Former Australian PM helps to launch 'anti-warmist manual'

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

John Howard in Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia in March 2006.
Image: Orangemonkey.

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard supported the launch of a new book "How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Pundits and Parents", authored by geology professor Ian Plimer. The book includes 101 questions for students to use to challenge their climate science teachers.

The book follows Professor Plimer's 2009 "Heaven and Earth". Professor Plimer said the previous book received feedback from parents concerned about education. This prompted him to address the next book to children. He said, "After Heaven and Earth came out I had many parents write to me and say, 'Look, what do we do, our kids are being fed activism. I want my children to have the basics of scientists, I don't want to be fed activism'".

Mr Howard advocated emissions trading in 2007. He says he considered it feasible if the rest of the world acted too, otherwise to introduce carbon trading plans would risk Australian industries. "I proposed an emissions trading scheme and some people say, 'Well why on earth did you do that?' [It was] predicated on the rest of the world moving in the same direction and also predicated on a structure that would preserve the international competitiveness of those industries that gave our country a competitive trade advantage, it could do no harm", he explained. "[It's] hard to understand how we would do anything to put" Australia's competitive advantage due to natural resources "at risk. The reality is we are doing that at the moment. The carbon tax is not being replicated in other countries."

Professor Ian Enting, complex system scientist at the University of Melbourne, said the book includes scientific errors and insufficient references. Margaret Watts, president of the Science Teachers' Association of New South Wales, said the educational bias claim is mistaken. "What science teachers do", she said, "is put all of the facts, pro and con, against any topic, whatever it is, and show the children how to work through the evidence".

Professor Plimer said of the 101 questions in his book, "They're questions that kids should be asking of teachers, because if the teacher can answer it means they might know something about the subject. If they can't, or start to promote ideology, it shows that our schools have been captured. Parents are telling me that schools have been captured by a lot of activists and kids are being fed stuff that is not relevant to the real world."