Is the Greta Thunberg disdain warranted?


I frequently see people throwing shade at Greta Thunberg, but why? Is it because she is a teenager yelling at adults and they don’t like it? Or is something more sinister going on? I have no opinion of the young lady but I thought I would take a look into the issue with an open mind.

Recent arrest

Greta made headlines a few days ago with her arrest at a German coal mine. The video below shows how that went down.

My “Research”

I agree with her message; climate change is human-caused. The evidence is overwhelming. You will get the picture if you read papers from respected science journals. But chances are, if you believe it’s not human-caused, no scientific paper will convince you otherwise. That doesn’t matter, though. The root of the issue has nothing to do with climate change.

I have been scouring the internet over arguments about why people dislike her. The hate falls into two camps. 1: She is a spoiled brat that doesn’t know what she is talking about. 2: She is just a puppet of the Swedish government to throw a wrench in the rising Asian economies.

Greta Thunberg
Courtesy: AP News

Spoiled Brat

This is what most Americans think of Greta. She is nothing more than a spoiled brat that doesn’t go to school, much less knows what she is talking about.

  • Greta’s mother is Malena Ernman; an accomplished opera singer.
  • Greta’s father is Svante Thunberg; a lesser known actor. He is also a writer and producer as well as his wife’s manager.
  • Malena was named by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as Sweden’s Environmental Hero of the Year in 2017.
  • Both of Greta’s parents are avid activists on climate change and sustainability.

No public records show how much Greta’s parents make per year. But it would be a safe bet to assume they are well off. There have been images of Greta on a yacht showing her family must be well off, but the boat she was on is a carbon-neutral craft, Malizia II. She sailed to America on it instead of flying.

She was probably pretty spoiled as a child regarding support from her parents. Nothing wrong there. Greta said she first heard of climate change when she was 11. She was so distraught about seeing nothing done about it that she stopped talking. She lost 22 lbs within a month. Her anger which her parents probably guided, had led her to boycott school. This is what made her famous.

I have an autistic son; believe me, when someone with autism gets something in their head, they won’t let go of it quickly. I think this is where her determination is coming from. Her parents are reinforcing her, so you could call that being spoiled.

She is being used by the Swedish government

Europe has a growing problem. The population has been stagnant for decades, inhibiting economic growth. Asia, on the other hand, is exploding in population and wealth. Some say that European countries are pushing climate change arguments worldwide to keep the Asian economies in check.

It took decades for India to rebound from colonial rule, for example. Even African countries today are struggling under Chinese involvement in their economies. War is typically not waged in the conventional ways we are accustomed to seeing. Today, wars are primarily waged on economies. They are cheaper and tend to stay out of the watchful eye of the world’s citizens. Blowing stuff up makes headlines but blocking another country from doing business a certain way tends to raise very few eyebrows.

So it is plausible that Sweden, along with the rest of Europe, would want to suppress the growing economies of Asia. A wealthy adversary can take any resources from poorer countries, as seen by China in Africa and the USA in the middle east.

What I see

The science of human-caused climate change is pretty damning, but that doesn’t mean Sweden doesn’t have different motives. The issue is about something other than Greta. The problem is about what she represents that irks people the wrong way. What that representation is; will vary depending on who you talk to.

She is a symbol of hope for those who understand the climate crisis; and what’s wrong with our youth for those who don’t. That’s what I see.

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