis: For the second time in two years the World Fund is likely to run out of money to provide matching dollars to Global Grant applications. Last year the funds ran out in May but this year the outlook is more dire … To compound the problem there will be a big waiting list of projects for the new area of focus supporting the environment.”  

 Meanwhile outdoors, there’s another temperature pause under way (no global warming for seven years). “Science” journal conceded last month that the climate models exaggerate actual and forecast warming, the UN’s 26th annual gab-fest in Glasgow is unravelling like all its 25 predecessors, and Chinese and Indian coal power is swamping everything the West does on renewables.

Climate aside, Rotary’s actual emergency is that membership has stalled at 1.2m for 20 years, diminishing its community presence. Fortunately the 35,000 Rotary clubs operate almost independently. A club can plug on with its art shows and sausage sizzles, and spend the money on whatever good works it prefers. The problem is that Rotary’s official tone has changed, and the activists will now widen their political breach.  

The shift to “progressive” is already under way. Rotary’s big conference last June was “inspired” by speaker Ms Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, young, black, female and a climate-doom fanatic on the  junket circuit.

In Uganda, however, there are priorities other than 1degC century’s warming. Only 10 per cent of peasants have mains electricity while girls are openly sold for the sex trade. Ms Nakate presumably opposes her desperate country’s $US16 billion development of its proven oil and gas reserves. She likes COVID lockdowns  for a “complete turnaround” in climate lifestyles even as lockdowns worsen starvation in Kampala slums.

Ms Nakate is a  revolutionary leftist on the governing council of Progressive International. Its manifesto includes:

We are workers, peasants, and peoples of the world rising up against the reactionary forces of authoritarian oligarchy … Our aim is to break with the patriarchy while disrupting the binary structure of gender on which it relies … Fossil fuel industries are driving us into climate catastrophe … Capitalism Is the Virus. We aspire to eradicate capitalism everywhere. 

Likewise, Rotary is now striving to align its goals with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.   UN bun-fights among 120 NGOs in 2015 whittled 1400 proposed goals down to 17 feel-goods plus 169 targets. Denmark’s Bjorn Lomborg has eviscerated the SDG follies.

The Rotary Action Group, with its 1300 members in 70-80 countries,[iii]wants connections with the UN Environment Program (UNEP), a body founded by the UN’s Maurice Strong, who was caught red-handed in 2005 over an illicit South Korean cheque for $US998,885.

Australians helped push Rotary’s switch to woke.  President (2017-18) Ian Riseley, who chaired the Environmental Issues task force, hails from Sandringham, Melbourne. Dr Chris Puttock, chair of the Action Group, is Maryland-based but worked for 35 years in Australia.  Melbourne PhD candidate (RMIT) Patricia Armstrong is chair-elect.

Rotary leaders and activists alike have relied on long-debunked tales of starving polar bearsdrowning coral islands, and millions of imaginary climate refugees.[iv] The Rotary Environmental Action Group founder/leader Karen Kendrick-Hands of Wisconsin is still pushing the melting-Himalayan-glacier errors from the IPCC 2007 report. Publishing that alarmist nonsense almost got IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri fired and forced a corrective audit of IPCC processes.

The 2018-19 president Barry Rassin’s oft-repeats claim that the Bahamas will be under water in 50 years from the two metres of rising seas by 2100. The IPCC models’  likely range is actually 0.26 to 0.82 m by 2081-2100.

Action Group’s leader Dr Chris Puttock led off a major presentation in June with someone’s pic of three fat polar bears on a beach. As a polar bear whisperer, he explained,

These three polar bears look as though they’re asking someone for ice, perhaps. The ice is disappearing for these polar bears and it is not there for them. This is something humans are doing to the world to endanger these species. 

In the real world Polar bears are thriving  and any ice loss is no bother to their hunting. The rest of his talk was equally misguided.

Puttock’s Action Group has provided a climate homework list for Rotarians. First-up book is Farewell to Ice by Cambridge’s ice “expert” Professor Peter Wadhams, who has been mercilessly mocked for predicting an ice-free Arctic by 2013, then by 2016 etc. In fact the 2020 minimum extent was 3.74 million square kilometres. The other books are equivalent.

Rotary’s new politicking was engineered partly via an overtly political campaign group, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), 120,000-strong and founded by wealthy ex-Rotarian Marshall Saunders. CCL’s signature plan is for carbon taxes raising $US700 billion a year by 2035 (in 2012 dollars), and offsetting monthly “dividend” cheques to US households. Mysteriously, 60 per cent would be net better off; the other 40 per cent will rue the program.

An adoring profile in the official Rotarian Monthly says “the Rotary ethos remains central to his mission and methods” and describes Saunders as “one of the great souls of the planet”.  The magazine lamely excused CCL’s politicking because it “brings an even-handed approach to advocacy” with its “friendly persuasion” of legislators. CCL’s advisory board includes James Hansen, whose predictions to Congress in 1988(accompanied by media fraud and since falsified) kicked off the global warming scare.

Rotary’s Karen Kendrick-Hands briefed CCL members on getting at Rotarians. One of her slides for CCL reads,

Acknowledge that you understand that the club can’t endorse, but invitethe community leaders in climate change to join CCL in its quest for solutions.

She conceded, “I almost get tarred and feathered as a guest talking about climate change to conservative clubs; it was not very fun.” Hendricks-Hands, from the 500-strong Madison, Wisconsin, club, thinks warming “is the fundamental deciding issue of all time.” She claimed to CCL that although Rotary bars politics, members are also urged to be active and informed citizens, and they need to reclaim their political will to fight climate change. “I would not bother with the science”, she told CCL. Instead she provided them with memes for Rotarians , such as:

♦ Polio eradication projects: Polio is faecal borne. Climate-change induced floods will redistribute the faeces through village environments. “If you can’t conquer climate change your water supply is not safe, it will up-end your campaign to eradicate polio.”[v]

♦ Clean water projects:“If your water projects depend on melt-off from the Himalayan Glaciers and there are no more glaciers [because of climate], your water project is toast.”

♦ Peace-building projects: “How do you help the world find peace, when climate change is causing millions of climate migrants to go on the march?”

♦ Dumping diesel generators: “Rotary would do a huge service to the world if it moved every water project from a diesel pump to wind or solar.” 

A big fan of teen Greta Thunberg[vi], Kendrick-Hands finished:

I know Rotary can’t endorse these things. If every CCL [group] makes sure they have a member in every Rotary Club, that is the best way to reach to the grasstops that Rotary connects with. It is not poaching, it is encouraging people whose values do align to go ahead and join [CCL].[vii] (at 26.40)

Gaming the process

The leadership has been itching to get into climate advocacy for years, so Kendrick-Hands  was pushing against an open door. Rotary sent her to Katowice, Poland, in 2018 as its first-ever delegate to the annual UN climate talks. Katowice relies on electricity from brown coal. This reliance so appalled her that she described her trip to Katowice as “into the belly of the beast”. I hope she wouldn’t say the same about my brown-coal-powered Melbourne.

In 2015 Rotary International (RI) approved her group. A series of Rotary presidents then personally endorsed the climate-apocalypse led by the  president from Melbourne Ian Riseley. He headed a  task force on the environment “which championed the new area of focus”, rather than audit it.

The Action Group in early 2020 urged that environmental causes should be added to the six other causes that Rotary funds with Global (i.e. international) Grants to clubs for their projects. Anti-emission politics was buried in fluff about useful but micro projects. In the paper’s 1200 words “climate change” is mentioned only twice.

COVID sidelined the process but after a scrabble the leaders of Rotary and its Foundation unanimously approved the new focus in the closing hours of the 2020 international Rotary conference. This announcement side-stepped controversy by not mentioning “climate change” at all. A few months later came the guidelines for grants, with climate politics now out in the open. Item 4 is headed, “Addressing the causes of climate change and climate disruption and supporting solutions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.” (How Rotary intends to address the burgeoning emissions of China and India is left unsaid). The new Rotary goals are (with my emphases)

♦ Providing access to locally sourced, renewable energy … as part of holistic interventions to mitigate climate change and disruption.

♦ Strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and communities affected by climate change and climate disruption.[viii]

♦ Supporting adaptation and resiliency strategies for ecosystems and communities affected by climate-related events… [They mean “weather”].

♦ Supporting education to promote behaviours that protect the environment

♦ Supporting environmental education programming in schools that aligns with local government curriculum… [If Australian schooling is any guide, “environmental education” is a Trojan horse for brainwashing kids about alleged planet perils].

 Promoting community-based environmental education, environmental awareness and advocacy initiatives …[This seems to open the way for Rotary-funded campaigns against fossil fuels].

Implementation began last July.

Pushback by conservatives

A problem for the Rotary activists was that some Rotarians “committed to denial” were also wealthy donors — a $US1m individual donation is nothing rare. 

Kendrick-Hands told her sympathisers in the Citizens’ Climate Lobby  that President Barry Rassin chose to speak of “embracing environmental sustainability” because “the words ‘climate change’ were too toxic for some of the old people in the room who are major donors to Rotary.” [at 21.00mins].

In her closing remarks to the Riseley-led environment task force on February 3 last year she said,

I have seen Rotarians … threaten to curtail their generous funding of Rotary currently. I believe this small, vocal group has been effective at wrongly politicizing the humanitarian crisis we all, but especially the most vulnerable, are facing from environmental degradation and climate disruptions…  

There are likely many more of us in Rotary who believe, as does [Socialist] UN Secretary General Guterres, that the state of the environment is the defining crisis for civilization. 

There’s a thirst for Rotary’s moral authority. Embracing the environment (or planetary health) as a cause, we believe, will open many opportunities for Rotary’s future and for the world.

Rotary conservatives and liberals had duked it out in the pages of the Rotarian monthly for USA in 2019. The October issue ran half a dozen letters denouncing the sceptics, including

♦ Pro-warming scientists are non-political but “denialists” are pushing vested and political interests

♦ “Do we, as Rotarians, want to turn away from even the chance of minimizing the coming climate disaster? Some may threaten to leave Rotary. Not I. I will spend my Rotary time and energy working to get the greatest organization in the world to address the largest threat to mankind.”

♦ “I wonder how people who wish to do good in the world can be against saving the planet we live on, unless they are profiting in some way from its destruction.”

I assume that from, Rotary International’s perspective, any debate is now over.

Tony Thomas, a Rotarian for 25 years, has just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($A29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[i] The Church of England and Amnesty International are other examples.

[ii] “The wind energy lobby has warned that consumers will have to subsidise offshore wind farms indefinitely.” -Catallaxy Files, 29/7/21

[iii] I find no reference to Rotary on the CCL’s Australian website.

[iv] UNEP’s predicted 50m climate refugees in 2020 turned out to be three: Ioane Teitiota of Kiribati and a married couple from Tuvalu. At least, ‘refugees’ are what the trio called themselves when trying to sue the NZ government into issuing citizenship.

[v] Rotary’s major success has been leading the world’s fight against polio, now confined to backblocks of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

[vi] Kendrick-Hands: “We ignore the truth she [Greta] speaks at the peril of our grandchildren and their civilization. In 2078, when Greta is 75, I will not be here to see whether we humans have managed to pull out of the death spiral of climate change.” 

[vii] Kendrick-Hands: “The best way to build support for CFnD (Carbon fee and dividend) among Rotarians is to become one. It’s easiest to keep the conversation going from within. Rotary will make progress toward lifting up Environmental Sustainability as a value within Rotary if it attracts new members. You will be doing CCL’s work by joining Rotary. You’ll be glad you did.”

[viii] “Climate disruption” was introduced by green groups to muddy the distinction between weather and climate

Plans for the Planet, Especially Kids

Recently, I took a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition of Impressionist art, on short-term loan from the Boston Fine Arts Museum, and it was very nice. Apart, that is, from the loud piano music on an endless loop, meaning I must have heard Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie 20 times in 90 minutes. But that’s actually not the reason I want the trustees to take  NGV director Tony Ellwood AM outside and counsel him. They should counsel him for turning the NGV into an green/Left indoctrination hell for kids from pre-school through primary school age.

If you think global-warming brainwashing in primary  schools is bad – here’s a taste of what’s going on there  —  let me tell you what the NGV does to kids, including the littlest. You see, after the Impressionists I  wandered off to the Goya exhibition, but got lost and wound up in an exhibition for kids called Plans for the Planet. It features third-rate US “contemporary artist” Olaf Breuning, a sample of whose more, er, adult work is pictured. For his first exhibition for children, the NGV tells us he is ” inspired by his thoughts about the world we live in and how children see the world”. Presumably not as a pert, hand-painted bottom. His artworks, NGV assures parents,

 show his sense of humour and his sharp observations. Plans for the Planet is an adventure for kids  and a chance for them to share their points of view!

Yeah, sure.  By the entrance is his pencil sketch “Global Warming” symbolised by a fanged Francis Bacon-style three-legged monster (left) standing on house roofs and consisting of smoke coming out of the dwelling’s chimneys. Breuning confuses smoke from hearth fires with CO2, but who cares? Certainly not the NGV. Then kids can enjoy his sketch of “Mr Greedy”, a symbolic capitalist with dollar-signs for eyes, who is chopping up his prey on a table with a big knife. The Plans for the Planet logo itself is a horrified-looking planet a bit like Edvard Munch’s  “Scream”, perfect for giving nightmares to kidlets.

So far we have ventured no further than the exhibition’s entrance. Let me take you inside.

Olaf uses cute little animal drawings (right) to adorn his messages like “Where have all the trees gone?” and “We need more trees.” Never mind that the global tree count was revised by scientists in 2015 to 3 trillion, seven times the previous count  as at 2014 (tree-warming science isn’t settled yet). And never mind that CO2 in 40 years has greened the planet to an extent two and a half times the size of Australia. Olaf instead tells kids,

Every day fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal are taken from the earth and forests are being chopped down. But people like you and me can work together to change things [sure, nine year olds know how to reform society] and help look after the planet. With your friends, make a start and draw trees to save the forest.

Some fine print says, “Olaf has created this ‘Landscape for Us’ based on his drawings ‘Sound of Love 2007’ and ‘Mr Greedy, 2015’” – that’s Mr Capitalism with the $-signs for eyes.

The NGV director then invites kids to itemise their Plans for the Planet, using interactive video boxes. As helpful-hinter Olaf prompts, “I dream of clean air. Stop Global Warming!”, and “I think cars should run on solar energy” and “I think we need to tackle climate change” and “I say NO to fossil fuels. It’s time to ACT!”. To look on the bright side, there’s also, “I think people should be peaceful and loving”.

When kids are asked on one panel, “What do you want to say about the world?”, the next panel suggests, “No! I don’t like…” followed by Olaf’s sophisticated cure-all for the planet’s woes, “NO PLASTIC!” I’d say Olaf and the NGV executives are not the brightest stars in the firmament, given plastics’ ubiquitous presence in modern life. (“NO PLASTIC” is what Mr Ellwood, easily impressed, hails as a “sharp observation” by his pet artist).

For Olaf, and presumably NGV directors, veganism is all the go. Kids are to chant, “I think animals deserve the same respect and care that we do” and “I dream we will make animals healthy and happy”. Do such kids know where bacon and chops come from? Do NGV executives really think shrimps are happy to top the canapes they hand around at opening nights?

A screen cheerily titled “Pollution” asks, “How can we reduce air pollution and save fossil fuels?” with the answer, “We now have electric cars.” Yes, let’s buy a $73,000 Tesla, base model.

I mentioned the screens are interactive. The programmers, imagining I am eight, asked me, “What other inventions can we think of for the future.” I typed in, “Nuclear Power”. The screen lit up in technicolor, “Great Idea!” and my “Nuclear Power” suggestion filled the screen accompanied by cute laughing animals. The video box said my suggestion would now be projected on the walls in lights to delight other visitors in the room. I gazed around but couldn’t see my Nuclear Power ad. Did the algorithm finally smell a rat?

I corrected “Nuclear Power” to “More Fossil Fuels” and although the algorithm again thought in Technicolor that it was a “Great Idea!”, it still refused to project it.  

The other Breuning rooms involved cheesy messages like “Respect love and care for people”, and diagrams espousing a “Better World”. Keep in mind that your taxes and mine have financed this drivel, which must have cost the NGV a bomb to stage.

 I limped from Olaf Breuning’s show to depart the NGV, only to find in the gift shop that the main table of books for kids was adorned with every variety of Greta Thunberg tributes, other scary warming propaganda for under 12s, and multiple kids’ books describing Aboriginals as a cross between flower children and noble savages, unlike early settler accounts.

This kids’ book table had about 25 volumes, and I’ll swear the majority aimed at greenwashing Melbourne’s put-upon kids. Here’s my sampling:

♦ Earth’s Heroes by Lily Dyu, stars a glumly plaitted Greta Thunberg “saving our world” to cheers of a milling crowd around her and kindly greens fanatic David Attenborough fondling a chameleon. A black man climbs up a windmill in the background, perhaps in search of subsidies.

♦ We Are All Greta – be inspired to save the world. Become a climate activist.” By Valentina Giannella. Next page, “Follow in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps and join the global mission to save our planet from the effects of climate change. Hashtag, #WeAreAllGreta.”

♦ Greta’s Story – the schoolgirl who went on strike to SAVE THE PLANET” – An unofficial biography by Valentina Camerini.  Enough said, except that Greta’s latest bon mot goes like this: “The audience has grown weary. This show is over. Thank you”

♦ Our Beautiful Earth – Saving our Planet Piece by Piece. The book’s pages literally shrink under capitalism’s assault. As one shrinking page puts it, “Manufacturing cars and building factories that polluted the air…and a bit of earth disappeared.” I hope the parents who buy this for their kids aren’t the ones chauffeuring the same kids to school and jamming the traffic mornings and afternoons. A double-page spread shows a town at night girdled by stinking black gases from factories and a polluted field or river, I’m not sure which.

♦ In My Room – A book of creativity and imagination. Most pages seem fine but one spread does show a girl and a boy dressed formally, with the text,

Lee and I are getting married! I’m the bride and he’s the groom. And then, just for fun, we switch! Now he’s the bride and I’m the groom.

Let’s give this last tome the benefit of the doubt, shall we?

On the Aboriginal front, Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy offer a book “Welcome to Country.” I was struck by one page of 2021-style wisdom: “You are welcome to everything, from the tops of the trees to the roots of the earth.” The excellent ABC show Black Comedy (with black actors and writers) had a 2015 episode satirising a similar  sentiment[i]:

Uncle: The Welcomes income stream has been a lucrative venture for the Elders. With all this fighting we will be running ourselves out of business. Sabotaging welcomes, water logging gum leaves – it has to stop!

Aunty Joyce: Thank you and I just want to say, “Welcome from the tops of the trees [to the bottom of the seas]…

Aunty Mary: Joyce, knock it off. You know very well you stole that line from me.

Joyce: Oh, Mary, why would I want anything of yours? 

Mary: Because you are a sneaky bitch.https://www.youtube.com/embed/L16ZUH-sCGc?feature=oembed

(Part II of The Elders can be viewed here.)

Another First Nation’s tome contains messages for kids (all on a single page), “No pride in genocide”, “stolen wages, stolen generations, stolen land”, “vote yes for Aboriginal rights”, and “stop indigenous deaths in custody.”

To my surprise, I found no sign on the table of Bruce Pascoe and Dark Emu, despite Pascoe’s woke crap being right up the NGV’s alley. I’ll recommend they add it to their stock.

Propaganda and commerce from Breuning’s Mr Greedy show overflowed to the gift shop. For sale alongside the kids’ anti-capitalism and anti-racist story treats were toddlers’ T-shirts with the message “What are your Plans for the Planet?” plus Breuning’s horrid screaming planet sketch (this little T-shirt is a steal at $39.95, it must be woven from ermine fur). Other Breuning messages for affluent parents involved “Global  Warming” and “Extinction” in jagged outlines, surrounded by virtuous and soothing counter-messages like “Solar Power”, “Land Rights”,  “Conservation” and “Love”. There were spiral bound Olaf Breuning workbooks titled “My Plans for the Planet” in two cover colors, but the inside pages were 100 per cent blank. Lord knows what NGV charges these out at.

So here’s the deal, Melbourne. Get to the Boston Impressionists, and use earplugs to defeat that awful piano. Dump your kids in the Plan for the Planet show, but yank them out before the NGV converts them to school strikers and mini-Extinction Rebels.

Above all, DON’T Exit Through the Gift Shop.

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court.

[i] I’m sure Aunty Joy and Aunty Joyce are not the same person. Aunty Joy  Wandin AO, says the book, ‘is the senior Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri people of Melbourne. We show respect for her and other Elders by calling them Aunty or Uncle. Aunty Joy has had numerous government appointments including as a member of the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria and of the Anti-Discrimination Tribuinal.’

A Gullible Mate is the Best Mate a Fraud Can Have

Tony Thomas

At last! Bruce Pascoe has now located Aboriginal towns where his pre-historic forebears built their domed houses! What a breakthrough for global science, anthropology and archaeology. These towns, with their farmlands and pens for wombat and bandicoot livestock, could predate the Mesopotamians and Pharoahs by tens of thousands of years. And how brilliant of the ABC’s radio maestro Jonathan Green to tease out from Pascoe this vital information. Listen in to Green’s program “Lost and Found – Country” – ABC Blueprint, Saturday July 10 (from 19 minutes).

I assume that, right now, Pascoe is briefing scientists on the coordinates of these multiple towns, and he even implies that not all his people’s domed houses have disappeared. This expedition will doubtless study the sites by aerial snaps and ground radar. And Quadrant’s Peter O’Brien in Bitter Harvest, historian Les Louis et al can damn well apologise to Professor (University of Melbourne) Pascoe for calling him a fake, fraud and charlatan. For shame, say I.

Before I explicate Pascoe’s towns, I’d like again to congratulate Jonathan Green as an exemplar of ABC investigative journalism. No-one’s perfect and Jonathan did once fall for and publish on the ABC’s Unleashed the rant of fake blogger Alene Composta. Alene, whose name is an anagram of “Moose Placenta”, had alerted him and his ABC of a chance to tilt the 2011 NSW election against the Liberals via a convoluted strategy involving mooses, genitals, vulgar slang and Labor Premier Kristina Keneally.

Alene’s hit-job on the Libs had a brief life as ABC agitprop until Jonathan tweeted, using the royal ‘we’: “turns out it was a fake. apparently. we were had. it seemed plausible. i was wrong. i pulled it.” He blamed this minor lapse on “the urgency of a busy day”; other professionals like medicos and nuclear power operators don’t experience such pressure. Alene was embittered that the ABC wouldn’t pay her the $200 contributor’s fee, left a suicide note for Jonathan and expired painfully with her head in her electric oven. The real identity of Alene Composta remains one of Melbourne’s most tantalising mysteries.

Now over to Melbourne University’s Professor in Indigenous Agriculture Bruce Pascoe at Jonathan  Green’s aetherial ABC salon:

There is a lot I can’t say about Birdsville because I travelled through there with local people and some of the stories can’t be told yet [I can hardly wait, TT] but when we were there, we were taken to a place where Don Rowlands [veteran Aboriginal park ranger] erected a very moving but modest memorial to his grandmother in a tiny oasis, an incredibly beautiful thing.

But while we were going there we flew over old Aboriginal towns of domed houses and in very recent times some of those houses had been destroyed, been destroyed deliberately by white land-holders, and yet these towns are amongst some of the oldest in the world.

In Australia we can blow up a cave of Aboriginal art and get away scot free, and we can bulldoze some old Aboriginal houses and get away scot free, and yet what we are doing is we are destroying one of the founts of human development, of where humans first invented ‘society’. 

There are very old houses in Turkey, no-one would approach them with a bulldozer, in fact they are on the maps of the military so they are not accidentally bombed, but in Australia you can bomb anything [I never knew that, TT]. At Birdsville it was very moving for me in that regard, because I think it is such an important indication of the depth of Aboriginal spirituality and life and there are things there, I think in the next 18 months, will be revealed as some of the most important sites in the world.” [Again, I can hardly wait for the world headlines].

Note that the domed houses must have been above ground in the past 70 years or so of the bulldozer era, which began in earnest the US in 1923. They must have been substantial – stone-walled? – if landowners needed bulldozers to knock them down. Biplanes were flying around Birdsville since the pre-war QANTAS era. I did an air-tour around there myself just five years ago. How odd that no aviator except Pascoe has noticed these amazing Aboriginal town-sites. How odd that Pascoe’s pal, Aboriginal ranger and one-time local cattleman Don Rowlands didn’t consider the towns worth a mention when asked his most memorable career moment – even though his Munga-Thirri National Park is only 70km from Birdsville.

Order Peter O’Brien’s Bitter Harvest here

The ABC’s Jonathan must also have nodded off, Homer fashion (Iliad, not Simpson) when interviewing Pascoe a year ago on Radio National’s Big Weekend of Books. Pascoe told him that Rupert Gerritsen, whose website lives on long after its creator, was a substantial source for Dark Emu and continued,

I think of Rupert Gerritsen’s life too, you know. A man who tried to blow up the American embassy in Perth during the Vietnam War was the person I relied on most in telling Dark Emu. It should have been Rupert who was getting this acclaim. But he died.” 

Green, who also edits Meanjin, did not demur.

In 2019, the concerned citizens at the Dark Emu Exposed websitediscovered Gerritsen had done a year’s jail in 1973 for planting a bomb capable of killing multiple public servants in Perth’s Department of Labour’s building. Luckily it didn’t go off. Pascoe has transmogrified one-time terrorist Gerritsen into a Viet protestor boldly attacking Perth’s non-existent US embassy.[1]

Pascoe had a field day in July’s NAIDOC week, notwithstanding that he’s never named one Aboriginal ancestor and his four grandparents are Cornish/English. SBS-TV calls him, reverently, “Uncle Bruce Pascoe” when broadcasting his New Age sentiments about the need to “honour and respect” the life and death of a fish unlucky enough to wind up in his frying pan. The piece began, “Bruce Pascoe stands by his Aboriginal identity” but search as I might, he didn’t seem to name that ancestor.

What I did find was an elaboration of his talking points as lead plenary speaker to an Academy of Science/Future Earth seminar last April. He told that credulous crowd about how a whale had warned his forebears 12,000 years ago (when they were living on dry land now beneath Bass Strait), to bug out to Tasmania and/or Victoria before the rising seawaters gave them a dunking.

Although Pascoe won respectful applause, I kept wondering how the whale got his (or her or, if the whale was of undecided gender, ‘they’s’) message past the breakers, absent a loud-hailer. But Pascoe  had earlier covered that: he told SBS that according to his forebears, the whale was land-based and went into the sea later. This must have been about 40 million years ago but, hey, let’s not get picky about Bruce’s dates. As SBS recounts:

Uncle Bruce Pascoe – founder of the Indigenous social enterprise, Black Duck Foods – reveals one version of the ancient story to SBS. ‘Many years ago, the people on the land had a relationship with the whale because she was a land animal,’ says Pascoe, an Aboriginal Australian writer, teacher, academic and farmer. ‘Then one day, we saw her go into the sea. The people stood on the headland and begged the whale to come back to the land, because they couldn’t imagine that it would be able to live out in the sea.

Worth noting here is that Black Duck Foods isn’t one of your run-of-the-mill commercial outfits. It’s a registerred charity.   But back to that chatty land-based whale:

The whale did not return to the land. Instead, the mammal rose out of the water and showed the people its mouth full of seaweed. It said ‘Look. I can eat and live here in the water. I’ll be okay.’

The people, threatened by rising sea levels, were led to safety by the whale that took them into the lands of other Australian-Aboriginals [this whale was an amphibian]. The whale warns the group about how they will have to learn to live together with their [new] hosts, saying ‘You’ll be asking them to share what they have with you. They will give up the amenity of their land for your sake. So you will have to be polite’.

There are so many beautiful environmental and social themes in this condensed version of the traditional story. Pascoe explains that it serves as a reminder of the relationship between animals and humans. It also highlights the need to amicably and respectfully share the Earth’s resources with animals as well as other groups of people. Most importantly, however, the story stresses the need to be respectful as we share.

For Pascoe, this respect extends to both humans and the natural environment, which feeds us. ‘How we treat the Earth is so important to Australia and the world,’ says the Bunurong, Yuin and Tasmanian man. ‘We have to be modest about our demands on it. In this world today, we have far too much. We eat far too much. We process our food far too much. We need to respect the Earth a lot more.’

If you’re around when Professor Bruce starts one of his whale tales, run for the hills to retain your sanity. For example, here’s “facts” from Dark Emu:

When the natives see a whale being chased by kill­er whales one of the old men pretends to be lame and frail … to excite the compassion of the killer whales and the man calls on the killers to bring the whale ashore. When the injured whale drifts in to shore the other men come out of hiding to kill the whale and call on neighbouring tribes to join the feast.

Peter O’Brien in his  Bitter Harvest examination of Pascoe’s malarkey  finds historical documents only about white whalers’ cooperation with killer whales on the south coast of NSW, with the skeleton of the leading killer whale, Old Tom, now preserved in the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

Professor Pascoe can well complain, as he did to SBS, of having far too much. His book sales have been stratospheric, with ignorant teachers shoving Dark Emu fictions down the throats of their charges from age six. Sales of Dark Emu and spin-offs run to 310,000-plus, and if he gets a 10 per cent royalty, he’s pocketing a million bucks, conservatively, for his Emu shtick alone.

Crikey! has sussed out that Pascoe’s weird Melbourne University professorship is at Level E, which according to the university’s enterprise bargaining agreement, yields $200,000 a year if full-time.

Pascoe’s business Black Duck Foods has charity tax-deductibility for donations. A host of woke corporates, foundations, top-tier consulting firms and government entities have thrown cash at this entity. Crikey!‘s excellent reporter David Hardaker concludes,

Not just a darling of the left, he is at the centre of a large pool of social change money and a celebrity magnet for boardrooms looking to improve their ‘purpose’ metrics. However flawed his facts might allegedly be, and whatever question marks that hang over his ancestry, there is a strong vested interest in keeping the Pascoe dream alive.

Mark McKenna reported for The Guardian,

Since the publication of Dark Emu in 2014, Pascoe’s life has been transformed. Rarely does a day pass without another invitation to address the public. Everyone wants a piece of him: schools, media, Indigenous bodies and major corporations, including universities.

I’ve no idea what he charges to speak but it’s clearly quite a sideline. For example, at Tasmania’s Ballawinne Festival at Port Cygnet, Tas., “he received a standing ovation after he spoke and the queue for his autograph was unrelenting. By the end of day, on-site retailer Southern Swan reported that all copies of his books had sold out.”

At his talks, Pascoe’s rhetoric precisely aligns with what his New Age and credulous audiences love to hear. He proclaimed to the ABC’s Jonathan Green the sublimely peaceful nature of pre-contact Aboriginal society – especially his Yuin forebears. They’re a model for today’s troubled world, he says.

Here he is (8.30mins), speaking as a particularly pink-cheeked Yuin man to Green about Yuin lore concerning Mt Gulaga, near Tilba Tilba in NSW:

She is a very powerful mountain but her lore is incredibly gentle, all about women. The story and power of mother earth is expressed through reference to women. What country on earth has in its story a story without weapons, it is incredibly rare. In the galleries of the whole world, wherever you go there are spears, swords, machines for war. That seems to be the celebration of the human spirit because they dominate art galleries and churches. And yet here this spiritual life doesn’t include weapons.

Actually, Bruce, the eminent olden-day anthropologist Alfred Howittstudied the Yuin and reported in 1883 about their not-so-peaceful habits:

Among the Yuin there was the same practice of expiatory ordeals as among the other tribes I have quoted and the old men prefer this to armed parties being sent out to exact blood-revenge in a feud. The kindred of the deceased frequently revenged themselves by lying in wait for the suspected person, and killing him when out hunting alone. This naturally led to reprisals, and thus to complications such as those which caused the great blood-feud in the Kurnai tribe [Gippsland region].[2]

An instance is known to me of an expiatory meeting in the Yuin tribe in consequence of a Moruya man being killed by a man from Bodalla, but I am not aware whether by violence or by magic.

The Bodalla Gommera [elders] sent a Jirri (messenger) to the Bodalla man, telling him he must come to a certain place and stand out. Meanwhile the men of Moruya were preparing their spears and heating their boomerangs in hot ashes to make them tough. At the time fixed, the man appeared, armed with two shields… 

The man is then wounded by a barrage of boomerangs and spears and this completes the punishment. Note the casual reference to “two shields”, obviously at hand for armed conflict.

Pascoe’s notion of pan-continental peace and democracy forged by pre-contact Aboriginals (with encouragement from at least one Bass Strait whale) does not gel with early accounts in southern Victoria such as those by Aboriginal Protector Charles Sievwright, who was quite sympathetic to local clans. As Peter O’Brien recounts in Bitter Harvest, (p146-49) different clans came in to the Protector’s Terang camp (near Warrnambool) competing for access to rations, and intense fighting ensued. At 2am Jarcoort natives begged him for protection after a 13-year-old girl, Worangaer, was speared twice in the face by Bolagher clansmen. While Sievwright tried and failed to save her, Bolagher men selected a 17-year-old Jarcoort girl, Mootenewharnong, and felled her with about 20 spears. The Bolagher men took Worangaer’s body into the bush, Seivwright following them. They disembowelled her and Seivwright witnessed ‘the most fearful scene of ferocious cannibal­ism’. As the old man began to portion out the entire con­tents of Worangaer’s viscera, there was a ‘general scramble’ by some of the women for her liver. It was snatched up in pieces and eagerly devoured. Next the women avidly tore up and ate Worangaer’s kidneys and heart, as the old man cupped his hands and quaffed the blood and serum that had collected in her chest cavi­ty. Worangaer’s body was then dismembered and Seivwright was offered a foot. He thought it wise to accept and carried it off to later be buried:

At the end of the day, Seivwright rode off to secretly bury Worangaer’s foot, passing on the way the tree hol­low where her severed head had been placed between some stones heated in the fire, and was undergoing a process of baking.[3]

That doesn’t seem to be the same world’s best Aboriginal baking that Pascoe keeps reminding us about.

TO WRAP UP up this essay, I’ll bring you the latest gossip on Pascoe’s actual Aboriginality, or not.

David Hardaker on Crikey! has been doing excellent work (see also Peter O’Brien’s commendation), and a week ago unearthed that Pascoe has asserted to be Yuin, Bunerong and Tasmanian in a sworn affidavit for a Copyright Tribunal hearing constituted by a Federal Court judge and dated November 2019. 

Crikey, moreover, has ascertained that Pascoe has also asserted himself to be Wiradjuri from Central NSW. (The Yuin community is on the NSW south coast). Perhaps the real question is which First Nation he does notclaim to belong to?

The Bunurong and Tasmanian authorities have flat-out denied Pascoe’s claims, Crikey! says. “As well, Crikey’s investigation now raises serious questions about Pascoe’s claim to Yuin ancestry too.”

Pascoe has found three Yuin members who accept him, including one of his Black Duck Foods board members who says, “If someone tells me they’re a horse, OK then, I’ll treat them like a horse.” But Hardaker says a key Yuin community organisation, the Aboriginal Land Council of Eden, does not. Yuin man B.J. Cruse, who has chaired the land council for nearly 40 years, says that he definitely can’t and won’t say that Pascoe is an Aboriginal person.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre CEO Heather Sculthorpe told Hardaker that Pascoe had not provided the information to persuade them that he had Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestry. Sculthorpe also blasted “the high profile people” who, she said, associated any questioning of Pascoe’s claims to Aboriginality with being

a fascist or a Bolt supporter … The intellectual laziness of the commentators astounds me.

The Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania similarly rejects Pascoe, complaining, “No names, no direct statement about from whom he gets Aboriginal heritage, all general and vague.”

Hardaker claims Pascoe modelled a race-shift in middle age via his friendship with Aboriginal activist artist Lin Onus, who died in 1996.

Among those particularly resistant to Pascoe’s shtick is Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine, a one-time president of the Australian Labor Party and now a Liberal-affiliated politician. He told Peta Credlin on Sky News that Dark Emu’s claims have no evidence and are “complete exaggerations” and “verging on the fraudulent”. He wants Dark Emuexpelled from classrooms as propaganda, nonsense that paints a false image of Aboriginal people. Against this negativity, a lot of people in high places have beclowned themselves by fawning over Pascoe.

The luvvee idiots at the Australia Council for the Arts have called Dark Emu “a monumental work of scholarship”. Judges for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (2013) gave Pascoe a prize for his teens’ book Fog a Dox, and commented, “The author’s Aboriginality shines through but he wears it lightly.” He sure does — call it pure gossamer. Dark Emucould be sub-titled, “The incredible lightness of me being Aboriginal.”

Tony Thomas’s just-published “Foot Soldier in the Culture Wars” ($29.95) is available from author at tthomas061@gmail.com or publisher Connor Court

[1] Gerrritsen fled Perth, first to Melbourne and then to NZ, being twice extradited. He pleaded guilty. I’m not negating his later history work but Pascoe, for an alleged historian, seems to make a lot of stuff up.

[2] Note that in Aboriginal pay-back culture, all deaths and misadventures could be attributed to sorcery from the next-door clan and vengeance enacted indiscriminately.

[3] Arkley, Lindsey; The Hated Protector, Orbit Press, Melbourne 2000, p165-8. Note that Sievwright was “hated” not by the Aborigines but by the settlers for his zealous regard for Aborigines

Raising a Generation of Junior Jackbooters

Tony Thomas

Australian schoolkids get multiple forms of green/Left indoctrination (for a partial list click here). Conservative state and federal governments do nothing about this and even promote it. But how well are kids actually absorbing the green/Left narrative? Very well indeed, is my guess. Judging from copious material I’ve been sifting, schools are training a generation of horrid little eco-tyrants hot to embark on the mightiest state planning and control makeover since Stalin destroyed private agriculture and re-introduced mass slavery.

 “Young Australians’ Plans for the Planet” — an astounding trove — involves myriad pages of kids’ takes on social issues. They were organised by local climate zealots to support the United Nation’s 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) for 2030. The UN’s eight “Millennium Development Goals” for 2000-15 did great work reducing indicators like childbirth mortality and extreme poverty. But the 17 SDGs are a joke on “inclusiveness”, involving 169 sub-targets and no prioritisations (“End poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”). Indeed the UN’s original SDG draft involved 1400 indiscriminate goals proposed by 120 organisations.

Our locals organised about 240 kids from Year 10, drawn from [1] 20 high schools nationally, to flesh out kids’ own plans for Australia out to 2050. The kids and supervising teachers did the eight months’ extra-curricular work during 2016-19,  stopping when COVID-19 intervened. The superstructure was bigger than Ben Hur. The exercise went international with kids from Mauritius (10 schools, 120 kids) and Singapore endorsing the template. Asia, Africa and North America wait in the wings.

The local organisers were: Questacon and Inspiring Australia (the National Science and Technology Centre run within the Department of Industry), the green-Left Academy of Science and its affiliate Future Earth, UN Youth Australia, six universities led by the ANU’s woke vice-chancellor and Nobelist Brian Schmidt, and green fanatics such as Beyond Zero Emissions and OnePlanet Partnership.

The 240 kid volunteers are probably a green-biased sample (if you know of any free-market warming-sceptic school groups out there somewhere, please let me know). Actually some of the  kids taking part occasionally went off-message: an outlier even urged debate and polling on nuclear power, and some others were gung-ho for a gas pipeline from PNG and a gas-powered electricity plant to help North Queensland’s industry – climate Armageddon be damned. The mainstream want a green socialist nirvana where governments dictate how we live and work, and ensure we think only proper thoughts about renewables.

I’m not blaming kids for what teachers have dinned into them; I’m sure kids’ hearts are in the right place. But here goes, fasten your seat-belts, because here is what the junior jackbooters think is needed to confront that climate emergency we’re always hearing about.

♦ “Stop the debate as climate change is real.”

♦ Kids want their parents to be slugged with a carbon tax, plus 50 per cent hikes in both petrol prices and car insurance. (Mum and Dad to kid: “Gee thanks, Fiona, that’s just what our family needs.”)

♦ WA kids: “Go to the federal government and ask them to put through a law saying all vehicle owners need to drive an electric vehicle by 2030.” (Even the uber-progressive Canberra kids want only an 80 per cent cut in normal cars by 2040).

♦ New coal mines are banned and coal and petroleum replaced “with a job-rich, clean energy economy.” The kids say that our green jobs can grow by 28 per cent per annum, which on my calculations suggests nearly 60 million green jobs by 2050.[2]

♦ Central planners are to decrease fossil fuel exports (the lifeblood of the Australian economy) and increase exports of “sustainably farmed crops and livestock.”[3]

♦ Federal and sng tate legislation for mandatory use of biofuels in vehicles, aircraft and off-grid electricity production.

♦ “Increase fuel excise on non-biofuels with all funds invested back into biofuels technology and development.”

♦ WA kids: “We aim to stop live export by any means completely. We want live exports to be completely illegal and those who will break this law will get a reasonable punishment.”

♦ “Legislation/guidelines as to where a shop can import from, based on their location.” (This is to support local production, never mind any advantages of trade).

♦ The kids want the government to snuff out “infamously” water-intensive crops like cotton and rice, “while providing viable alternatives”. I assume the NSW Premier sets up a Ministry of Artichokes & Pineapples.

♦ WA kids want farmers to be levied “4 per cent of their output or $2 billion a year” to stock “community fridges” available to anyone wanting a feed. (Fat chance that teachers would know that WA farm output isn’t $50 billion, it’s $11 billion).

♦ “New laws” should place quotas of women in high-paid male-dominated sectors.[4] Workplaces should run compulsory courses against sexism. (comparable, I assume, to current compulsory safety courses.)

♦ A steadily increasing tax on sugar-laced foods, while subsidising fruit and veges for the poor. The sugar tax to be followed by something called a “trans-fat tax”.

♦ Kids want to teach farmers how to run their farms, imagining that profligate farmers are over-spraying fertilisers and pesticides, heedless of cost. Farm problems can, of course, be ‘solved’ by government funding for increased farmer wages, the kids explain. “It would make sense that we all pay for agriculture through tax.”

Australians were once famed as rugged individualists. But today’s snowflake kids want a taxpayer-funded program for free beach umbrellas to combat sunburn, and taxpayer-paid seaside sunscreen dispensers. Students from households on less than $80,000 a year should get taxpayer-paid lunches.

The NSW kids, who have been familiarised with green politics, write:

Australia previously had a carbon tax under the Gillard government that lasted from 2011-14.[5] Unfortunately there was extreme backlash towards this and it was repealed in July 2014…

The introduction of a Carbon Tax could be a potentially viable way of reducing the state’s dependence on coal and fossil fuels as it becomes more expensive to use them.

The NSW kids have got the climate-catastrophe panic prose down pat:

We have 18 months to reduce impact of climate change until irreversible damage including unadaptable changes for animals according to the UN.

The 18 months are now up, kids, and global temperatures actually fell in June to a range last seen 20 years ago.

Schoolkids, who’ve learnt so much engineering from their teachers, envisage

teaching the community the benefits of renewable energy and dissipating the myths surrounding solar/wind farms (that they are too loud, look unattractive in the countryside).

A reminder, kids: they’re also intermittent.

The union movement has tumbled from 51 per cent of the workforce in 1976 to a under 14 per cent today, with the education sector probably the most strongly unionised. It appears that union supporters have invaded the classrooms to shore up future membership. Here’s kids’ reflections:

Creating jobs in the renewable energy sector that are attractive, high salary and have good unions …  All organisations should have equal pay policies and employee access to third party pay negotiators. Funding from government to allow people to have access to a third party negotiator… Organise various third party negotiators for the government/businesses to readily supply for employers and employees … By communicating with their government prior to a job interview, an employee will be able to access a third party to negotiate pay.

Combatting unemployment is seen as the job of “schools unions and unemployment benefit centres” –  employers don’t rate a mention.

On Clean Energy goals — the need for baseload power is typically overlooked — coal miners are seen deftly transitioning to solar energy jobs and “the price of electricity will drop to more affordable prices for all communities.” Actually, kids, studies show that the more solar/wind wattage a country has, the dearer its electricity. In NSW, electricity is to be 100 per cent renewable by 2030. Heaven help fridge-owners during wind droughts.

The kids’ push for electric cars would be aided by taxpayer grants to buyers and free access to bus lanes, toll roads and ferries. Since the kids want electric cars to swamp the roads, bus drivers and ferry operators will be cursing.[6]

As to CO2 in the atmosphere, currently 416 parts per million, the kids believe it can be sucked down legislatively or by technology to 366ppm in 2030 and to 330ppm in 2050. It was previously at 330ppm in 1975, an era when Asian and African peasants were starving from lack of mechanisation.

The nadir of the kids’ teacher-supervised output comes from a Perth high school. Its 31 planet-savers aim to re-shape human society and revise the Western Enlightenment, but they first need more instruction on grammar and spelling. For example, “This an extra income a little bit more unrestricted.” I wouldn’t normally care but I would have expected teachers to correct kids’ grammar in a public document for clients like the Prime Minister and the Academy of Science. Perhaps the teachers’ command of basic grammar and coherence is no better than that of their indoctrinated charges.

These kids, in their plan for quality education, say,

Also to improve the staff work ethic so we can (sic) quality teachers over a quantity of average teachers (sic) … More important Topics come first an aren’t just restricted to being taught by one person yelling out information expecting others to take notes.

Understandably, they want the school budget to finance a therapist. These kids lobby for “Quality teachers … performance management salary based incentives” – a good thing but sounds odd from the mouths of babes.

During the planning exercise WA had some drought so the kids’ plan reads,

The amount of drought is reduced by at least 35% in the heavily drought affected areas.

To continue reading this marvellous article click HERE