Green/Left lobby Cool Australia, backed by Labor’s teacher unions and Bendigo Bank, is achieving massive success in brainwashing school students about the inhumanity of the federal government’s asylum-seeker policies, the evils of capitalism, and our imminent climate peril. The Cool Australia’s teaching templates are now being used by 52,540 teachers in 6,676 primary and high schools (71% of total schools). The courses have impacted just over a million students via 140,000 lessons downloaded for classes this year alone. Students’ uptake of Cool Australia materials has doubled in the past three years.
Teachers are mostly flummoxed about how to prioritise “sustainability” throughout their primary and secondary school lessons, as required by the national curriculum. Cool Australia has marshaled a team of 19 professional curriculum writers who offer teachers and pupils easy templates for lessons that include the sustainability mantra along with green and anti-government propaganda.
Teachers have grasped at the organisation’s labor-saving advantages. As one teacher enthused, “I love the fact they take some of the leg work out of my lessons and allow me to spend more time working on the outdoor gardens etc.” A coordinator (hopefully not of English courses) wrote that the lessons gave her “piece of mind”.
Much of the Cool material, such as lessons advocating recycling and energy-saving, is largely harmless, even beneficial. But material on hot-button political topics is designed to turn students into green activists and anti-conservative bigots.
Kevin Donnelly: Why Johnny Can’t Count, Spell or Think
On asylum seekers, the basic “text” is the film “Chasing Asylum” by activist Eva Orner, whose intention is to shame Australia and mobilise international pressure against the Pacific solution. At least eleven different lessons for Years 9-10 feature her cinematic agitprop, billed as a “documentary”. The film hardly conforms to the professed “apolitical” nature of Cool Australia courses. The film’s descriptor reads:
Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky Country’ became a country where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights. The film features never before seen footage from inside Australia’s offshore detention camps, revealing the personal impact of sending those in search of a safe home to languish in limbo. Chasing Asylum explores the mental, physical and fiscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions hidden from media scrutiny, destroying their lives under the pretext of saving them.
Emphasising that the coalition government is the main target, the film’s trailer plays the Abbott government’s ad featuring Lt-General Angus Campbell and Operation Sovereign Borders.
The title’s introduction says it’s “the film the Australian government doesn’t want you to see” and promises inside inspection to “the places the Australian Government doesn’t want you to go”. The commentary says, “There is sickness, disease, infection. It feels militarized … staff would have to be trained how to use a Hoffman’s knife. The knife would be used to cut people down when they are found hanging.”
A depressed boat person says, “I heard Australia is a safe country, a humane country, it respects people and refugees”. Another says, “I have to forget my dreams here” and “Please don’t forget about us, please don’t leave us here”. A group of boat people chant, “We want our freedom!”. For added music-themed emotional impact, we see children’s drawings of themselves crying behind bars, with commentary: “They are growing up on white phosphate rock in mouldy, damp tents. They have no privacy and no space.” Director Orner claimed last June that “we are the only people in the world that keeps children in indefinite detention.”
Cool Australia, which boasts that its material is kept up to date, doesn’t enlighten teachers that the number of children detained on Nauru has fallen from 167 in October 2014 to only 45 last October. That sort of data might spoil the narrative. Nor does the lesson explain that the only choice is having the children on Nauru with their parents, or off Nauru without their parents.
Ever politically correct, Cool Australia says teachers should ensure their classes have a safe space before seeing Orner’s confronting propaganda. Teachers should first pre-discuss it with “students, staff, family members and the local community”, and negotiate “classroom agreements” to ensure ownership and agreement that create a safe space for engagement with the learning stimulus and activities.
A whole course for Years 9-10, involving ten lessons, is devoted to the book “This Changes Everything”, an anti-capitalism, anti-fossil-fuel polemic by Canadian activist Naomi Klein. She advocates populist uprisings – “Blockadia” — against fossil-energy developments, and for gigantic dollar transfers to (mostly corrupt) Third World governments to repay the West’s (mythical) “climate debt”. She attacks even the major green groups such as WWF and Nature Conservancy as sell-outs to the fossil-fuel industry.
One Cool Australia lesson about Klein’s book is titled, Climate Changes vs Capitalism. It decries the impact on the environment of “our economic system’s push for continual growth” and the “quality of life for all people”.  In an unintentionally revealing disclosure, Cool Australia’s Teacher Notes describe the supposed climate crisis as “an opportunity for a new economic model that accounts for both people and the planet in a just and sustainable way… After all, it will be young people who will inherit the world we have created… and who will reinvent a different future.” (My emphasis). This echoes similar sentiments by Christiana Figueres, when a top UN climate official: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”
It is a shock to realize that 50,000 teachers are taking in their stride this sort of officially-endorsed green loopiness:
“Students will then analyse a proposed plan for wealthy countries to pay Ecuador not to sell its oil, and write arguments to explain their position on the strategy of having wealthy countries compensate poorer countries for not exploiting their oil reserves.”
Worth noting is that Ecuador vainly sought from the West a total $US3.5b to refrain from oil production in the Yasuni basin. Having reneged on various Western loans, Ecuador is now dependent on Chinese aid, to be repaid by stepped-up oil production. Ecuador now risks becoming one of China’s client states. One can only wonder if or how teachers convey such real-world complexities to their 16-year-olds.
To demonstrate the inhumanity of Western capitalism, the course falls back on the Exxon Valdez oil spill of nearly 30 years ago and Shell’s oil exploitation and pollution in the Niger delta. Shell’s worst spill was in fact nearly 50 years ago. The Niger Delta this century has degenerated into civil wars, while most of the oil-spill pollution involves breaking of pipelines to steal oil. The course, however, hectors students with questions like, “How would Australians react if, every year, an Exxon Valdez-worth of oil spilled into waterways in one of their communities? Why do you think so much oil has been allowed to spill in the Niger Delta for more than fifty years?”
Klein, awardee last month of the “tremendous honor” of the lunar-Left’s Sydney Peace Prize, gives Venezuela a big tick for poverty reduction and independence from Western oil barons. Back in the real world, oil-rich but socialist Venezuela is now barely staving off bankruptcy.
Students are served up extracts from the book and tested on how well they have grasped Klein’s message. One case study is Indian villagers’ protests against a new coal-fired power station. Teacher notes include:
Explore alternatives to economic growth that serve human needs and minimise the impact on the environment. Begin by having students read the This Changes Everything book excerpt…List the strategies described in the text.
The notes do not mention that energy poverty — chiefly, the lack of cheap and reliable electricity — is the main force consigning the Third World’s poor to destitution. Instead, teachers provide students with Cool’s inane questions. A typical asininity: “How do you think climate change would be affected if the global economy collapsed?” And here’s another leading question:
“What impacts is (sic) coal having on our environment? (Suggested answer: Coal mining activities are having a devastating effect on the Great Barrier Reef, and is affecting food production, water security and communities across the nation.)”
No material contrary to the dark-Green’s shtick is provided, other than several quotes including a supposedly tainted one from a Western Fuels US spokesman.
Similarly, Cool Australia takes pains, despite its profession to “highest-quality” science, to screen out any peer-reviewed science sceptical of the IPCC conclusion that man-made CO2 has caused more than half the past 60 years’ warming, relative to natural forces. One unit indeed is titled, “Who is a climate sceptic?” This lumps sceptic science output with pro-smoking studies, anti-vaccination, vested fossil-fuel interests, creationism, and alien visitors. By posing the issue as accepters versus non-accepters of “the climate science” Cool Australia disappears the hundreds of peer-reviewed science studies per annum (more than 250 in 2015 alone) rejecting the IPCC’s line.
To ensure students aren’t influenced by several quoted sceptic statements, the lesson gives students two “resources” to consult, the Skeptical Science blog, and The Consensus Project. Both, despite the first’s misleading title, are entities of John Cook of Queensland University, who runs “myth-busting” courses on how to combat what he calls Climate Denialism. Cook knows quite a bit more about promoting myths, as he is the man responsible for siring and propagating the furphy that 97% of scientists believe in man-made global warming.
There is no reference in Cool’s lesson on sceptics about what is now the 20-year absence of significant global warming, contrary to almost all orthodox climate models; the steady downgrading in peer-reviewed work of climate sensitivity to CO2; and importance to climate of natural ocean, cloud and solar effects.
The final Klein-based lesson involves students designing and implementing a “community action” project, such as a public screening of This Changes Everything. Parents may not be aware that the national curriculum now wants “young people to design action that will lead to a more equitable, respectful and sustainable future.”
Cool Australia enjoys tax-deductible donations as a charity.  Its schools campaigns launched in 2008 as the brainchild of Jason Kimberley, one of the Just Jeans’ Kimberley family, which grossed $64m from the group’s sale in 2001.
The sustainability requirement is acting as a Trojan Horse for sly green groups like Cool Australia to brainwash pupils. Why conservative state and federal governments have gone along with the conversion of schoolkids to Tiny Trots is a mystery. With half of parents voting conservative, it’s time for their own uprising against Left/green indoctrination in schools. Keep in mind that Cool Australia is just one of at least half a dozen green lobby groups — the Youth Climate Coalition is another peddler of pernicious propaganda — that have acquired carte blanche to harangue the classrooms.
Tony Thomas’s previous essay on Cool Australia is here. His new book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here
 Aboriginality and Asian engagement are likewise required as cross-curriculum topics, even in mathematics.
 The courses also proffer a film on the topics by Klein’s husband Avi Lewis. The trailer mainly consists of street protests dramas. Nine lessons focus on Tim Flannery’s ridiculous 2006 book, We Are the Weather Makers.
 Klein, a Jew, is an avid supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel – a cause she adopted at the height of the Gaza war in 2009. She is now campaigning for international sanctions against the US if Trump dumps the Paris climate accord.
 “ Use some of these keywords to initiate conversation (about capitalism): profit, money, private wealth, rich, poor, winners, loser, consumption, stuff, resources, economic systems, private ownership, humans.”
 Skeptic blogger Paul Homewood comments on Klein, “In reality, emissions in the West have declined substantially since 1990. Most of the increase she refers to has come from communist China. But it seems that communist emissions are good.”
 Klein, asked if one could fight climate change without fighting capitalism, replied, “No, I don’t think there is a way. We’ve been trying that for a long time…So the need for another economic model is urgent, and if the climate justice movement can show that responding to climate change is the best chance for a more just economic system, that creates more and better jobs, greater social equality, more and better social services, public transit, all these things that improve peoples daily lives, people will be ready to fight for those policies.”
 See also, “Climate policy has almost nothing to do any more with environmental protection. The next world climate summit is actually an economy summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” Ottmar Edenhofer, IPCC stalwart, 14/11/2010.
 “Keywords: Climate debt, climate justice, social inequality, legacy of colonialism, economic development, This Changes Everything.”
 Klein has an apocalyptic impression of Australia, writing last June: “In recent months, the world’s gaze has landed again and again on a hellish Australian terrain of climate-related disaster.” She views the Pacific solution as a “monstrous” and as a racist attack on black and brown lives.
 The IPCC itself says 111 of 114 model runs over-estimated the warming trend.
 Prahran-based Cool Australia last year had revenue of $923,000 ($45,000 from government grants) and posted a $73,000 loss, leading to a net liability of $282,000. It reported having 11 full and part-time workers. It creates a huge national impact for an under $1m organization.