Religion

Greta, the poster child for a dysfunctional education system

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You have to hand it to the left. They truly have indoctrination down pat. While there is a sense of awe at the sheer number of kids who attended Friday’s protests around the world at the expense of school (in some cases even exams), 16yo Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, the poster child for ‘climate change’, has exposed how dysfunctional our educational system has become. Forget discipline. Dismiss reasoned discussion. Conform and get rewarded for it.

CM has always felt sorry for Greta’s exploitation. She typifies the style of propaganda used over generations. The way that the UN, EU or World Economic Forum hang off her every word. It is deeply embarrassing. Made worse by the hypocrisy of 1,500 private jets used to fly to hear her speak in Davos.

Many teachers and parents of these kids are no better. Often espousing patronizing and sanctimonious sermons about the intelligence of the youth today. Not to worry, Extinction Rebellion has even published a piece on hypocrisy. Thomas Sinclair wrote,

Someone who doesn’t know the evidence might perhaps be persuaded to review it. But someone who thinks I’m a hypocrite may suppose that I’ve reviewed the evidence and am acting on it — so she can skip the review herself and take my actions as her guide.” Take that!

He goes on,

However, XR can do better than the standard response. The most important point is this. There is no hypocrisyDriving to XR protests, or using vinyl banners, or eating a Pret sandwich at an XR roadblock — these are not hypocritical actions. Hypocrisy is a matter of preaching one thing but practising another. But what XR preaches is a radical change of the system within which we must make our choices, not of the choices we make within the system as it stands.

What infallible logic! How could we be so obtuse? Those kids CM found eating McDonald’s before the climate strike were completely aware of their actions. They were “highlighting” the problem of the fast-food chain’s utter disdain for the planet to serve food in single-use plastics and paper packaging. It was a cry to get McDonald’s to change its wicked ways. Or was it they were just oblivious to the fact that, while gorging on hamburgers, fries and thick shakes, were unable to fathom their own double standards. Lucky for them, Sinclair has a get out of jail free card. Who knew?

It wasn’t so long ago that a CIS study in Australia revealed that 58% of millennials had a favourable view of socialism. Unfortunately, 51% did not know who Chairman Mao was. Another 32% did not know Stalin and 42% hadn’t heard of Lenin. If we combine with “know but not familiar” with “don’t know” we see almost 80%, 66% and 74% respectively. Oh, how wonderful to learn in school about three men whose social policies led to the deaths of 10s of millions. Unbeknownst to them, many of their teachers follow the same Marxist mindset.

What more proof do you need when an RMIT senior lecturer tweeted he’d award full marks for 5% of the course for those that attended provided they sent in a selfie. Presumably, those that didn’t submit a selfie would be secretly docked marks. RMIT made a glib response to the professor’s tweet which went along the lines of defending the indefensible. Pathetic. He should be severely reprimanded or sacked for completely unprofessional conduct.

Corporations often complain about the difficulty in hiring the skills they need to grow. Shouldn’t they now be extra wary that the degrees awarded to those they are looking to hire have been issues on the basis of aligned participation, not academic effort? Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah might make noise about having to be big on social justice to attract the next generation but if they attend schools which openly support activism quite frankly they are all theirs! CM would prefer investing in companies that hire kids who got their education that cost $2.50 in late charges at the public library.

CM has written before on the slipping standards in Aussie education. Is it any wonder when a growing number of teachers are radical activists. Our education system needs a massive overhaul. Our ranks in maths, science and literacy have all been heading south. We aren’t teaching our kids that the real world out there is a touch place. Wrapping them in cotton wool will not serve them at all in later life. That will ironically be the real impact of chasing climate change agendas and the misguided policy that was enacted due to weak-willed authorities.

Although don’t get too excited about a sea change in thinking to fix this awful course. The latest 2019 OECD report has been captured by the warming cult, justifying worsening trends in education on shifts in society, even going so far as to quote (p.16) Decca Records rejecting The Beatles back in 1962 as evidence of how we can get it wrong.

Justifying – although not admitting – the slip (denoted as a “shift”) in education standards on climate change is insane in the extreme. Lucky for us there is a summary version written by the OECD. The full report is here. 479 pages of blather.

There are too many examples of schools around the globe folding to this Marxist nonsense. In the past, student bodies embracing Marxism as a fad were par for the course. Now the university faculties are the drivers. For example:

Posters from the University of San Francisco (uSF) point at white students so they appropriately check their privilege. Karl Marx may have recently turned 200 but his legacy lives and breathes in California. So much for universities being the cradle of free and open thinking.

The Inclusive Communications Task Force at the Colorado State University has introduced an appropriate language guide and it has deemed the words “America” and “Americans” might prove offensive to some and have discouraged their use on campus.

The University of Texas launched, “MasculinUT”, a program which was organized by the school’s counselling staff with a poster series encouraging students to develop a “healthy model of masculinity.” The program is built around “restrictive masculinity” and tries to encourage men to drop traditional gender roles to “act like a man”, be “successful” or “the breadwinner.”

Dr. Aaron Brough of Utah State University conducted a study to see if there is a correlation between toxic masculinity and climate change. His assumptions ran the line that men see environmentalism as more feminine and get triggered if forced to make ecological choices if they feel threatened.

The University of Melbourne allowed an artistic performance that required “paying” white customers access on the basis of signing an acknowledgement of white privilege. The $600mn+ taxpayer-funded University of Melbourne’s motto is Postera Cescam Laude, which is Latin for “We shall grow in the esteem of future generations.” It is not clear whether the founders of the UoM had Marxist theories at the forefront of their minds in 1853. Growing the esteem of future generations was not to come by cutting down those whose passions as individuals cause them to strive for greatness. Yet the radical leftists believe esteem comes, not from effort, but allocation.

Don’t think that the indoctrination begins in secondary or tertiary education. From tender ages, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Victoria, some educational apparatchiks believe a grandparent kissing their grandchild can violate them and can be considered assault. In what world does a grandparent showing affection to their own flesh and blood have incest on their minds? Most likely never.

It would seem to CM that the most important Royal Commission to be conducted is on our education system. From Safe School programs to universities, Australia’s long term future is being seriously impacted by utterly valueless indoctrination. We will not be the lucky country for much longer because this garbage is already seeping into corporate board rooms.

Note CM in no way thinks Greta Thunberg is associated with Nazis.

$34,000 in school fees buys an activist indoctrination, not an education

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CM went to a private school in Sydney. In CM’s day, we were taught respect. To give up seats on the bus if adults got on. To open doors for others. To say thank you. You know, simple manners so devoid of the headphone-wearing, iPhone gazing secondary students today, completely oblivious to pregnant women or the elderly with walking sticks forced to stand on the bus or train.

To hear that Newington College and SCEGGS Darlinghurst are allowing kids to go on the school climate strike tomorrow is an utter farce. How is it that a school that charges up to $34,000 in fees, is prepared to allow kids (with parental permission) to strike? Where is the standard of one set of rules that all must adhere to? Where is the discipline?  At what point will such activism be acceptable to other pet grievances of brain-washed kids, undoubtedly at the behest of teachers pushing their own agendas? Why not teach kids that they can’t just get their way if they protest enough?

One can understand the school respecting and observing long-standing religious days for kids of certain faiths but all this action suggests is that there is a cabal of staff who are activists in the classroom espousing their own political agendas. The headmaster has apparently caved to a bunch of Yr 11 students because climate change must be a religion in and of itself. 

Newington’s own motto, ‘in fide scientam’ (in the faith of all knowledge), suggests the school now no longer adheres to its core values. To allow this simply says that teachers are getting away with brainwashing. Where is the balance? Wouldn’t the majority of parents hope the $34,000 to help provide their kids with a jump start instead of an idiots guide to civil disobedience? Why not dispense with the uniform or replace the blazer emblem with one from Extinction Rebellion?

So what of the stats? For national ATAR scores, Newington’s rank has slipped from 78th in 2013 to 99th in 2018. SCEGGS Darlinghurst has gone from 23rd to 25th over the same period.

Over recent years, Australia’s global education standards have been slipping – in science, maths and English. What a surprise when our academic institutions fold to trendy left-wing causes. Perhaps if they focused on “education” as opposed to “indoctrination” that the long-term prospects for these kids would rise appreciably.

Australia’s future looks grim – not so much for the planet but for the prospects of the coming generations who have been completely misled as to what is actually important and relevant out there in the real world.

Our education is the problem, not the climate

You know things have got to be bad when Zali Steggall OAM MP is launching The Australia Institute’s (TAI) ‘Climate of the Nation 2019‘ report which claims 81% of Aussies are concerned that climate change will impact droughts and flooding. Huh? The IPCC has already admitted, “available climate data do not show any increasing trend in extreme weather events (e.g. extreme precipitation, extreme drought, thunderstorms, winter blizzards) in any part of the world.”

Did TAI conduct the survey at the Australian Medical Association (AMA) which is now trying to dictate climate policy? Between the RBA, APRA and the AMA, we might need a beauty contest to see which of them takes over at the Department of Environment & Energy. CM is surprised that the AMA hasn’t demanded to take over the organization of the Royal Easter Show from the Royal Agricultural Society now they are experts in food security!

Why do people get so embroiled in talking about the “science being settled”. OK, let’s assume it is. We use all of the well publicized and peer-reviewed data scrapes from the IPCC reports, the EU’s in house statistics bureau, Eurostat, and the EIA.

We only need a basic Year 7 grasp of elementary mathematics to educate on the facts. The IPCC claim that CO2, as a proportion of the atmosphere, is 0.0415%. It also tells us that human-made CO2 is 3% of the total. 97% is natural. Australia for its sins is 1.08% of human-made global CO2 emissions.

So, 0.0415% x 3% x 1.08% = 0.00001345%. Let’s forget the science and say it was the interest earned on a 20-year compounding deposit of $10,000. If you doubled or halved the above percentage across that deposit you’d get virtually the exact same result in all three scenarios.

Farting cows are no different. Methane is an even smaller part of the atmosphere. 722 parts per billion. Animals (in total) make up 13% of the methane produced meaning that 0.00000939% of the atmosphere is down to animals. Angela Merkel was imploring Chinese don’t grow a meat habit so she can save the planet (aka justify a meat tax increase at home). By the way, Australia has 26mn cattle out of a total of 1 billion worldwide. So Australia is 2.6% of global head of cattle. So 2.6% x 0.00000939% = 0.00000024%. That is a disingenuous number because it doesn’t factor horses, ducks, sheep, household pets and budgies. Perhaps Africans need to educate lions to move to plant-based meat substitutes and leave water buffalo alone.

Do people realize that rice paddies account for more methane than cows? Where are the environmentalists and climate alarmists demanding that Asian nations, 40% of the global population, must cease eating rice? Better tell Mother Nature that she creates 45% of the methane out there through peat bogs and tundras.

How ironic that Zali Steggall, the Member for Warringah (home to the Northern Beaches Council (NBC)) is TAI’s champion. Did she read that NBC declared a climate emergency after having a sermon delivered by Tim Flannery, who has made countless dud predictions leading to the waste of billions of spending in desal plants?

In the  2017/18  NBC annual report it states the council saved 293 tons of CO2. Given that Australia produces around 561m tons, this amazing effort has meant a reduction of 0.0000522% of Australia’s total. Put it against Australia’s CO2 impact vs the entire atmosphere means that Northern Beaches have hammered home a mammoth 0.000000000699857% saving! Yes, 9 zeroes. C’mon Zali, you should be citing this impactless tokenism in your address. By the way, we’re still waiting for wind farms on Balmoral Beach.

The range of claims made in the TAI report speaks to little more than agenda based data gathering with leading questions.

For instance, if Labor was destroyed in the federal election over Adani, how could 73% of Queenslanders possibly want Australia’s coal-fired power stations phased out as soon as possible or gradually? Did the pollsters mistakenly manage to interview Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy which skewed the findings? If you want to get answers to questions that effectively make claims (climate change already causing) it is easy if it is written as though it is a fact to begin with,

“Melting of the Polar ice caps” (51%) – IPCC has already climbed down from such claims
“More heatwaves and extreme hot days” (48%) – no consistent data on this. 
“Destruction of the Great Barrier Reef” (44%) – it isn’t happening – just ask Peter Ridd or the Vice-Chancellor at James Cook University
“More droughts affecting crop production & food supply” (42%) – global crop yields growing
“More Bushfires” (36%) – fallen over time
“Water Shortages in the Cities” (30%) – haven’t experienced one 

Taking bushfires as an example. Facts from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) show that 85% of bushfires are either deliberately, suspiciously or accidentally lit. The AIC sees that while the data is somewhat sketchy that the most common profile of arsonists was “white male, mid-20s, patchy employment record, often above average intelligence, but poor academic achievement and poor social development skills…56% of convicted structural arsonists and 37% of bushfire arsonists in NSW had a prior conviction for a previous offence. ”

In the US those figures are around 90%. A study in the journal Science determined the global burnt area from fires, rather than growing, had declined by roughly 25% from 1999 to 2017.

So do the stats support global warming or successful mainstream media coverage sensationalising the truth to feed narratives? Don’t get started on the Amazon fires. CM wrote about it here.

Energy source rank went Wind (76%), Solar (58%) & Hydro (39%) although nuclear power ranked above coal and gas. Surprise, surprise.  (p.11).

Apparently, 64% of Aussies want to be net-zero emissions by 2050. To do that we’d need to stop all mining, end farming and phase out all fossil-fuel power from transport to power generation. Just think of the UK’s plan to do this. Going to be a bit hard when 85% of British households rely on gas to heat their homes. Will the power grid hold up to a switch to electric heating?

On p.25, TAI makes reference to the Icelandic glacier, Ok, that lost its status 5 years ago. According to the UN Chronicle, “The sudden surging of glaciers is not related to climatic fluctuations, and surges can take place even at times when glaciers retreat. This is the usual behaviour of some glaciers and can not be evidence of an impending surge… unfortunately, direct observations of a change in the movement of a glacier at the onset of a surge are still very rare, and the causes for surges are not yet clear…It should be emphasized that the problem of climate change is extremely difficult to understand, and it has still not been possible to know what factors in the past decades — natural or anthropogenic — have caused the warming. There are still many uncertainties in solving this problem. IPCC estimates are rather wide in their range of accuracy and, therefore, cannot predict with confidence…at least not in the coming decades and centuries.”

Maybe we just need to accept that China produces more GHG in two weeks than we do in a year. At the rate it is going, by 2030 it will likely be closer to one week. Once again folks, education seems a bigger problem than climate change. Basic fractions are more valuable than deep knowledge of climate science. Even using numbers supplied by the organisations they constantly espouse as the oracle, the minuscule impacts we can have are never mentioned. Tokenism is somehow virtuous.

Cannibalism the cure to climate change?

Is cannibalism the way to cure climate change? According to one Swedish scientist, Magnus Soderlund, eating humans after they die could be an effective way to cut down on Greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of breeding cattle or sheep, we just eat the dead instead of burying them.

I’m not quite sure the grandkids will want to know that grandma’s old recipe is not so much made by her but of her.

Yet more climate change lunacy. Maybe Soderlund can enlist the services of fellow Swede, 16yo climate activist Greta Thunberg, to legitimize the activity.

Okjökull lost glacier title in 2014. UN admits not due to climate change. Media knows better.

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The Okjökull glacier used to stretch six square miles (15 square kilometres). Now environmentalists have dedicated a plaque to mourn its death. Sadly, it has been in the morgue (lost its title as a glacier) since 2014. Why weren’t the plaque makers firing up the molten brass to fill the die-cast 5 years prior? All about the narrative, not the science behind glaciers. CM understands why Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir might want to virtue signal in this way but why did it require UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson to burn fossil fuels and fly all the way to morally preen? This is so typical of the obsession to misrepresent reality.

According to the UN Chronicle, “The sudden surging of glaciers is not related to climatic fluctuations, and surges can take place even at times when glaciers retreat. This is the usual behaviour of some glaciers and can not be evidence of an impending surge… unfortunately, direct observations of a change in the movement of a glacier at the onset of a surge are still very rare, and the causes for surges are not yet clear…It should be emphasized that the problem of climate change is extremely difficult to understand, and it has still not been possible to know what factors in the past decades — natural or anthropogenic — have caused the warming. There are still many uncertainties in solving this problem. IPCC estimates are rather wide in their range of accuracy and, therefore, cannot predict with confidence…at least not in the coming decades and centuries.

In Greenland, the Jakobshavn glacier around 2012 had been retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 ft per annum. In the past two years, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Geoscience, it started growing by the same amount. “A natural cyclical cooling of North Atlantic waters likely caused the glacier to reverse course“, said study lead author Ala Khazendar, a NASA glaciologist on the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project. Khazendar and colleagues say “this coincides with a flip of the North Atlantic Oscillation — a natural and temporary cooling and warming of parts of the ocean that is like a distant cousin to El Nino in the Pacific.

Approximately 11% of  Iceland’s total area of roughly 100,000 km2 is covered by glaciers. Vatnajökull is the largest glacier mass in Europe. It covers an area of roughly 8,000 km2, and is 950-1000 m where it is thickest. Its mean thickness is a little less than 500 m, and the total ice volume of Vatnajökull is probably in the order of 3,300 km3.

Glaciers on Iceland had their maximum Little Ice Age extension over 1890-1920. Glacier variations in Iceland since 1930 showed a clear response to variations in climate during the period: Most non-surging glaciers retreated strongly during the early half of the monitoring period, following the warm climate between 1930 and 1940. A cooling climate after 1940 led to a slowing of the retreat and many glaciers started to advance around 1970. Warming climate since 1985 led to an increased number of retreating glaciers. The estimated coverage loss per year is about 0.2% overall, which amounts to 20-30 km2 becoming ice-free every year. If the present trend continues, most glaciers on Iceland will have melted away within 500 years.

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Major surging glaciers of Vatnajökull. Figure source: Björnsson et al. (2003)

A surge-type glacier experiences a dramatic increase in flow rate, which can be 10-100 times greater than normal flow rates. The velocities of surge-type glaciers can exceed 100 m/day. About 26 Icelandic glaciers are known to surge.  Glacier variations in Iceland have been recorded systematically since the 1930s.

One of the best known surging glaciers in Iceland is Brúarjökull which has had major surges in 1810, 1890 and 1963/64.  During the 1890 surge, the ice margin advanced about 10 km over a period of few months. Subsequent to the surge, the ice front became largely stagnant and the glacier retreated until it surged again in 1963-1964.

So while the mainstream media has got the desired effect of whipping up hysteria of receding glaciers caused by human-created CO2 based global warming, there is little effort to reference their own sources, such as the alarmist UN. How ironic it is that the UN doesn’t have any confidence in why these things happen yet the media seemingly does as long as it fits a narrative.

The plaque says 415ppm of C02. That’s right. CO2 is 0.0415% of the atmosphere. CM hopes his grandkids look at me one day and say, “why couldn’t people do simple mathematical fractions?

2/3rds of Rugby Australia cash would disappear

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Rugby Australia’s (RA) CEO Raelene Castle says that the franchise can weather paying out Izzy Folau’s $10m claim. Although CM is not sure that paying out $10m + costs which would wipe out almost 2/3rds of the $18mn in cash on the balance sheet is something a CEO would think is worth boasting. What she needs to focus on is the declining operating performance.

Hopefully, Chairman Clyne will get his CEO to focus on NZ Rugby (NZR) as a benchmark.

RA took in approximately A$30m in licensing and sponsorship last year. NZR raked in A$65m. More than double for a country with one-fifth the population. Think about it. The advertising base is smaller yet the sponsors must see the returns as superior to do so.

Total revenues for RA sum to around A$110m. NZR takes in A$182m in 2018.

Matchday revenue for RA reached A$20m last year. NZR collected A$28m.

Total assets for RA sum to A$69m. NZR total assets are A$183m. Total equity for RA is A$27m vs NZR at $99m.

Perhaps understanding why the Wallabies franchise saw a 20% fall in revenues in 2018 is a bigger issue. Expenses fell 15% mainly due to slashing Super Rugby team costs in half and player costs by 33%. Without that, the company would have sunk deep in the red.

RA needs to focus on growth not cut itself into oblivion. When it prioritizes its customer base rather than put precious resources into virtue signaling and diversity programs the board wouldn’t need to park 2/3rds of the cash to cover up their catastrophic lack of judgment.

Nonetheless good to know Castle sleeps easy at the thought of losing such magnitudes.

Extinction Rebellion prepares for the communist catwalk

That’s it folks. Forget fashion. Ditch your Manolo Blahniks. Shred your DVF dresses. Burn your designer Armani jeans in a pyre. Even better write a placard and protest outside Gucci or Louis Vuitton. It’s for the planet you know.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has said London fashion week is unsustainable. Ladies, prepare to wear drab grey gender neutral pant suits from now on. Men will be allowed to wear a skirt presumably so as to foster transgenderism. This will be year round. We’ll be allowed one set only.

The Guardian journalist, Lucy Siegle, wrote,

“the environmental group Extinction Rebellion has seized the initiative, writing to the British Fashion Council (BFC), conveners of London fashion week, demanding it is scrapped in favour of “a people’s assembly of industry professionals and designers as a platform to declare a climate and ecological emergency”

So let’s get this straight, these XR hippiecrits use the very materials and dyes to make a fashion statement to push their agenda.

Tell you what XR, given that China is the largest producer of textiles, please take your protest to Beijing. While you’re at it you can protest China’s 29.3% (and growing) impact on CO2 emissions. Two for the price of one. President Xi would warmly welcome your presence in one of his jails. Afterall you encourage peaceful arrest although you might want to update your legal assistance page for those who do end up being arrested in Tiananmen Square.