Save Greta

Forget saving the planet – we need to save Greta from the death cult of environmentalism.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill

Topics Politics World

Any adult who cheered Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN yesterday should be ashamed of themselves. Her emotional rant was a deeply disturbing spectacle. It revealed a young woman, a girl, in essence, who is in the grip of terror, of a morbid, debilitating belief that life as we know it is coming to an end. You could not have asked for firmer proof that the green ideology is seriously screwing up the next generation by pumping them with fear and panic and a deranged belief that the end of the world is nigh. It isn’t the planet that needs saving – it’s Greta. She needs to be saved from the death cult of eco-alarmism.

It was a truly sad sight. Greta, 16, spoke through tears. And her tears were understandable given she believes life on Earth is being suffocated and murdered by greedy, marauding mankind. She berated the gathered heads of state. ‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood… People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?’ With each nightmarish word, with each unhinged dystopian prediction of doom, her voice wobbled and her emotions span out of control. It was a public meltdown. And of course the politicians applauded it – perversely, they love nothing more than being told how awful they are by a petrified, disorientated girl.

Who did this to Greta? Who turned a bright and curious 16-year-old schoolgirl into a prophet of horror, into a young woman who admits to feeling terror and who believes the Earth is on fire? Adults did. The green-infused educational, political and cultural elites did. The people who have been feeding kids a narrative of eco-fear for years did this. Their secular Armageddonism, their wilful exaggeration of every problem mankind faces, their marshalling of the politics of fear to try to force people to change their allegedly wicked, eco-harmful behaviour – all of this has convinced many young people that the future is dark, mankind is doomed, and there is no point even going to school, far less planning one’s life, because we will all be dead soon. They did this to Greta, and to others, and it is unforgivable.

The extent to which adults have indoctrinated kids with eco-nihilistic fear was made clear in the words of the UN general-secretary Antonio Guterres. Opening the UN Climate Action Summit yesterday, at which Greta made her frazzled, tragic speech, he said: ‘Nature is angry.’ What is this superstition? It is positively pre-modern. This anthropomorphising of nature is central to the eco-alarmist outlook. It presents everything from forest fires to floods as punishment for humankind’s sins, as nature’s payback to the pox that is humanity and our ‘fairytales of eternal economic growth’, as Greta describes it. In Biblical times, freak weather and plagues of locusts were viewed as God’s punishment of human beings’ sinful behaviour; now we hear talk of ‘weather of mass destruction’ and ‘angry’ natural events that are apparently Gaia’s punishment of us for committing the sin of economic growth. The words change, but the backwardness and hysteria are eerily similar.

Greta Thunberg is admirable in many ways. She is driven and articulate. But it is patently clear now that she is being exploited. She is being pushed to the forefront of the most fearful and superstitious movement of our times. She has been turned into the chief spokesperson for doom, the mouthpiece of eco-misanthropy, a soothsayer of the horrors humankind will allegedly bring upon itself. The aim seems to be to make environmentalism an unquestionable, untouchable ideology. Witness how anyone who raises even a peep of criticism of eco-nonsense will now be asked: ‘How dare you criticise Greta and the other brave climate-striking children?’ These kids are being used as moral shields by adults to protect the increasingly bizarre politics of environmentalism from interrogation and criticism. It is dizzying in its cynicism.

And it is destructive, too. Destructive of public debate, destructive of critical discussion, and destructive of the kids who are being dragged into this terrifying, miserabilist worldview to play the role of a stage army to adult society’s own loss of faith in mankind and in economic growth. Enough. Set Greta free. Stop instructing her in the cult of fear and let her go back to school and to a normal youthful life. If you really must have a child speaking at the UN, how about a teenager from Africa or India who believes economic growth is not a fairytale but absolutely essential to their liberation from poverty? We’ve all heard more than enough from middle-class Westerners who think economic growth is oh-so-horrible. Let’s hear from someone in the teeming billions around the world who profoundly disagree with this downbeat, anti-human, Western-centric crap.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty images.

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Raymond Coulson

30th September 2019 at 9:37 am

If you really must have a child speaking at the UN, how about a teenager from Africa or India who believes economic growth is not a fairytale but absolutely essential to their liberation from poverty? We’ve all heard more than enough from middle-class Westerners who think economic growth is oh-so-horrible. Let’s hear from someone in the teeming billions around the world who profoundly disagree with this downbeat, anti-human, Western-centric crap.
Economic growth at present is not even necessary for the ‘rich world’ but it is essential for the ‘poor world’. if there was a pause for a year or two and the money that is used to drive the ‘rich’ economies ever onwards and upwards were to be used to improve the economies of the ‘poor countries’ instead, it would not hurt us that much and would enrich the lives of millions of people. Unfortunately because of the basic greediniess of humans the money and aid would have to be more strictly policed than it is at present, because leaders of poor countries have a tendency to steal the money that us given them for the improvement of their people. These leaders are not poor, they have a good life, but they still want more, just like most people in the ‘rich countries’

Lotty Admas

29th September 2019 at 12:00 am

I share an excerpt of text that has been posted by the ”Assciation Colectif Atypique”.

“Greta Thunberg is autistic. What happened to him at the UN is a symptom of the autism spectrum, called fusion. Fusion occurs when the autistic brain is overloaded with stimuli. It is an overload, like overheating and a short circuit, so that the autistic speaks louder or becomes irritated, hypersensitive. ”

Her reaction is not abnormal she is just autistic. It is a tendency for autistic people to be extremely passionate in a specific subject and it is normal for them to experience extreme emotions in what they are passionate about or concerned about.

Jerry Owen

30th September 2019 at 5:11 pm

Lotty Admas
Thunberg may be passionate , but unfortunately she has no scientific knowledge , quite a handy thing to have I would imagine if you put yourself on the world stage.

William Zappa

28th September 2019 at 8:14 am

Wow, Brendan, you really went for it with your views on Greta. And you turn out to be just as guilty of ‘hysterical outrage’ as the environmental movement you are railing against: you lump anyone who has a genuine concern and fear for the planet and humanity with others who push the boundaries of said ’hysterical outrage”.

When I was in high school, I remember having to line up in the street with the rest of the school, waiting to hear whether the Russians had pulled out of Cuba. If they hadn’t we had six minutes to get home before the first Russian missiles were possibly going to land in Essex and England generally.

I remember also, the weeks leading up to it and the nightly news updates about the developing situation and the words of President Kennedy. There were no adults in my family making me fearful, no teachers at school instilling fear. No my fear was from the news I was hearing on the radio, seeing on tv and perhaps reading the headlines in newspapers.

It was with this experience in mind that three or four years ago I started to wonder what the effect must be on young minds hearing things about Climate Change, because now the news is constant, and it is heard everywhere not just in the home after school. It’s in shops, at petrol station pumps, streaming on devices. It is incessant. And if I was a teenager today, I think I would be very scared. And I would be very angry because part of the news that I am hearing is telling me that science has been warning about this for decades. But it seems you want to replace this “miserabilist worldview” with us all becoming Nero’s and taking up our fiddles – ‘ignore the fire, listen to the music, it’s lovely’.

And why do you insist that anyone who cares for the environment must want the third world to stay poor? Your narrow view misses opportunities for solutions. For example, if the ‘first world’ really wants to have lions and tigers and orangutans and giraffes and tropical rain forests existing into the future, then perhaps we should pay for it.

I’m grateful that Spiked is free to read and I always find it a challenge. In essence I agree with what I believe Spiked stands for, but generally there is no joy, just anger and mockery and blind belief that even if people are ignorant about a subject their views must have full sway. If I am ignorant about something I have a choice to leave it to those who know and trust they will do the right thing, or find out what I can, join the discussion, learn more so that my opinion is based on knowledge, not on ignorance or prejudice or other social impositions.

Hana Jinks

29th September 2019 at 8:45 pm

Part 2 starts at around the 36 min mark and outlines the culprits of and reasons for the climate-hoax.

Hana Jinks

29th September 2019 at 8:46 pm

A Game

28th September 2019 at 2:26 am

Its just hit me.
I haven’t paid attention to Greta because she bores me, climate activists bore me, etc etc. I’ve read the Spiked articles published the last… 2 years. Right.
I just read an article about why Greta gets up the noses of the masses – she’s not sexualised, didn’t you know? (No, they chose the opposite route – pure, wholesome, childish – sound familiar? The Madonna/Whore binary. So, nothing original here.) And reading more of her speech and the numbers she’s citing… bam!
I’m a Bjorn Lomborg fan. Global warming scientist, believer, but skeptic of the policies that have been chosen and of course, castigator of the money being spent, the targets set, that will actually achieve nothing. In other words, they are all frauds.
Of course, he’s been exiled as a climate change denier. (Another favourite binary. Blind convert or heretic.)

Greta’s reprimands are not directed, as marketed, against the non-believers. They are directed at the establishment’s pro climate change policies. She’s pointing the finger at the UN, all the world leaders signing up to green policies and renewable energies and all touting their goodness and conversion to the cause.
But as Bjorn Lomborg knows, its all a crock. Its virtue signalling at its most destructive.

So we can all sit back and say, yep, listen to Greta. She’s right. They are liars and frauds – the whole green movement. They aren’t doing enough. They are lying to us. They are signing off on policies that will achieve nothing. The house will burn if they continue to do this.

Greta is a truth teller. To the very people promoting her. But they are too stupid to realise. These are the people who have cheered on this wasteful fiddling. (Where do solar panels get made en masse? China. How many coal fired power stations does China have? How many are in the works to be built? (Its something like 400.) What’s the lifespan of a solar panel? 20 years. How are they disposed of? Who knows?) Greta is pointing out THEIR hypocrisy.
She has kept their propaganda on board, she hasn’t ditched their fear mongering, but she’s come across (Swedish connection would help) the skeptics questioning climate policies and she’s kept their fear mongering but added the numbers that show their policies to counter the climate apocalypse are worthless.
You know… I’d be scared, too, if I was her.

Phew. Its such a relief to have gotten to the bottom of this strange, strange situation.

(I listened to that… what’s the word? Discussion BON had with a pro Greta person… attack, attack, attack – BON thought he’d gone in prepared, nope, the agenda got overtaken with personal attack, so that means he must be wrong, and the woman kept describing Greta as a lightening bolt. Yep. Directed at you, not BON, directed at YOU. (Fiona someone?))

A Game

29th September 2019 at 11:49 pm

Came to see if I’d freed myself from the moderator’s net. (I have a lot of back checking to do… I am just sooooo radical.)

I’ll just add… for all the reasons the world has a problem for what they are doing to her, the exploitation of someone with issues, means Greta doesn’t even know what she is doing. It would require the ability for insight and nuance. But as she says, she sees everything as black and white.

Rick Battams

27th September 2019 at 9:12 pm

Well, The ‘about’ on this website is useless. That’s the norm. I understand.

I saw the link to the Greta Thunberg article and figured that would give me an idea what this site’s political orientation is. I do realize that not every writer thinks exactly like, but I have other things to do.

Greta is absolutely being used. This was made clear by Cory Morningstar’s thorough investigation and reportage on “Wrong Kind Of Green.” The author, Brendan O’Neill, seems to pooh the idea of climate crisis. I don’t really have too much patience for that position. I’m a big fan of 21st Century Wire, where they (or some of them) also pooh pooh the idea of climate crisis. They are supporters of Cory’s work and know about the crowd of fakers – enviros in cahoots with CEOs and tool politicians – but don’t seem to get that that does not mean that capitalists can throw a zillion wrenches into the complex operating machinery that is the network of ecosystems enveloping the planet and see a good outcome. Is Brendon aware of that reality? Does he believe that capitalist growth and neoliberalism (totally freedom for corporations and powerful special interests) can have no impact on our liveable earth?

I’d have to spend more time here to get the feel for where folks here are coming from. Two articles by two different authors (the other article having to do with faker Jeremy Corbyn) doesn’t tell me a whole bunch, when I find one to be solid and the other to be not solid.

Maybe I’ll visit again.

Rick Battams (aka “A Yappy Trade Barrier”)

Janet Mozelewski

28th September 2019 at 10:56 am

Are you looking for consensus of opinion from all the writers? Are you looking for a consensus which exactly matches your own? Why?
I don’t come to Spiked because I agree, or expect to agree, with everything that is written (or even HOW everything is written which is rather different). I come because there are stimulating articles and an alternative view to the relentless agenda of MSM. It would be counter-productive, and hypocritical of me, to then feel that because a writer has a view that is not on the ‘accepted list of things to think’ it is a bad thing. At present climate change is at the top of that list. But I see many people who are strident about it despoiling the planet much more than me (who is a sceptic). One can be a ‘denier’ and still care about the planet. I do.

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