Anyone watching Greta Thunberg’s latest exhortation dressing-down to the world at the UN (23 September 2019) in New York would be entirely right to be worried about her mental and emotional wellbeing. I’m sure I am not the only observer to have raised concerns about her vulnerability in recent months.
What we saw on our TV screens today appears to be a young person with multiple ‘issues’ going on – and not in a good way. To recap, Greta has Asperger’s Syndrome. We also know from previous publicity and from her own words that she has had some quite severe anxiety-related difficulties in the past, including depression, selective mutism, plus some eating issues that resulted in her losing 10 kgs at some point in her earlier childhood. It beats me how anyone could put a young girl – and I say ‘girl’ rather than ‘young woman’, as she appears to be very naïve in her expectations of the world around her – through the publicity-mill that she has experienced over the last year or so. Even a happy-go-lucky young person would find this hard to handle, let alone someone with a medical history of anxiety problems.
What exactly do those adults responsible for her think they are doing? And equally to the point, what do our leaders, politicians and ‘climate activists’ think they are doing in treating her and her pronouncements as if she is some new deity? She is a vulnerable 16-year old girl. Not a responsible adult. Not a person who can yet demonstrate a mature grasp of the issues facing the world today, despite what she says.
Of course, thousands of the politically-correct have been Twittering to get themselves associated with her. Nowadays you don’t actually have to do anything yourself in order to glow with self-satisfaction at your virtue-based climate correctness, you just have to retweet something Greta has said. That does the trick, apparently. Just ‘prove’ you are in the right ‘tribe’ and you too can bask in Greta’s glory. You don’t really have to stop flying, recycle everything or stop buying so much stuff. Just tell everyone you agree with Greta and how wonderful she is. Then you will be identified as being as good as she is! Result!
I suspect that a few years from now we will look back at this mass derangement with either horror or amusement. Horror that the great, the good, the deluded and the gullible fell at the feet of a 16-year old as if she were the fount of all wisdom, or amusement, for the same reason. Since when did we let children tell us how to run the world?
The fact that Greta glared at Donald Trump for ‘upstaging’ her own entrance at the UN (as various media outlets have stated) really says it all about the current madness in the media. Like him or not, Trump is the elected President of the United States. The fact that Greta thinks (her facial expression said it all) she was either upstaged by the President, or perhaps simply didn’t want to see him there, gives us a pretty good idea as to her ideas of her own importance. This is probably not what most reasonable people would call a ‘healthy’ self-view.
‘I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean’.
Correct, Greta. Please go back to school and leave the adults to run the world. You will be far better off when you stop believing that you have to save it single-handedly.
‘Yet you all come to us for hope.’
Really? When exactly has the world come to the young for hope? And who is actually ‘us’?
‘How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.’
If an adult came out with this sort of stuff they would be treated with contempt. But as Greta is a 16-year old, nobody is allowed to criticise her or upset her. Apparently, we just have to accept whatever comes out of her mouth without asking a few obvious questions. Not the least of these are ‘white privilege’-related. I have no time for the white privilege argument – it’s specious and an invention of those who want a blanket close-down of any argument with which they disagree if it is made by a white person. Yet those who are most apt to throw it around as an accusation are mysteriously silent when the person with ‘white privilege’ says things that they like. Odd, that, isn’t it?
‘There will not be any solution or plans in line with these figures here today because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you’re not mature enough to tell it like it is.’
Oh, the irony. Her listeners are not mature enough to tell it like it is. OK, Greta, you’re preaching to the converted in NY. Why don’t you try giving this speech in China? Or Russia? See how well people listen to you there. How about recognising the good life ahead of young people in the West when compared to other parts of the world?
‘You are failing us. The young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you’.
Actually, they’re not. And while we’re at it, Greta, you may like to know that every generation feels ‘betrayed’ by the previous one when they’re in their teens. Then they grow up and see how difficult adult life essentially is.
‘And if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you….right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not.’
OK, consider yourselves told off, you arrogant, useless adults. Greta has drawn a line and millions of the gullible think that’s great. Apparently the adults in the room can choose to fail to make the climate behave itself. And if they do make this choice, then young people will be angry. The only problem is that this is a threat without any possible follow-up sanction. What exactly is she going to do when her listeners don’t produce the outcomes she wants? What are ‘the young’ going to do? Shout a bit more?
‘If you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.’
Er, right. The leaders of the world don’t understand the situation. That’s the leaders who are responsible for the wealth and growth of their nations, in which technology plays probably the major part. And ‘evil’? Exaggeration, anyone? How to win friends and influence people?
‘The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control’.
This is actually based on climate prediction models, which have not had a flawless record to date. Is the world supposed to act on possibilities alone? Changes in our climate are happening, but this does not mean that every prediction is going to come true. The ‘risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control’ is entirely unquantifiable. It’s a hypothetical risk.
‘Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice’.
That fifty per cent is hypothetical, not actual. And please define a tipping point, a feedback loop and hidden warming. These are actually flaws in the climate change prediction industry but here they are presented as ‘additional factors’. If they were quantifiable, they would already be included in the ‘risk’ calculation. And how equity and climate justice, whatever that is, have an effect on climate change, goodness only knows. Now we have to blame poverty and ‘inequality’ for the end of the world.
‘People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing.’
Specific examples related directly and wholly to climate change? Please don’t say ‘the Arctic ice’. We have not had satellite records for long enough yet to have an effective understanding of ice-melt patterns. When the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, 40 years of satellite pictures are slightly lacking in coverage. It would help if there were more consideration of the geological record of ice-cover around the world, but as much of that doesn’t fit the current narrative, it is ignored. We’ve only been gathering anything like standardised climate data for around 100 years. Yet we’re supposed to accept that the changes during that time have never happened before in all 4.5 billion years.
Everything Greta says is a generalization. She is factually wrong in many of her statements. The science is not clear. There are many scientific disagreements around climate change. What she should say is that a willing coalition of the media, climate activists, ‘climate justice’ activists, ‘social justice’ warriors and the like have decided to announce that the science is clear because it suits their agenda to say so. That’s very different from the science being clear. This turns the argument from scientific fact into propaganda.
Meanwhile, we are supposed to applaud the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, as he praised young people like Greta for demanding change:
‘My generation has failed in its responsibility to protect our planet. That must change. The climate crisis is caused by us, and the solutions must come from us,’ he said.
Firstly, he assumes that there is a climate crisis. But it’s unclear to many people just how ‘could’, ‘possibly’, ‘might’ and ‘may’ now mean ‘definitely will’ when it comes to predicting the future of our climate. Al Gore predicted in 2007 that by 2013 the Arctic would be ice-free. Hmm.
Secondly, Guterres accepts blame on behalf of humanity when there is insufficient evidence for anthropogenic influence on the climate yet. But hey, let’s not get too picky about relying on science. If we are told that we must believe a man can think himself into being a woman, how can we balk at believing that the world is going to end in a few years’ time?
And of course, there is always the wisdom of actors and assorted luvvies to fall back on. Don’t you just love the depth of wisdom encapsulated in their so-well-informed assertions?
Anyone who’s got a problem with Greta Thunberg can pretty much fuck off.
11:10 AM – 23 Sep 2019.
Well done, Rufus. Nice to see that so many of the enlightened among us resort to the old argumentum ad hominem when they can’t come up with a good argumentum themselves.
For those of us worried about the state of public debate around the major issues facing the world today, there seems to be little prospect of sanity returning anytime soon.
For the silent but sizeable ‘traditional’ population who are fed up with the near-constant media promotion of the ‘right’ opinions dressed up as fact, there doesn’t seem much hope for our voices to be heard. We are now ‘the eccentric’ or simply ‘the wrong’.
For those of us worried about Thunberg’s wellbeing, we will be watching her own future with concern.