The original Children’s Crusade, if it actually happened, didn’t end well for the pre-pubescent zealots, who are said to have ended up as slaves. Today’s kids would know as much if their brainwashers, also known as ‘teachers’, focused on fact rather than getting them into the streets to demonstrate against nasty weather
I avoid driving locally from 3.30 to 4pm weekdays. That’s because parents chauffeuring kids home from school create congestion equal to evening peak hour. Kids today are a pampered lot. With their forays into climate-strike activism last week, these same kids have become truly insufferable, posing as climate martyrs and lionised by the Fairfax/ABC media and renewables lobbyists. Kids unwilling to unstack the dishwasher after dinner are now condemning their parents for climate criminality.
Five-year-olds are exhorted by adult trainers to dump pre-school and go on strike to combat the global warming that began 150 years ago, following the Little Ice Age. Older kids can skive off for a week with a clear conscience.
Did I say five-year-olds? Well yes, for progressives, indoctrination begins at four. At Brunswick Kindergarten Inc. in The Greens’ bicycle-infested Melbourne heartland, teacher Catherine Sundbye, “with a passion for early learning” runs “Kids Off Nauru lessons” for the four-year-olds, with parents’ approval. The kids come dressed in blue symbolising their sadness , as in #BlueForNauru. Her newsletter chronicles the four-year-olds’ responses to “What would you say to the politicians who won’t let the refugees in?” She clarifies, “It’s not about running a scare campaign” and says most of her tots don’t think the Coalition refugee policy is fair. Ms Sundbye sums up, “That was beautiful to see: how they got it on a deep level. It’s never too early to get them to be part of the conversation.”
A conversation with a four-year-old about national policy? I’ll be waiting with bated breath for sand-box set’s perspective on franking credits.
On the climate strike, parent “Trent” was interviewed with his eight-year-old climate-protesting son by a credulous ABC Radio reporter. Trent pere claimed, risibly, that his eight-year-old had “a pretty incredible understanding of the science.”
The kid strikers virtue-signalling about their “sacrifice” had merely skipped school for a fun day out, having memorised a few hand-me-down slogans and lies about the extent, rate and impacts of global warming. As Year 12 student Marco Bellemo put it on ABC QandA on Monday:
“I see the Liberal Party still wanting to build new coal, when we should clearly be transitioning to renewable energy to help save lives… climate change is killing people, it’s causing so many natural disasters.”
Marco happens to be a student organiser/activist at Northcote High, in the heart of Melbourne’s progressive-voting inner belt. I wish him well in further exploring the issues. For example, the IPCC itself fails to establish links between global warming and natural disasters such as drought. Prima facie, warming lets the air hold more water vapour and hence promotes rain.
The SMH’s environment reporter Peter Hannam ran an unintended farcical interview with 11-year-old Lucie Atkin-Bolton, “who will soon graduate as school captain at Sydney’s Forest Lodge Public School”. Lucie told Hannam that Australia should be sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from solar power: “I can’t understand why it hasn’t been done yet.” Perhaps because the sun goes down at night? She also cited the debunked drowning Pacific islands meme. Her school principal, Stephen Reed, has been supportive, she told Hannam, and students remaining behind “are expected to be involved in school-wide activities”. To me, Forest Lodge looks like a school gone insane with climate propaganda. How many other schools are like this?
In Perth, The West Australian previewed the strike saying, “Students as young as eight are vowing to put the books away and converge on MP offices and parliaments around the country.” Among the week’s strike pics, sure enough, is a chubby eight-year-old holding up a sign, “Never ever ever ever ever change the weather.” Kevan Goodworth, chair of the Australian Council of State School Organisations, put a tiny glimmer of sanity into this debate: “I think it’s more something that you would not imagine a younger person of five or six years old necessarily might have an interest in,” he said, albeit with extreme caution.
I don’t give teens a free pass as victims of the brainwashing by their teachers — assisted by green-left cults’ downloaded lesson templates that are used by tens of thousands of lazy and gullible teachers. If kids are old enough to strike, they’re old enough to check elementary climate facts and avoid spreading scary untruths.
The adult organisers now incite kids to run further DIY climate strikes at will, for half a day, a day, a day per week, an entire week, individually or en masse, indefinitely. This is meant to be with the support of complaisant teachers, whose overt role is to enforce school attendance. The kids’ adult leaders want rolling strikes in coming months. An ABC report broached the ill-concealed Greens/Labor agenda by noting how “students banded together to pressure the Morrison Government in the lead-up to a federal election.”
Who knows what passions will next draw kids onto the streets? A ‘strike’, perhaps, to protest about kids on Nauru; for downtrodden Aborigines; or for the human right to message their pals on mobile phones during class. All worthy causes, n’est ce pas? And remember Al Gore’s call to kids for civil disobedience to stop new coal plants in the great cause of planetary survival.
Attendance rules are what hold a school community together. That glue is being deliberately dissolved and the results cannot and will not be good for Australian education, already on the slide vis-à-vis our global competitors in education, such as Kazakhstan, our betters in maths and science.
So who are these adult leaders of kid strikers? Officially, the strikes are run by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), with its 70 full- and part-time staff. I’m guessing here, but the scale and sophistication of the national strike suggests the green-left powerhouse GetUp is manipulating events from behind the curtain. The sophistication of the strike website and its ad-agency copywriting masquerading as child speech tell their own story. A sample:
So, as our contribution to the changes we want to see, we are striking from school. We are temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures from climate wrecking projects like the Adani coal mine… Breaking news shows Adani have the money to start digging their dangerous coal mine. But we’ll never let them – our future is on the line.
As a supposed charity, AYCC enjoys tax-deductibility for donations. GetUp, as a political lobbyist, does not.
AYCC’s $2.9m funding last year included $311,000 in “grants” (presumably from official sources) and $2.1 million in “donations”. These “donations” have quadrupled from $530,000 in 2014 – a little mystery there. Big backer of AYCC has been aged-care and radiology ex-tycoon Robert E. Purves. Last year his fund allocated $746,000 jointly to the AYCC, the Climate Council and two other green groups (2016: $1.3m)
Don’t imagine AYCC is run by teens. Its executives are sophisticated adult political operatives and media massagers, their profiles enhanced by an adoring ABC. By convention the leaders quit AYCC in their late 20s, going on to careers in the big league, like co-founder Amanda McKenzie who is now CEO of the Climate Council.
AYCC and GetUp have always been, as the Chinese say, as close as lips and teeth, with AYCC making no secret of prior campaigning partnerships. GetUP with 60-70 full-time staff had $8.4m revenue last year. GetUp director Alex Rafalowicz is a co-founder of AYCC. The co-founder of AYCC, Anna Rose, is married to GetUP founder Simon Sheikh. A later national director of AYCC, Kirsty Albion, is a former marriage equality organiser at GetUp.
Fort St High student Jean Hinchliffe, a key student organiser of the strike, spruiks the strike in a video authorised by GetUp national director Paul Oosting. GetUp provides links to the kids’ strike teams in 26 cities.
Turning to the mechanics of the strike campaign, a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) on the AYCC website reads:
How long will the strike last? We’ll keep striking for as long as it takes for our politicians to take the action we need to stop dangerous climate change. You should do whatever works best for you. We are planning more big walk outs for 2019.
AYCC’s advice on DIY school walkouts involves a template letter-alert for teacher and principal. “This can be sent to your teacher before you start your strike to help build support.” It expects teacher “support” for truancy?  The template text with my comments added is below.
“Dear (insert teacher’s name)
On (insert date) (insert student’s name) is joining school students across Australia to strike from school as a way of demonstrating our deep concern about the lack of political action on climate change.
Fact check: $70 billion capital spending on Australian renewables to date, and subsidies now running at $3 billion a year – excluding those for rooftop solar to date.
Climate impacts are growing in intensity.
Fact check: Global temperatures show a negligible trend of 0.13degC per decade since 1979. Projected, that’s only 1.3degC for the coming century
We’ve had bushfires in winter and NSW and Qld are gripped by crippling drought.
Fact check: The NSW/Qld droughts are a normal weather event. Bushfires are not climate related. Arson and neglect of controlled burning are typical causes of recent wildfires . Globally, wildfires have been declining for many decades.
Yet our politicians want to help billionaire coal companies like Adani build massive new coal mines which will only make climate change worse.
Fact check: All big mining projects are billion-dollar projects. Why be so silly about it? Climate change to date has boosted food production and greened the planet. Coal-fired electricity has lifted billions from abject poverty and continues to do so.
We’d love to discuss the strike more with you and others in the school to spread awareness of it and see how we can all build more awareness of the need for urgent action on climate change and Adani’s coal mine.
Fact check: Adani’s coal is urgently needed, both for Australia’s prosperity and jobs and for cheap power for India’s poverty-stricken masses.
(insert name of parent / guardian + student)
Worth noting is that the template does not mandate parental consent.
Another template letter demands a meeting with the local politician and includes the additional lie that “half of the Great Barrier Reef (is) dead.” To frame this nonsense a provided flyer projects the reef will become 100% dead, 50degC days are going to be the norm, and rain will be “a novelty”.
Kids, presumably from the age of five, are exhorted to waste their local member’s time with demands for an end to coal and gas-fired electricity in favour of “100% renewable energy for all”– too bad if the grid fails on every cloudy, windless occasion. The adult leaders supply kids with a further template with which to barrage their local papers and media outlets: “We are calling on [insert local MP’s name] to Stop Adani’s gigantic coal mine and put Australia on a path to 100% renewable energy to make sure we have a safe future,” said [insert student spokesperson’s name]. ”
Tim Flannery’s meretricious Climate Council is cock-a-hoop that kids have absorbed this agitprop. The supposedly science-friendly body posts 16-year-old “Tritian” spruiking as “a Climate Council supporter”. According to Tritian, incomprehensibly disastrous, catastrophic and irreversibly damaging climate change is already influencing all extreme weather events: “Every time I listen to the news it feels like yet another extreme weather event has struck. Another bushfire is out of control, another flood, another drought, another powerful storm, another record-breaking summer.”
Tritian is yet to distinguish between weather and climate. Oblivious, he suggests that by the time Prime Minister Scott Morrison dies (in 30-40 years?) temperatures could be up 1.6 to 3degC, and by Tritian’s own death in a nursing home, he will have witnessed further increases of between 2.4 to 5.6degC. The latter figure is above the range favoured by the IPCC’s fifth report. Projecting the past 30 years temperature trend, the rise by 2100 is less than 1.3degC.
In an official strike video 14-year-old Milou from Castlemaine, a strike leader, says, “The earth is already too hot, I can’t imagine what it will be like in 20-30 years. [The supposed average global temperature this year is about 15degC and recent annual increases — El Ninos excepting — have been within the margin of error.] We are all terrified in summer about drought and bushfires.” Again, these are not climate-related.
Harriett from Castlemaine, also 14, says,
“We have had lots of comments that we have been brainwashed by our parents. [Surely she means, “by our teachers”?] I understand that being a child means being less mature, less educated, less articulate, but it will never mean I can’t think and decide for myself.”
Has anyone taught young Harriet that uneducated decisions are unlikely to be soundly based? But not to worry, the voice-over concludes, “children are determined to keep fighting and hope adults will listen.”
Psychologists, who are among the most rabidly-alarmist professions, support kids’ politicisation. Psychologist and author Steve Biddulph claims this activism has excellent mental health benefits leading to the making of “good adults for the future.” I think he means “good green-left adults for the future”.
Professor Michael Platow from the ANU’s Research School of Psychology goes further and says, “Schools need to go beyond teaching maths and science because it’s part of a student’s role to engage — they’re required by the state to engage.” This learned and concerned academic doesn’t seem aware of how poorly kids are doing in maths/science. Kazakhstan, remember? Maybe less, rather than more, engagement, and more maths/science homework might be more useful.
Federal resources minister Matt Canavan provided a dose of common sense amid this climate-strike apoplexy:
“The best thing you learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole queue. I want kids to be at school to learn about how you build a mine, how you do geology, how you drill for oil and gas, which is one of the most remarkable scientific exploits of anywhere in the world that we do.”
Predictably, the kiddie climate crusaders and their puppetmasters denounced Canavan as a know-nothing planet raper. Rather than a land scarred and defiled by climate change, resources and technology are Australia’s future.
Kazakhstan can rest easy.
Tony Thomas’s new book, The West: An insider’s tales. A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ‘60s, is available here.
 AYCC advice: “What is happening? Throughout November, kids aged 5-18 are temporarily striking from school in protest over political inaction on climate change. Some of us are striking for 1 day, others 1 week, others 1 day each week.”
 AYCC: “We are temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures from climate change.”
 In classic ABC fashion, host Hamish Macdonald asked panellist Billy Bragg to opine on Marco’s stand. Bragg heartily endorsed students, like Marco, striking for the climate. Bragg’s credentials? A hard-Left London singer-songwriter for 40 years, since his days of campaigning for miners against Margaret Thatcher; more latterly a protestor with the Occupy Movement.
 The IPCC admits there is “low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at global scale.” The report says there are “likely to be trends in some regions of the world,” including increasing droughts in the Mediterranean and decreasing droughts in parts of North America.
 AYCC answers its own question, “Who is this organised by?”
The idea for the strike came from kids in Central Victoria who are worried about climate change and tired of our politicians not doing anything about it. We, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, have put an invitation out for other kids who share our concerns to join us.
 Are any adults involved?
Some of our parents, teachers and friends are helping us to get the word out but this is all initiated by students and led by students.
 Don’t believe it? Go ask CSIRO’s Pep Canadell.
 What do you want from politicians?
Coal and gas are causing climate change. We want our politicians to start treating climate change for what it is — a crisis. If they care about our future, they will take urgent action to move Australia beyond coal and gas to 100% renewable energy for all.