Swedish teen Greta Thunberg scolded the political and business aristocracy Tuesday at the World Economic Forum, insisting “that we start listening to the science and that we actually start treating this crisis as the crisis it is.” Why is she continually treated as a savant and prophetess when she has nothing to offer but embellishment?
Though only 17, Greta is an accomplished nag, a word we don’t use lightly, but it fits because she is perpetually badgering and complaining. In her speech, which the New York Times posted in transcript form as if it were actually important and must be preserved for future generations, she demanded international leaders “immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels.
“We don’t want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021,” she said, “we want this done now.”
She even went so far as to tell the Davos crowd “our house is still on fire,” and declared “your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.”
Of course “our house” – the world we live in – isn’t on fire, though large parts of Australia are, and that generates not only news but wild speculation from the zealots and the political operators that man’s greenhouse gas emissions are responsible. The evidence, however, indicates that green environmental policy is responsible.
The story is the same in California, where wildfire season produced global headlines. It was green policies, not anthropogenic global warming, that charred the state.
Given the magnitude of the exaggerations that pour out of Greta’s mouth, why was she even invited to speak at Davos, and before that at the United Nations? Why would adults name her Time magazine’s person of the year? Why wasn’t the very idea of her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize laughed at by the Nobel Committee?
There are no substantive arguments made during her public tantrums. She just makes the same tired points that have been debunked on this site enough that we won’t take the time to list them in this editorial. Those who want to refresh their memories can look back at previous editorials here, here, and here.
Greta gets a pulpit and the rock-star treatment because she’s a novelty. She’s a human shield to protect the alarmists from criticism. Adults screaming for attention and the approval of their peers think she provides them with cachet. And don’t forget, she talks back to that mean President Donald Trump.
Despite Greta’s plaints that her future has been stolen, we just finished the best year in human history, says New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.
“2019 was probably the year in which children were least likely to die, adults were least likely to be illiterate and people were least likely to suffer excruciating and disfiguring diseases,” Kristof writes.
“Every single day in recent years, another 325,000 people got their first access to electricity. Each day, more than 200,000 got piped water for the first time. And some 650,000 went online for the first time, every single day.”
Doomsdayers hope to convince us the future is nevertheless bleak. But 2019 came at the end of “the best decade in human history,” so we’re in an upward arc and there’s nothing to suggest that the advances in the human condition won’t continue to improve.
This is not unknown to the Davos organizers, yet Greta is asked to be a part of the program, in fact a main attraction. What this tells us is the ruling class in the West is exhausted, impotent, and would rather be popular than do the right thing.
This article first appeared at Issues and Insights.
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