Doomed Planet

Greta Thunberg and her Legion of Hacks

Thank God for middle-aged men! That was my thought after reading Claire Harvey’s latest asininity in the Sunday Telegraph.  ‘Who’s afraid of the big bad teenage girl?’ she asks.  Yes, its middle-aged men, according the newspaper’s deputy editor, who tells us that teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and her skip-school-for-the-planet apostles fill the breasts of “a whole lot of middle-aged men” with fear. In her defence of pigtailed Greta, or to be more accurate, her excoriation of those who dare question the figurehead leader of the children’s climate crusade, she writes

Swedish teenage Greta Thunberg is, I think, an inspiring young woman who never sought out the fame she’s found, and who is now being vilified around the world by adults who can’t cope with a girl with an opinion.

Thunberg is remorselessly mocked, vilified and made fun of by conservatives around the world because she dares to express her fear that the world she and her generation are about to inherit is seriously compromised.

Ms Harvey’s latest literary extrusion is paywalled, but you’ll get its tone and flavour from the Sunday Telegraph online blurb (reproduced at right). If Greta never sought fame it was very effectively sought on her behalf by her parents, Svante Thunberg, an actor, and opera star wife Malena Ernman. Secondly, conservatives have certainly mocked her movement but they have not vilified its leader.  The columnists I have read uniformly regard her as a victim of manipulative activists who have exploited the don’t-question-me moral certitude with which her disability has invested her. (Standpoint magazine has a must-read piece on the creation and promotion of Sweden’s messianic moppet.) She is questioned not because she is a child with an opinion but because that opinion is expressed as nothing more than slogans.

Ms Harvey, who was recently informing one and all that she is a nicer person and a better Christian than Israel Folau, is in lockstep with the ABC (of course), Mama Mia and, inevitably,  The Guardian:

In July, Thunberg hit back at the Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt for writing a deeply offensive column that mocked her diagnosis.

He criticised her two-week trip across the Atlantic on a solar-powered yacht because, he said “she refuses to fly and heat the planet with an aeroplane’s global warming gasses”.

Bolt repeatedly referred to Greta’s mental health, saying she was “deeply disturbed”.

Thunberg responded by tweeting that she was “deeply disturbed” by the “hate and conspiracy campaigns” run by climate deniers like Bolt.

Here’s another excoriating piece by a certain of The Irish Times

Why is Greta Thunberg so triggering? How can a 16-year-old girl in plaits, who has dedicated herself to the not-exactly sinister, authoritarian plot of trying to save the planet from extinction, inspire such incandescent rage?

Part of the reason she inspires such rage, of course, is blindingly obvious. Climate change is terrifying. The Amazon is burning. So too is the Savannah. Parts of the Arctic are on fire. Sea levels are rising. There are more vicious storms and wildfires and droughts and floods. Denial is easier than confronting the terrifying truth.

Even for someone who spends a lot of time on Twitter, some of the criticism levelled at Thunberg is astonishing. It is, simultaneously, the most vicious and the most fatuous kind of playground bullying. The Australian conservative climate change denier Andrew Bolt called her “deeply disturbed” and “freakishly influential” (the use of “freakish”, we can assume, was not incidental.) The former UKIP funder, Arron Banks, tweeted “Freaking yacht accidents do happen in August” (as above.) Brendan O’Neill of Spiked called her a “millenarian weirdo” (nope, still not incidental) in a piece that referred nastily to her “monotone voice” and “the look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes”.

But who’s the real freak – the activist whose determination has single-handedly started a powerful global movement for change, or the middle-aged man taunting a child with Asperger syndrome from behind the safety of their computer screens?

 Incandescent with rage?  This is actually what O’Neill actually wrote:

Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg. This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins. There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg. One can imagine her in a sparse wooden church in the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s warning parishioners of the hellfire that will rain upon them if they fail to give up their witches.

So all these middle-aged men, incandescent with rage, amount  to Andrew Bolt, Brendan O’Neill and Canadian politician Maxime Bernier.  Their main sin, it appears, is to have mentioned her Asperger’s and other disabilities  – disabilities that were publicised by her parents and that she, herself, touts as the “superpower” that grants her unique insights and demands she be taken seriously.

Harvey continues:

In response to her critics, Thunberg said on Twitter on September 1, “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go.  And then you know you are winning! I have Aspergers and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm.  And, given the right circumstances, being different is a superpower.’

So, yes, Greta trades on her disabilities and her looks. Does anyone really believe the pigtails are not contrived? And finally we get to the real nub of the matter:

They [the critics] fear, I think, that Greta’s words  are written by others, that she’s manipulated by smarter adults with an agenda for economy-crushing renewables at any cost, and that she’s creating unnecessary fear about the future among impressionable children.

Got it in one, Ms Harvey.  If, as she writes, it is middle-aged men who are calling this child and her exploiters to account, thank God for middle-aged men.

11 comments
  • Salome

    Against Greta personally I have nothing. Against those who both use her and regard her as some sort of authority, everything. Because if one thing should be plain, it is that a 16-year -old doesn’t know Jack Manure.

  • Greg Williams

    There’s a reason why society has rules for people of Greta’s age. Rules such as:
    * Can’t get married
    * Can’t be enlisted to go to war
    * Can’t get a tattoo without parental permission
    * Can’t get a loan from a bank
    * Can’t drink alcohol in public
    * Can’t get a passport without parental permission
    * Can’t drive a car
    and so on.

    The reasons for the rules stem from the assumption that most young people of that age are too immature or too lacking in relevant knowledge to make their own decisions on many of the above-mentioned restrictions. Yet here we have education ministers, local, state and federal political supporters, business leaders et al barracking for kids to take a day off school, where their knowledge might actually be enhanced.

    Young Greta recently, rather naively, organised a climate rally on the school holidays. Unsurprisingly, no one turned up. The would be protesters were probably off in airplanes going on their overseas holidays. At the recent Perth student climate rally, where there were really noticeably greater numbers was at the beach!

  • en passant

    Greta is a reincarnation of Stephen of Cloyes and the children’s crusade of 1212.
    Change just a few words an you have written tomorrow’s headline in any fake news MSM. Delete the [xxx] words from the original article

    (Greta) felt moved, not by the heat [pope] but by the climate [heaven] itself, to lead her [his] followers into the (Green Nirvana) Holy Land to reclaim it for the Catastrophists [Christianity]. According to accounts, (s)he gathered 30,000 followers and headed to Paris (to ratify the Treaty) in order to gain the support of (Al Gore,) the king. Remarkably, (s)he was able to get an audience with the king. All of this is even more remarkable considering Greta [Stephen] was just [twelve] sixteen years old at the time and [his] her 30,000 followers [who] were just children themselves. It is (O’Neill, Bolt & Delingpole’s) modern opinion that the Children’s (Climate) Crusade was not made up of children after all but of [the] (rich enablers using them to pressure taxpayers for greater subsidies and grants) [poor] – which means that even the name of the (climate) crusade may be wrong.
    There isn’t much in the historical record to confirm whether the participants were children (or weirdo’s and Rent-a-Crowd activists stirred up by Get-Up & Gore Graduate Cultists). But there is enough to show that just a few people can persuade thousands to participate in a movement – even one with ineffective or disastrous consequences.

    History isn’t clear about what happened to the groups (Greta) encouraged (not to get an education as we are doomed anyway) at this point, but it appears that they broke up when they reached the (surf beaches) [coastal towns]. Some took local jobs while waiting for a ship to take them to (a mythical Green Nirvana) [Jerusalem]. Some went back home (where they failed their exams and were an ongoing burden to their parents until well over 30 years old). Some were sold into slavery (stacking shelves in supermarkets or as parking inspectors) and some drowned (surfing) in the sea (as they never learned to swim, thinking it just another unnecessary life skill that was a waste of time as there is less than 12-years left for the planet).

    Yesterday’s news today.

  • padraic

    Who is Greta Thunberg?

  • whitelaughter

    Agreed Greg, but much of that immaturity is self-reinforcing.

    Consider that a child in a city in the middle ages would become an apprentice at 7 and expect to be a journey(wo)man at 14 – the skills and experiences they acquired during their apprenticeships and and early careers would mean that they would be vastly more mature that most modern day 20 year olds. The extremely extended childhoods, running into their late 20s, of our university students is a major reason for our current problems.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    en passant – 18th September 2019
    Greta is a reincarnation of Stephen of Cloyes and the children’s crusade of 1212.

    Our Little Lady of the Apocalypse also resembles Our lady of Lourdes, in that both are creations of the fears – in Greta’s case – or hopes – in the Lourdes case – of their followers.

    A big difference, however, is that the Church apparently was reluctant to approve devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. It investigated the case for four years before giving in to pressure from French Catholics, who were convinced there had been a miraculous event from the beginning. In Greta’s case, of course, there has been no such reluctance from the UN, who has done everything to radicalise the young to force the West to pay “climate reparations”.

    See : https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2014/04/miracle-business/

    What happened in the grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes in 1858? According to legend, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to a 14 year-miller’s daughter, between February 11 and July 16. She apparently identified herself as The Immaculate Conception and gave Bernadette Soubirous this message on Her 8th appearance on February 24, in the presence of a crowd of 250: “Penance! Penance! Penance! Pray to God for sinners. Kiss the ground as an act of penance for sinners!”

    It was not until the 17th “vision” that the apparition identified herself (solely) to Bernadette – coincidentally after a request from her “Monsieur le Curé”, Father Peyramale, that it do so. Townspeople who believed she was telling the truth assumed it was the Virgin Mary.
    Bernadette received no further apparitions after the 18th and did not feel any desire to visit the Grotto afterwards, but the people kept on visiting – and continue to do so today in their millions.
    My guess is that, with the Pope’s blessing, Greta is headed from sainthood soon, and perhaps a Nobel Prize for Credulity.

  • Biggles

    There is a dark parallel in the Jeffrey Epstein case. Evil men exploiting young girls for self gratification.

  • Jon Reinertsen

    Why is she beginning to look even more like a Bond villain?

  • Helen

    Re the role of the parents in the global attention paid to Greta Thunberg: After reading between the lines of the Wikipedia article on this apparently remorseless child, I must confess to some sympathy for the parents. As one example, it seems that the mother has foregone an international career in music because she has been “persuaded” by Greta to give up air travel. Rightly or wrongly, I wonder if this is s family unhappily in thrall to the relentless preoccupations of one iron-willed individual. And, at the global level, isn’t it middle-aged trendies in the UN et al who are terrified of this obsessive urchin, rather those of us (including this oldish female) who query the veracity of the extreme climate change warriors?

  • Helen

    Sorry about my sloppy self-editing. The third last line of the above entry should read “rather than those of us….”

  • Lo

    Malena Ernman is not an opera star, she is an opera singer. Every country has some. My second cousin was one, toured with Melba, sang at her funeral.
    Some become international. Ms Ernman has not. (Neither did my second cousin.)
    In Europe if you choose not to fly you can travel anywhere by train. Ms Ernman didn’t give up an international career, she didn’t have an international career. Being Carmen once doesn’t count.

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