Bringing the Denialist Faith to the next Generation
Like many other faiths, the greenhouse denial religion suffers from an aging demographic. In an effort to reach out to the next generation, Australia's leading religious publisher Connor Court has published How To get Expelled from School by Ian Plimer. This joins Connor Court's other books for young people such as As I have loved you of "advice and materials for training their own children in a well integrated sexuality according to the mind of the Church".
Professor Plimer is a leading exponent of the primacy of faith over reason and evidence. His book Heaven + Earth repeatedly proclaims his faith, even when his statements contradict his cited sources. Predictably, unbelievers such as George Monbiot who fail to appreciate the power of faith tend to denigrate this as fraudulent. Similar lack of appreciation occured when it was noted that in How To get Expelled ...., Plimer used
Prior to How to Get Expelled ..., Connor Court expanded their traditional list of titles such as Christ our high priest and A tour of the catechism. They embraced climate theology with the widely-hyped Heaven + Earth by Plimer and the widely-ignored Climate Caper by Garth Paltridge.
The revelation of greenhouse denial as central to the Roman Catholic faith shows how the centre of theological insight is emerging in Australia, with church leaders such as Cardinal George Pell and laymen such as columnist Christoper Pearson. Pell had previously worked in the
Thus when Ratzinger ventured into the realm of climate theology in his Peace Day message, Pearson kindly reported his words, not as Ratzinger sent them to the Bali Conference of Parties, but rather as what Ratzinger would, on reflection, have meant to have said if he had been properly instructed by Pell and Pearson.
How to Get Expelled .. is a rather simpler account of the faith than Heaven + Earth. Rather than prove the strength of his faith by repeatedly citing references that refute his case (as in Heaven + Earth), Plimer's approach in How to Get Expelled .. is to largely dispense with evidence and his cited references are few (and sometimes non-existent).
The concluding section: 101 questions that will get you expelled, harks back to Galileo, taking the form of a Socratic dialogue between Plimer and an un-named activist teacher. For Galileo, the consequence of putting the Pope's arguments in the mouth of Simplicitus, was trial and house arrest. For Plimer, the consequence of his teacher-bashing is a new job for Gina Rinehart. They deserve each other.
Andrew Nut Religious Affairs Editor Waikikamukau, NZ.
Communicated by Moritz Lorenz.