Greta Thunberg is really freaking me out. I agree with some of what she says like "Fossil fuels should be banned by 2030" and "Meat and dairy should be banned". But only half of what she says is directly related to global warming; the rest of it is her bullying people, calling people names like "Spastic", "Wimp" and "Weak'o" and saying stuff like "I want you to panic", "I hope your house burns down" and "You must do exactly as I say". She is basically a mean girl with heckloads of power. Millions of kind young people are supporting this nasty girl and her protests are in 2,000 cities in 120 countries. And then she says stuff like "Stop road-building" and "Destroy airports" which makes me angry. Why does it have to be her? Why couldn't it be another, nicer person? Why couldn't you just ditch her and set up your own group when you discovered she was so horrid?
These people get airtime because they can be blamed by governments taking what they say as a vehicle to tax you more - all in the name of saving the planet.
And we all know NTs love to be led due them having no clue by themselves.
Well, this is very interesting. I'm always struck by how we like to denigrate and demonise those who address us with our faults. Who point out uncomfortable truths. Who, dare I say it, even make us feel guilty about our wrongdoings. Especially when we either don't realise that they're wrongdoings, or choose to ignore the fact because it goes against the grain of our own interests. Which is why it was surprising when Environment Secretary Michael Gove - not a politician I would automatically think about quoting - said “When I listened to you [Thunberg], I felt great admiration, but also responsibility and guilt. I am of your parents’ generation, and I recognise that we haven’t done nearly enough to address climate change and the broader environmental crisis that we helped to create.” A rare touch of humility there from a politician - and especially one of the right, which is where most climate change deniers are found. A cynic might say he was merely pandering to popular sentiment amongst the young. Vote-garnering. But why would he, given that they aren't naturally a part of his target constituency? Surely he would be bringing up counter-arguments instead in line with the interests of some of the Conservatives' biggest business backers. But no. Perhaps it's because so much of the scientific evidence about climate change is becoming increasingly difficult to challenge, and the deniers are looking more and more like fanatics themselves.
Unfortunately - and largely from that same side of the political debate - the insults levelled at Thunberg have been coming thick and fast, and have gotten increasingly personal. Her 'mental health issues' have naturally been brought up by those scraping around in the bottom of the muck barrel. Others have pointed out that we 'cannot be led by children'. A child she may be. But so what? We oldsters don't seem to have made a very good go of things. Death threats, of course, have been levelled at her. As I said, people don't like being told discomfiting things. They feel like they're being 'bullied'. It's quite natural.
As for some of the things she has (or hasn't) said. 'Spastic'? Where has she said that? Forgive me if I missed it. I may have been reading the wrong newspaper. 'Wimp' is innocent enough. I know she said in one speech that 'our house is on fire' (or words to that effect), which isn't quite the same as 'I hope your house burns down'. If she said that, in what context I wonder? As for 'I want you to panic'... well, what's wrong with that? Perhaps we need to use such language before people really will begin to sit up and take notice. Such a shame she isn't 'nice' because she's telling us such things. Who do we want instead? That Leonardo DiCaprio seems like a decent and genial enough chap. Internationally-famous and adored. Photogenic. Stacks of campaign money. The all-important celebrity credentials in abundance. He's quite vocal and passionate on the subject, too. Trouble is, he's off making films all the time, so he's a little too busy and tied up. How about some other sweet, passive, anodyne person telling us 'Now, now. We really have been quite naughty for far too long, haven't we. Well, I'm here to tell you that I quite understand why we've been so naughty, but there is a way that we can start to do nice things instead and make up for our past, if we want to. There's no pressure, though. Baby steps...' etc etc. Yes... that should really do the trick. I can't help being reminded of what Harry S Truman once said: "I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."
As for the 'truth' of climate change? It's relative, of course. Relative, that is, to what you choose to believe. Or, again, what it's in your or your country's best interests to believe (think of all the mineral resources we'll be able to get our hands on once all that pesky Arctic ice is melted and out of the way - not to mention the increased commercial prospects of opening up the Northwest Passage!) You don't want massively-polluting companies to be held to account, after all, if you have shares in them, or work for them. You don't want to be told that airport expansion will generate 'x' amount more pollution when lack of expansion will make the economy less competitive... and, of course, inhibit your freedom to be able to jet off cheaply to another country whenever you feel like it. Similarly with roads. Most people accept they're grossly over-congested. Solution? Let's just build more. Or expand what we already have. Let's have six lanes of congestion where we once had four. Similarly, too, with meat consumption. We want our meat, and we want it cheap. We want our burgers for 99p. We don't want some killjoy telling us that the planet (that is, we and all the other species on it) pay a vast and drastic price for this demanding appetite of ours. Meat production is one of the biggest environmental problems the planet faces: deforestation, desertification, groundwater pollution, methane gas. Lovely. A feedback loop in which we have something that not only produces one of the major greenhouse gases, but which also destroys vital carbon sinks in the process. But do we care? We're having a barbie this afternoon. Mouths to feed. Cheap meat to cook. Let's nip down to B&Q in the SUV to get the charcoal. We could even grab a quick McDonald's on the way, if we're extra hungry. Meanwhile, back here on dear old crapped-up planet Earth, the North Atlantic Garbage Patch - composed largely of our discarded plastic - is more than twice the size of France, nine feet deep and weighs seven million tons. Heaven knows what that's doing to marine life. To the food chain, in fact. Again... do we care? Plastic bottles of water are so cheap, after all. Damn nuisance that we now have to pay for carrier bags to carry them home, though, isn't it! Damn do-gooders, too, telling us what to do (I love the irony in that term - especially as it often comes from the religious right, who seem to have a pretty good idea about the difference between 'good' and 'evil'; 'good', too, is relative it seems).
Sounding self-righteous, am I? Unfortunately, it's difficult not to when you're discussing such an important subject. Most of us who regard ourselves as thinking people, issue-engaged people, know what's going on. Trouble is, the impact on our lifestyles isn't something we want to take on board. Let the generations to come deal with it.
Greta Thunberg's generation, perhaps?
Finally... and this is delicious. I love it so much because it is so revealing. And it's such a beautiful irony, given what's been said above. It's a shame Greta Thunberg isn't a 'nicer' person. It's a shame she's so blunt and insulting. It's a shame she's so mean-spirited and horrid. One wonders why.
Well, maybe... just maybe (oh, I love this so much!)... it's because she's one of us! She's autistic! What is one of the complaints often levelled at us? That we can be plain-speaking? That we can say things that might cause offence without our realising? Can't we also be passionate about our special interests? Don't we see things in black and white? Aren't people often put off by us because we sometimes don't speak or behave 'nicely'? Is that 'nicely' in a neurotypical understanding of the term?
Something else that has been said about her, by Charlie Hancock writing in The Guardian: "The attacks on (Thunberg) from neurotypical critics are glib and spiteful. But they are a tribute to the power of her arguments."
Precisely. You might find this interesting, too:
Greta Thunberg teaches us about autism as much as about climate change
So, I say thank goodness for the Greta Thunberg's of this world. They don't just accept the crap that they're supposed to be conditioned to accept. They look beyond it. They think outside the box.
For me, she offers hope. Generation Z is often dismissed as one of the most narcissistic, materialistic and pampered generations in history. Is it their fault, though, or is it down to their teachers? Is it down, as Michael Gove said, to our failure? It's good to see such a young person who is so passionate about something that is so important.
And the fact that she also has Asperger's Syndrome is the cherry on the top of the cake!
Carry on freaking people out, Greta!
Get over it. The girl talks sense.
Climate scientists have been alarmed by a mysterious rise in levels of atmospheric methane, reports New Scientist. The greenhouse gas is shorter-lived than CO2, but far more potent (one tonne of methane is thought to have at least 28 times the warming potential of a tonne of CO2), and so relatively small increases can have a significant impact. The amount of methane finding its way into the atmosphere has been rising since 2007, but in the past four years the rate has accelerated - and scientists have warned that if this continues, it will make it far harder to meet the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees C. What makes the rise alarming, say the authors of the new paper, is that no one is sure where the methane is coming from. One theory is that warmer conditions in the tropics are causing more methane to be released from wetlands: in other words, we're in a feedback loop, says Euan Nisbet of Royal Holloway, University of London, in which "warming is feeding the warming". Or it could be that "our atmosphere is losing its ability to break down methane. Either way, we are facing a very worrying problem."
Carry on denying, deniers. Those who want to believe you are relying on your scepticism.
China has used more concrete in the last 3 years than the USA did in the whole of the last century. Governments are doing a game of 'chase the queen' to confuse the people rather than point to the real causes of the problems - and of course, out of control population growth.
Feel free to recycle your tin foil hats.
Meanwhile in the UK we are developing cement free concrete. But no one wants to use it because it's too expensive. Also, *unpopular opinion alert* we're already way too far gone past the point of keeping warming to 2oC (sorry, but we are) we just need to adapt to a changing climate.
And 80% of all quality hardwoods cut down in the Amazon go to make plywood for shuttering poured concrete in China - which is then burned afterwards.
But you remember to sort your cardboard & paper - or else!.
I live near a railway line that carries the freight trains full of wood chopped down in America, shipped to the UK, then travels by train from Liverpool to Drax power plant in Yorkshire. I know someone somewhere has worked out this is better than burning coal, but it still seems very odd to me.
And wood is just 'young' coal - but we're not allowed to burn coal - but Germany is opening 6 new coal fired powerstations.
Her view is somewhat black-and-white, certainly, especially around airports. On that matter I don't want my wings clipped, admittedly for somewhat selfish reasons, I would like the option to fly to remain.
We need to keep finding alternatives to fossil fuels and developing solar planes. There is so much we can do to create more sustainable world other than just being sanctimonious and perhaps that is something Thunberg or her followers, will need to do in order not to just turn new potential environmentalists off, with their preaching.
Who can honestly say back to this paragon that she isn't right though?
Popularist like Trump, Boldonsro and Pompeo still back unsustainable capitalism and deny what is surely obvious to anyone who is frying right now in India (over 50 degrees and climbing currently), that ours and every other animal that did not contribute to this has a gut full of plastic while the seas are getting clogged with country-wide swills of plastic.
No one likes a high-minded paragon who is brutal with her words but the thing is, she's still right, isn't she. I often think, there is something deeply wrong with our lovely species, which is driving all other animals into mass extinction and don't seem to care much. We don't seem to see the consequences of our actions, we are like children in many ways. But that might be due to having grown up with the ultimate big sword over our heads, and which is still there as a lunatic has his fingers on the button - the Bomb.
I am sure Thunsberg capitalises on the irony of that, by dressing like a 12-year-old. I wonder if she will continue to do that eighteen months hence, when she will be legally adult.