Corrupting impressionable minds – one book at a time

Harmless? Think again

Unpacking a delivery from Amazon this morning, I was faced with an attractive and well-presented children’s pop-up book entitled “How the World Works – A hands-on guide to our amazing planet” (see cover illustration right).

As usual, before passing it on to my children, I gave it a quick scan for any possible subliminal (or blatant) global warming propaganda, and suffice it to say, it’s going straight back to Amazon in tomorrow’s post.

Just for background, this book was the winner of the Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize in 2011 – and that just about tells you all you need to know. The Royal Society isn’t about impartial and rigorous science any more, its about environmental brainwashing and political activism, hence this book would have scored very highly. It was also shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2011 (“best book with facts” – no irony intended).

Driving your car kills the planet. Click to enlarge

The first three double spreads, about the formation of the planet were interesting and informative. By the fourth, however, on the water cycle, the usual hectoring tone of the environmentalists began to show through. The principle is that the planet is pure and undefiled and everything humanity does merely damages that purity. So we begin:

“How do we interfere [their emphasis] with the water cycle? Fertilisers and pesticides can seep into rivers and lakes, polluting the water [no mention of the fact that those chemicals allow us to feed the worlds population more effectively than any time in history]. Our vehicles release harmful gases into the air. This makes the rain acidic and affects wildlife [no mention of the fact that the global population’s standard of living has, in part due to the availability of global transportation, never been higher]”

And from there it just gets worse:

“Extreme weather. Weather can be dangerous! Winds and rain help move heat and water around the earth. But extreme weather can cause huge damage to homes, buildings and roads, and can even kill people. Scientists believe that human activities are changing our atmosphere and making the earth warm up. This might mean more extreme weather in the future.”

Gulf Stream - click to enlarge

And now for the Day After Tomorrow moment:

“What if the Gulf Stream stops? Scientists fear that global warming could affect the Gulf Stream. Melting polar ice caps will make the water at the poles less salty, preventing it from sinking and gradually slowing down the Gulf Stream. This would make Europe and North America much colder!”

Yet more global warming alarmism:

“The world has changed fast over the last hundred years. With an increasing number of people, factories, power stations and cards. We are constantly adding large amounts of carbon [sic] to the air, but the planet cannot absorb it any longer. We are meddling with the world’s natural carbon cycle, with worrying results (see ‘The Greenhouse effect,’ on the right.

Because there are more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more of the Sun’s heat is trapped and the earth’s surface is warming up.”

And then, more lecturing on “green” living:

“How can we reduce our carbon footprint? The best way is to use less energy. We can start at home by turning down thermostats, hanging out the washing rather than tumble drying it, and switching off lights, televisions and computers when not needed. Transport is another big carbon producer. So walking, cycling or using public transport really helps.”

Environmental propaganda - click to enlarge

And as you can see from the images, it’s all dressed up in cheerful, kid-friendly artwork, with plenty of pull tabs and pop-ups so the message is cleverly concealed. Apart from the global warming propaganda, almost every page admonishes the reader and humanity in general for the evil it has done to the planet.

Because it’s a kids book, and the message must be straightforward, there’s no room for subtlety or shades of grey – it’s a blunt assessment that humanity is damaging the planet and we must change our ways, or else.

Gone are the days when children could grow up enjoying the wonders of the planet and the universe for their own sakes without being badgered or berated. Now even pop-up books designed for the very youngest in our society are packed with enviro-propaganda to make them feel guilty about the way in which humanity (and by inference the young readers of the book) have defiled Gaia. Tragic.

A link to the book on Amazon is here.

The publisher is Templar (link).

Christiane Dorion, the author, spent several years as co-ordinator of primary education for, wait for it, WWF. So here we have a committed environmental activist brainwashing children into Gaia-guilt when they are barely out of diapers… 

UPDATE: Apologies for the typos – quick copy typing unfortunately. Hopefully all corrected now.

Youth and naiveté no match for maturity and experience

Anna Rose of AYCC

UPDATE: Don’t forget to vote again at ABC’s website – the results prior to the show have been disappeared…

ABC’s documentary “I Can Change Your Mind about Climate” was an interesting experiment, but ultimately unsuccessful.

Throwing together veteran of the Senate, Nick Minchin, a well-known climate sceptic, and Anna Rose, founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, each attempted to change the mind of the other by calling on their own selection of experts and commentators.

Prior to the documentary, the ABC did an excellent job of attempting to skew opinion. Catalyst, ABC’s science show immediately before the documentary, linked climate change to dying trees, and again showing excellent timing, ABC chose to begin the rehabilitation of Tim Flannery, by trailing his touchy-feely documentary alongside trailers for this show.

Furthermore, ABC Environment managed to post no less than THREE articles supporting the consensus, with not a single sceptical viewpoint for balance. Desperation, perhaps? You be the judge.

The choice of Rose as an adversary for Minchin was unfortunate for a number of reasons, primarily that as founder of AYCC, she is hardly likely to abandon her position on AGW – her entire career is based on sustaining that belief. Furthermore, she is married to Simon Sheikh of GetUp! (thanks to a comment for that little gem), which again reinforces the perception that her mind was already made up.

Perhaps another politician would have been better – someone on the Labor side who was a believer and not so entrenched in alarmist activism and advocacy would have made for a better match.

Rose’s choice of experts was patchy. Her first, a farmer offering anecdotal evidence of a changing climate, was an obvious wasted opportunity. Matthew England, a well known alarmist scientist (see here for example) was a better option, but his certainty with regard to the magnitude of climate feedbacks was unconvincing. Richard Muller, of BEST fame, did his “best” to present himself as that rarest of commodities, a heretic who became a believer, but again was to my mind unconvincing. Personally, I would trust satellite data a thousand times over land data when you see the adjustments and fudges applied to the raw records.

An expert on measuring CO2 at Mauna Loa similarly raised question marks – I don’t think anyone seriously disputes that CO2 is rising.

Minchin’s first experts were Jo Nova and David Evans, who in the very short time they were seen, acquitted themselves well. It was unfortunate that Rose made such a meal out of Nova’s “recording the recording”, in order to ensure that there was no unfair editing, but given the history of bias at the ABC one can understand Nova’s concerns.

UPDATE @ 11.10am on 27/4/12: Comment from Jo Nova at her blog here:

“I just watched the online streaming version. We did 4 hours of footage at our house, and they showed not one single point I made, not one answer to Anna Roses questions. I repeated my favourite lines about 28 million weather balloons, 3000 ocean buoys off by heart at least 4 times. Obviously everything I said was too “dangerous”. But we have the full tape of the whole event, so sooner or later the world will see the parts that the ABC deemed to be not “interesting” to the Australian public. So all in all, pretty much as we expected. They trimmed it down to the point where it’s tame, they gave the alarmists the last word (they always do), and while they were happy to grill us about where our money came from just like Wendy Carlisle, when the question backfires (because we are not shills for anyone) they won’t show it. We can’t let the public know that Jo Nova and David are volunteers.”

He then paid a visit to Richard Lindzen who believes that climate sensitivity, the essential crux of the climate debate, is low, due to various feedback acting to reduce warming from CO2. Rose then demonstrated an unfortunate tendency towards the cheap ad hominem attack, by accusing Lindzen of denying links between smoking and cancer. Such allegations were treated by Minchin and Lindzen with the contempt they deserved.

Rose’s low point was her introduction to Marc Morano. She refused to engage with someone who was “not a climate scientist”. Neither was her first “expert”, the farmer, but that didn’t stop Minchin from listening politely. Her petulant schoolyard attitude unfortunately betrayed her youth and inexperience, and harmed her cause. Morano was pretty well controlled in the circumstances.


Minchin’s choice of Bjorn Lomborg was again interesting. Lomborg, with his trademark shock of blond hair, is the warmist the warmists love to hate, being a believer in AGW but rejecting the draconian emission reductions most of them advocate. I agree with his logic, yes invest in renewable research, but it should not be foisted upon an economy until it is competitive. This provided one of the few meeting of minds in the show.

In conclusion, there was no way that Rose’s mind would EVER be changed – she is too wrapped up in the whole socio-political agenda of AGW for that. She unfortunately resorted to cheap tactics when the answers weren’t going her way, and her discourtesy to Morano was unforgivable. Furthermore, the evidence she presented was unlikely to be persuasive enough to change Minchin’s mind (or mine).

On balance, however, and putting my own views aside, it would be hard not to award a win to Minchin. Rose was outclassed – her youth and inexperience showed at every turn, and her open-mindedness compromised from the start.

I’m not going to say a great deal about the Q&A debate afterwards. It was horribly biased as would be expected: four against two (including host Tony Jones, of course). Rose continued her ad hom theme by accusing sceptics of accepting funds from Heartland, and Jones appointed Matthew England, who was astonishingly in the audience, as “official” climate scientist to the panel, the go-to person whenever Minchin or Clive Palmer made a claim about the science – an appalling lapse of judgment on Jones’ part.

Palmer and Minchin landed some good punches, however, although one must wonder why they put themselves through the ABC wringer…


  • Minchin has an opinion piece in The Age here, in which he reveals that his visit to a cosmic ray scientist at CERN was left on the cutting room floor…
  • Anna Rose has a piece up at Unleashed here, in which I briefly saw the word “denialist” and closed the window. Let’s face it, we know what it’s going to say.
  • Jo Nova has a reaction here entitled “The intellectual vacuum – alarmists are afraid of debate, they namecall and break laws of reason”
  • The ABC website for the show is here
  • Michael Ashley, warmist at UNSW, writes at The Conversation here. I’ll leave it up to you to deconstruct this essay, but in the first few lines he misrepresents Minchin’s position as being “sceptical of ANY human impact on climate” and it’s all downhill from there

"I can change your mind" – running commentary

UPDATE: See my full review of ABC’s “I Can Change Your Mind about Climate” HERE.

Nick Minchin vs Anna Rose.

Round 1 – Anna chooses anecdotal evidence from a farmer, Nick chooses Jo Nova and David Evans. Round 1 to Nick.

Round 2 – Anna chooses Matthew England, who fudges on feedback, Nick chooses Lindzen who embarrasses Anna big time. Round 2 to Nick.

Then Anna smears Lindzen by raising passive smoking. Nick (rightly) goes ballistic. Onya.

Round 3 – Anna chooses Richard Muller (of BEST fame) whose arguments are weak at … er, best.

Anna totally outclassed. Then smears Marc Morano. Hilarious. And tragic. Anna just not interested. “I will only debate a climate scientist” says Arts/Law graduate. “Won’t be engaging in debate”. Embarrassing, Anna. I’m afraid avoiding debate isn’t the answer.

“Alarmed” are worried about social justice. Yep.

Nick calls on Bjorn Lomborg – good choice, Anna picks Zac Goldsmith. Hmm.

Ben Goldacre… uses “denier” in the first 30 seconds. Thinks that the realists have the media on their side – bwahahaha! Twat. Thinks the documentary is a “flawed format”… geez.

Mike Hulme and Anna try to scare Minchin by showing eroding cliffs. Like cliffs never eroded before… FFS. Check the sea levels. Hulme and Anna question the validity of a democratic system. When have you heard that before?

ABC concludes by saying that it’s all about your “values” – not that climate science is corrupted and politicised.

Ah yes, now the ABC sends them to the Barrier Reef to show who has the real “moral” authority on this issue, and it ain’t Nick.


Q&A is getting painful. Glad the “unknown” has come out as an alarmist, using the word “denier” within the first minute of her speaking. So that’s 4/2, then.

Every time Anna Rose opens her pretty mouth, she spouts total crap. Sorry, but she is so naive.

Q&A producers highlighting mindless tweets as usual…

Anna on the utopia of a “green economy” – which, er, doesn’t exist!

Ah, the bias of the Q&A audience finally revealed, as Anna chirps to Clive Palmer “why don’t you build solar panels instead?” Predictable round of applause for that puerile comment.

Anna cannot even accept that there has been a slowing in warming. Oh dear.

Why the F**k is Matthew England there bolstering Anna’s case? Is Lindzen there too? Shameful.

Shame again on Anna for cheap ad hominem attacks. Shows how desperate she is – and totally out of her depth.

APPALLING BIAS to allow Matthew England act as Q&A’s “appointed” climate scientist – WTF? Where’s Lindzen for balance?

OK, sick of this now. ABC has abandoned any pretence of impartiality. Going offline. *fume*

Amazing I lasted as long as this.

A few quick plugs

Nick Minchin

UPDATE 5: Catalyst, ABC’s “science” programme, blames climate change for tree deaths – right before the climate doco. You have to hand it to the ABC – they don’t let any opportunity go to waste.

UPDATE 4: Let’s not forget the ABC’s brave and singlehanded rehabilitation of Tim Flannery, with his touchy-feely show, “Two on the Great Divide”, cleverly trailed right after the teasers for the climate debate tonight. Subliminal, right?

UPDATE 3: Oops, the ABC does it again. And again. Three alarmist articles supporting the consensus on ABC Environment, and not a single sceptical one for balance. See? I said I could tell where this was going.

UPDATE 2: Because too much bias is never enough at the ABC, they’ve dragged in Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science’s John Cook to smear the realists before the show is even broadcast. Breathtaking.

UPDATE: Andrew Bolt confirms the Q&A panel contains no sceptical scientist, but Megan Clark of CSIRO (alarmist with shares in carbon sequestration company – see here), Clive Palmer (who the lefties can immediately write off as a conspiracy theorist, and whose credibility is therefore compromised before we even start), Rebecca Huntley (unknown position on climate), Anna Rose (alarmist AYCC founder), chair Tony Jones (alarmist), and Nick Minchin of course (sceptic). So that’s three alarmists against one (and a half) sceptics, with one unknown. Why no Carter, Kininmonth or Plimer?

A couple of plugs for some worthwhile watching/reading this week:

  • The ABC is screening the climate doco I can change your mind (link) tonight at 8.30pm AEST, with Nick Minchin and Anna Rose (founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition). I guess the fact that the ABC even allow Nick on the telly as a filthy climate heretic is some small miracle coming from our biased national broadcaster, for which we should be duly thankful. But you can bet the Q&A audience afterwards (9.30pm) will be heavily stacked (and with lefty/alarmist Tony Jones in the chair…). You only have to look at how the ABC regarded the sceptic doco The Great Global Warming Swindle back in 2008 to see how this will pan out.
  • Also, I highly recommend this week’s Spectator magazine (out on Friday). Nick Minchin pens the Diary, and Tim Blair writes on James Delingpole’s visit down under.

Gone fishing

UPDATE: I’m currently awaiting an appeal decision regarding an FOI request. Once this is handed down, I will (hopefully) be posting on the material.

ACM will be on a break for a while. Unfortunately, other (non-climate-related) projects mean that blogging must take a back seat for an as yet undetermined period.

As always, check the live Blog Roll on the right for your daily dose of climate sanity.


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