More vital info that we need to know about her and her claims.
Since so much of the world continues to marvel at and swoon over the Swedish wunderkind, it behoves me to again offer a bit of an offset to all the Greta-worship now taking place. I will continue with what I focused on yesterday: Greta Thunberg’s rather hysterical climate alarmism as opposed to the actual facts of the case, and the sad and fragile state of her health and wellbeing: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2019/09/25/on-greta-regrettably/
Thankfully there are others who have dared to differ with the left and the MSM. So let me draw upon some of these contrarian voices once again. Firstly, are things really as bad as Greta claims? Have adults failed her generation, as she angrily emoted at the UN: “You are failing us, but young people are starting to understand your betrayal.” Not quite. As Rich Lowry reminds us:
This is laughable. By no global measure of social and economic well-being have we failed kids. According to HumanProgress.org, the global poverty rate fell from 28 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2013. Life expectancy increased from 63.2 years to 71.9 years from 1981 to 2015. The completion rate for primary school increased from 80 percent in 1981 to 90 percent in 2015. The same benign trends hold for hunger, child labor, literacy, and so on. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/greta-thunberg-climate-activist-united-nations/
Or as Canadian commentator Danielle Smith puts it:
People are not dying, ecosystems are not collapsing, and human beings are in no danger of extinction from carbon dioxide. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s see what an actual scientist is saying. The secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, told a Finnish newspaper on Sept. 6 that climate extremists have taken over the debate and their comments in the media have provoked unjustified anxiety.
“It is not going to be the end of the world,” he said in the interview. “The world is just becoming more challenging. In parts of the globe, living conditions are becoming worse, but people have survived in harsh conditions.” He also said: “Climate experts have been attacked by these people and they claim that we should be much more radical. They are doomsters and extremists; they make threats.”
And finally, “The IPCC reports have been read in a similar way to the Bible: you try to find certain pieces or sections from which you try to justify your extreme views. This resembles religious extremism.” Indeed. I have seen memes of Thunberg dressed up to resemble the Virgin Mary, with “In Greta We Trust” emblazoned across them. I do not know what this is, but it is not science. https://globalnews.ca/news/5943360/climate-change-science/
And consider some inconvenient truths about the wild claims she made at the UN. Daniil Gorbatenko says this about them: “There is no place for nuance here, no trace of uncertainty, no appeal to actual facts or pragmatics of politics—only the demand for total commitment and sacrifice because the absolute urgency of our predicament is supposed to be self-evident since none other than IPCC purportedly said so.”
I would wager that it would be pointless to ask Thunberg any serious questions about the actual science underlying the climate change issue—to ask her how much the Earth has warmed so far since 1979 compared to computer model predictions; that the bulk of the recent warming occurred during the El Niño stages of the ENSO climate oscillation; or whether she is aware that the doubling of CO2 can only in itself cause only about 1°C of warming and that to postulate alarmist scenarios one needs to postulate uncertain positive feedbacks, whereas, in reality, the net feedback may be zero or negative; that a lot more people die from cold temperatures than from hot ones and that it is not extreme cold temperatures that are the most deadly; that increased CO2 concentrations are good for plant life, and so on.
After offering us more evidence-based commentary, he concludes:
The real problem with the climate change activist sensation Greta Thunberg is not that she is 16 years old. Rather, it is that she is a clueless fanatic who is considered brave and enlightened for promoting a cause that almost everyone agrees with without any study or reflection. And it is the duty of anyone who does not want clueless fanaticism to determine policies affecting billions to call it out as such. https://fee.org/articles/the-real-problem-with-greta-thunberg-is-not-her-age/
Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg has long spoken out against the pseudo-science of the alarmists, and he has also reminded us of the enormous financial costs of implementing the various agenda items of the radical greens, including that of Greta. Writing a few days before her UN speech, he said this:
Alternative energy has increased so little because green energy remains incapable of meeting all of our needs met by fossil fuels. Replacing cheap and reliable fossil fuel energy with more expensive and less reliable energy alternatives weighs down the economy, leading to slightly lower growth. This means the Paris treaty is likely to cost between $US1 trillion and $2 trillion ($1.5 trillion and $2.9 trillion) a year, making it the costliest treaty in history. Not surprisingly, research shows that it will increase poverty. Its effects are not evenly felt; increasing electricity prices hurts the poor the most.
At great cost, the Paris Agreement will reduce emissions by just 1 per cent of what politicians have promised. The UN body organising the Paris Agreement finds that if all its promises were fulfilled (which they are not on track to achieve), it would cut about 60 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalents, whereas about 6000 billion tonnes are needed to get to the promised 2C target. Yet politicians are being celebrated for going even further than the Paris treaty’s current promises, vowing to make entire economies “carbon-neutral” within decades.
It speaks volumes that few governments ever establish the costs of such promises. One of the few that has is New Zealand. A government-commissioned report found that aiming for net zero emissions by 2050 would cost more than the entire current annual national budget. There would be “yellow vest” riots worldwide if such policies were genuinely pursued. We need to challenge the ever-more rampant talk about “catastrophic” climate change. Rhetoric has become unpinned from science.
According to the UN climate science panel’s last major report, if we do absolutely nothing to stop climate change, the impact will be the equivalent to a reduction in our incomes of between 0.2 per cent and 2 per cent five decades from now. Work by Nobel laureate climate economist William Nordhaus based on the UN findings shows the likeliest outcome is a cost to the planet of about 3 per cent of gross domestic product in coming centuries. That should be taken seriously — but it does not equal Armageddon. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/a-climate-of-burning-money/news-story/3b1b07a6de6fd03957db72d497b03359
His whole piece is well worth reading, but it is sensible and informed voices like those of Lomborg that we need to be paying attention to here, instead of irate 16-year-olds who prefer melodrama and emotionalism over the hard facts.
Greta needs help, not exploitation
Many in the medical and mental health community have expressed fears about the way Greta is being used and abused for the climate crusaders. That is a very real concern indeed. Consider one Australian expert: “A leading psychologist has voiced his concern about the mental well-being of autistic teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg.… Dr Michael Carr-Gregg compared Greta’s position in the spotlight to the fame of a child TV star who could ‘burn out’ after being thrust into the spotlight. ‘I worry about her going the same as child TV stars, that they just burn out and potentially have a disastrous psychological outcome,’ he told 3AW on Wednesday.” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7501829/Psychologist-says-hes-worried-mental-wellbeing-climate-change-activist-Greta-Thunberg.html
And American pediatrician Meg Meeker has said this about the way Greta is being used:
To each and every adult responsible for allowing Greta Thunberg to speak: Shame on you, I say. The 16-year-old- girl from Sweden went before the U.N. and reprimanded adults in the audience for their part in ruining her life — not because she had extensive knowledge of the subject, but because she was very good at parroting her parents’ and teachers’ beliefs. Adults essentially threw this girl under the bus in order to advance a political agenda….
Our job as adults is to quell our children’s fears — not to allow their anxiety to be worsened. Kids have plenty to be anxious about in today’s world. They feel pressure to excel academically, athletically, to figure out at an early age whether they are a boy or girl, to understand their sexual orientation, fight against bullies, avoid drinking, having sex or using drugs, etc. They live frenetic lives with minimal downtime — and they rarely see their parents because they’re so busy doing wonderful things.
I was a child during the Cuban missile crisis. My family lived in Washington, D.C, and while I rehearsed bomb drills in school, I was excited to go for a trip to Boston for the week when President John F. Kennedy negotiated our way out of a disastrous event.
But it was only as an adult that I realized the seriousness of the situation and the reason for our sudden trip to Boston. My parents were doing their best to keep us away from harm by a launched missile. They took charge of a dealing with such a serious event — and kept fear away from us kids. Let them be children. Let’s not dump adult problems on their shoulders — because in doing so, we directly contribute to harming their mental health. https://www.lifezette.com/2019/09/pediatrician-climate-change-hands-off-kids/
Indeed, it is not just the wellbeing of Greta that concerns so many of us, but all the children who are unnecessarily being made to live in undue fear and trepidation. Too many kids are being sold a bill of goods by adult activists as well as by Greta. They are stealing away the childhood of so many by putting all these deep and dark fears into their heads about imminent environmental collapse.
As Arthur Chrenkoff has written:
Australian children might not know how to read and write and count well, as evidenced by our standards and results slipping in the international tables, but they have been surely immersed in the woke worldview pushed by the left-wing ideologues who now shape the curriculum and control the education. Instead of the old 3 Rs, the kids as early as mid-primary school are sure to be exposed to the new, more politically relevant version of Racism, Refugees, Reconciliation and Renewables, with an extra dose of (Gender) Reassignment thrown in. They have been well primed in climate catastrophism by now. http://thedailychrenk.com/2019/09/24/why-the-childrens-crusades/
Even Australia’s Prime Minister had to warn about this following Greta’s recent emotional outburst at the UN. He said: “You know, I want children growing up in Australia that feel positive about their future. And I think it’s important that we give them that confidence, that they will not only have a wonderful country and pristine environment to live in, but they’ll also have an economy that they can live in as well. So I think we’ve got to caution against raising the anxieties of children in our country.”
Yes exactly. The left has been targeting our kids for decades with shrill warnings about nuclear annihilation or a nuclear winter, and more recently, with panic mongering about global cooling and then global warming. What our children need is the ability to assess and discuss the actual facts, and not just be emotionally blackmailed and exploited by adult activists.
If time permitted, we could look at all these activists and radical left organisations which are fully standing behind Greta and guiding (pushing) her every step. But for now, see this eye-opening piece: https://standpointmag.co.uk/issues/june-2019/gretas-very-corporate-childrens-crusade/
Far too much hysteria and alarmism has clouded the debate. Climate issues are certainly important, and we all should have sensible concerns about – and responses to – the state of our planet. But running with hyped-up hysteria and un-reason helps no one – it simply makes matters worse, for everyone.