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Bringing the Denialist Faith to the next Generation

High Priest Closeup 1
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 plagiarism of a research press release post-modernist appropriation of cultural texts, revising the material by inserting negatives when his faith required it.

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
Inquisition Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under Joseph Ratzinger. The shift in power became an open secret when Pell was promoted to Archbishop of Sydney, while Ratzinger was demoted to Bishop of Rome.

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.

Plimer's
fabrications faith-based proclamations were used extensively by Pell when proclaiming the faith to the Senate of the Australian Federal Parliament (see pages 143 to 145). The response from the Bureau of Meteorolgy evaded the issue, pretending that this was a matter for evidence rather than faith. This response was laughable - indeed the committee chairman decribe the BoM chief's response as "the best 30 minutes of Senate Estimates hearings in years'. Pell's response is reported here.

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.