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Greta Thunberg is now 18

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, April 2nd, 2021 - 59 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, Donald Trump, global warming, International, science, uncategorized - Tags:

Greta Thunberg turned 18 a few months ago and I did not notice it until now.

She has had this cut through with the world’s media for the past few years.  She set herself up as a one person campaign against climate change.  She simply said the truth and told us what a shit job us adults and leaders were doing to address the crisis.  Like a few years ago when she said:

My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old, and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now!

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country, and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.

But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

Her social media was great and her twitter game extraordinary.  Like the time she owned then POTUS Donald Trump.

Right wingers hated her.  Dave Roberts in Vox has this description of some of the responses to her, especially after her Trump tweet response:

Trump’s sneering attack came amid a torrent of often misogynist and ableist abuse hurled at Thunberg since the speech, with conservatives attacking her demeanor, her looks, her mental health (she has autism), and above all her autonomy, claiming she is “brainwashed” or a victim of child abuse. Several have compared her speeches to Nazi propaganda.

“She’s ignorant, maniacal and is being mercilessly manipulated by adult climate bedwetters funded by Putin,” ranted C-list climate denier Steve Milloy, somehow fitting all the mutually contradictory stereotypes about powerful women into his pea brain at once.

What’s remarkable about this is not that the right-wing slime machine has gone to work against a new progressive threat. That’s what it was made for. What’s remarkable is how ineffective it’s been, how little it has affected Thunberg and her extraordinary influence.

The right-wing tabloid Daily Wire has published some of the vilest stuff about Thunberg. But when it sent Michael Knowles to Fox News to say Thunberg is a “mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left,” Fox took the rare step of apologizing to viewers and saying it would no longer book Knowles.

On a female-led Fox show, the lone male guest (“Buck Sexton,” I kid you not) went after Thunberg and was promptly scolded by the hosts for “kid bashing.” Up in Canada, Maxime Bernier of the far-right People’s Party of Canada was forced to apologize for calling Thunberg “mentally unstable.”

These moments of accountability on the right are rare, of course — there are dozens, hundreds more examples of attacks far uglier than this that have brought no pushback at all. But they help illustrate that Thunberg has the rare ability to tap into something human, something that, at least sporadically, can break through the media filter pushing the public into partisan camps.

The BFD has published 114 anti Greta posts.  The Heartland Institute, a conservative tank tank,  tried find an anti Greta, a young person who celebrated free markets.  Trying to match passion for unfettered capitalism with passion for saving the world from destruction just isn’t the same.

Greta’s approach, sticking to the science and refusing to be distracted, is optimal.  And it clearly shows the paucity of the right’s response to a crisis that by now is exceedingly clear.

I don’t know if her efforts to keep humanity safe from itself will succeed.  But we need good people like her to constantly remind us what is at stake.  And what we can do to turn this around.

59 comments on “Greta Thunberg is now 18 ”

  1. Treetop 1

    Greta Thunberg speaks the truth and her words on climate change and pollution are a threat to those who are trashing the planet. For an 18 year old she has achieved so much already in her life, more than many will achieve in their whole life time.

    • Chris T 1.1

      Apart from a lot of publicity, not sure what all the achievements you mention are.

      • Treetop 1.1.1

        The backlash from many people in positions of power targeted her when she was only 16.

        WHY?

        I expected someone to raise what her achievements are. You have not disappointed me Chris T.

        • Chris T 1.1.1.1

          What backlash?

          Do you mean criticism?

          Is everyone supposed yo not have an opinion of her actions, while she pranced about on the world stage, trying to get as much globa media coverage as possible? privileges?
          Who else gets this "special" only positive responses are welcome, or don't speak?

          Ardern next?

          • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.1.1

            Is everyone supposed yo [sic] not have an opinion of her actions, while she pranced about on the world stage, trying to get as much globa [sic] media coverage as possible?

            Chris T, it would be a pretty special person who didn't occasionally do a bit of 'prancing', or otherwise exhibit attention-seeking behaviour, don't you think?

            Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year for 2019
            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50740324

          • Treetop 1.1.1.1.2

            I know who Greta Thunberg is, what she stands for and if so called prancing on the world stage is the most effective way to deliver the message of how to preserve the planet and take action to stop the destruction of it, I will keep listening to her wisdom. The non visionary and aimless will just pass it on to the next generation.

            • Chris T 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Her most high profile one was in a room full of scientists already trying to do what she was saying.

              While knowing a shitload more than her.

              • Treetop

                Were the scientists age 16?

                • Chris T

                  Thankfully not.

                  Unless you want the people who are trying co-ordinate the battle against climate change to be teenagers, who bunk school.

                  • solkta

                    It's not what people want, it's just that most adults don't give a shit. Big ups to the young people i say.

                    • Chris T

                      Fair enough.

                      I will give her kudos for putting the issue more into the spotlight.

                      I disagree with some of the methods though.

                      When you start seeing reports of kids actually thinking they are going to be wiped out in 10 years from it, I think a bit of calm might have been in order.

                    • solkta

                      So you are accusing her of lying now. That is dirty.

                • Foreign waka

                  For goodness sake Treetop, if you are an admirer good on you. But you also need to accept that a 15 year old has not the same knowledge as scientists.

                  • Treetop

                    Where did I say that a 15 year old has the same knowledge as a scientist?

                    Most people would know that a 16 year old does not have the same knowledge as a scientist.

              • Treetop

                Reply to Chris T @1.1.1.1.2.1
                Do you think the scientists are acting fast enough when it comes to climate and ecological change?

            • Chris T 1.1.1.1.2.2

              Feel free to back this up and tell me it didn't freak kids out for no reason.

              Greta

              "Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%."

              • Incognito

                [Link required]

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  'You did not act in time': Greta Thunberg's full speech to MPs

                  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/23/greta-thunberg-full-speech-to-mps-you-did-not-act-in-time

                  Thunberg's speech may have freaked out a few MPs, but I reckon most of them are made of sterner stuff – unfortunately.

                  Attempts to belittle Thunberg and her achievements, including the power and clarity of her consistent messaging, are troubling indeed. Perhaps some view her as a threat?

                  • Chris T

                    I'm not belittling her achievements.

                    As I have said, she has brought a lot of global publicity to a cause we need to worry about.

                    But that is it.

                    To make out she has done more than that and irrationally scare the shit out of kids her own age is it, unless you can point out what all these other proclaimed achievements are.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Maybe I'm easily impressed, but increasing global awareness of a couple of significant (to put it mildly) challenges to the continuation of human civilisation, holding politicians' feet to the fire on those issues (has she did, for example, in her speech to U.K. MPs that you quoted from @1.1.1.1.2.2), and inspiring millions of people of all ages are achievements worthy of acknowledgement.

                      Honours and awards
                      Thunberg has received various honours and awards over the course of her activism. In May 2018, before the start of her school strike, she was one of the winners of a climate change essay competition by Svenska Dagbladet (The Swedish Daily News) for young people. Thunberg has refused to attend ceremonies or accept prizes if it requires her to fly, such as for the International Children's Peace Prize. She has received prizes from various NGOs, but also from scientific institutions that lauded her success in raising awareness.

                      Through her foundation, Thunberg donated the €1 million prize money "to charitable projects combatting the climate and ecological crisis and to support people facing the worst impacts, particularly in the Global South".

                      Personally I believe that any fear and/or anger 'kids' her own age and younger feel regarding the failure of our leaders to effectively address the challenges of global warming and ecosystem collapse is entirely justified. Do you understand why Thunberg is angry?

                      And if you, Chris T, can't also understand that "But that is it" is classic belittlement, then you need to adjust your worldview, imho, because "But that is it" is wide of the mark.

                      Tbh, your opinions of Thunberg’s achievements seem not a million miles away from Shadrach, a previous commenter here.

                    • solkta

                      The irrational are those who refuse to acknowledge how serious this is. It was a bit bizarre how she took it down to a particular hour, but it is a reasonable conclusion to say that no action will within a decade will "most likely" "lead to" the end of our civilisation as we know it. She didn't say that we would be "wiped out in 10 years from it", that was you telling a lie.

                    • Chris T

                      No reply option available to Solkta's post

                      I am sorry Solkta

                      But while I hope things will change and countries like the US, China and India get their shit together on Climate change initiatives, even if they don't we are not going to have "the end of civilisation as we know it" in 8 years.

                    • Incognito []

                      You asserted that GT had said that we’ll be dead in 10 years. You made that up. Own your own BS.

                    • Chris T

                      No I didn't

                      I said there were reports of kids saying we will all be did in 10 years

                      [yes, actually, you did say that @ 3 (https://thestandard.org.nz/greta-thunberg-is-now-18/#comment-1786447):

                      Depends whether you are dumb enough to think we will be dead in 10 years, from her or whoever else is saying it.

                      Seems to be jut her [sic]

                      Just about every comment of yours here was trying to belittle GT. Specifically, you used words such as “prancing” and called GT a “kid”.

                      If you genuinely believe that GT’s Climate Change campaign is merely publicity and not an achievement per se then this convo is futile. However, your comments don’t seem in good faith and you’re pissing all over this OP big time. That’s not smart – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 7:01 pm.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Yet you didn't provide a link to the reports.

                    • Chris T

                      "Others respond to the climate crisis by simply shutting down and distracting themselves from the issue; in more extreme cases, people choose to deny the reality that the climate is changing. “All of us will fall somewhere on that spectrum from believing nothing worrying is happening at all, to worrying that in 10 years time everyone will be dead,” says neuroscientist Kris De Meyer, who studies how people form world views at King’s College. That spectrum makes it tricky for climate scientists and the media to communicate facts about climate change in a way that makes the public and politicians care, but not panic."

                      https://time.com/5735388/climate-change-eco-anxiety/

                    • Muttonbird

                      All of us will fall somewhere on that spectrum from believing nothing worrying is happening at all, to worrying that in 10 years time everyone will be dead.

                      That's a generalised statement by the King’s College neuroscientist Kris De Meyer, not a specific report that states children are terrified they are going to die in 10 years which is what you claimed.

                      Have another go. And next time conclusively show where Greta Thunberg is responsible for this increase in anxiety among children who believe they will be dead in 10 years, because she was not mentioned once in that link.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Strange, that article on eco-anxiety makes no mention of Thunberg?

                      I said there were reports of kids saying we will all be did in 10 years

                      Must have missed that Chris T – where did you previously say that?

                    • Chris T

                      Nice try….If a little desperate.

                      You asked for a link. I gave you one from an expert in the topic who actually researches it at one of the most prestigious colleges in the world.

                      I am not going to trawl through the internet for other news items from 2 years ago, to to feed your neediness.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Ok, mate. Don’t say stupid shit next time.

                    • Chris T

                      Drowsy M. Kram

                      Fair point.

                      I guess you mean she may not have been as big an influencer as some claim, with her 10 years comments.

                      Are you saying that achievement is not that massive?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Chris T, your increasingly desperate attempts to justify you initial critique of Thunberg as an individual who has achieved little (@1.1) apart from publicity by prancing about on the world stage (@1.1.1.1) are so much hot air, imho.

                      We Know We Are Hypocrites, But Do We Believe It? The Limits and Possibilities of Hypocrisy Discourse for Sustainable Consumption
                      Thunberg poses a significant intervention into the super wicked dilemma. Her critique is rooted in an active display of a particular expression of belief, walking the walk so to speak. Thunberg convinced her mother to sacrifice a successful opera career by swearing off of flying; slept in a tent outside the Davos World Economic Forum conference instead of a luxury hotel; travelled to the United Nations climate summit in New York via sail; and defied a serious social norm by refusing to go to school, if being educated means preparing for a world that will soon be ecologically devastated. Whilst stressing structural change and the imperative of political solutions over lifestyle choices, Thunberg nevertheless insists there are things individuals can do and should do. This presents an uncomfortable reality for those committed to an understanding of hypocrisy discourse as necessarily affirming a conservative view, or who believe that we live in a world without meaningful choices.

                    • Chris T

                      Fair enough.

                      If it helps. I am the same with people giving her credit for massive achievements, when they can't actually say any apart from publicity, which I acknowledged from day one.

                    • Muttonbird

                      This seems like a massive backdown from the statement you made that Greta Thunberg caused anxiety in children such that they thought they'd die in 10 years.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Fair enough Chris T.

                      I regard donating 1 million euros (prize money from just one of Thunberg's many awards and honours) to charitable projects combatting the climate and ecological crisis and to support people facing the worst impacts (mentioned @10:31 am) as an achievement.

                      If you don’t/can’t regard the act of donating to charity as an achievement, then maybe you can at least acknowledge the act as indicative of a 'walk the talk' personality, rather than a publicity-seeking prancer.

                    • Chris T

                      Drowsy M. Kram:

                      Fair play to her there. I wasn't aware of the donation.

                      Muttonbird:

                      I haven't backed down at all.

                      I still think that part of her "scare the kids to dath" publicity campaign is frankly stupid.

                      Personally think it was similar to Bush's everyone is a terrorist, everyone be scared campaign in the US, but aimed at kids.

                    • Muttonbird

                      You keep walking into this. Don't worry, I know your shtick.

                      You claim Greta Thunberg has a campaign to scare the kids to death about climate change.

                      You liken this campaign to GW Bush's attempts to scare people to death about Islam.

                      We get it.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I still think that part of her "scare the kids to dath" publicity campaign is frankly stupid.

                      You may well still think that, but the idea that Thunberg's activism includes a:

                      "scare the kids to dath" publicity campaign

                      is frankly stupid.

                    • Chris T

                      Muttonbirds.

                      Yes

                      And like Asian sounding names and house buying.

                      There is a theme there.

      • Incognito 1.1.2

        What have the Romans ever done for us?

  2. Morrissey 2

    Greta is wonderful, but she—or her "managers"/parents—are also susceptible to political manipulation. She was suckered into denouncing the democratic government of Bolivia a couple of years ago. Her natural goodness is treated as naiveté by some ruthless interests, as shown in a recent investigation by Max Blumenthal…

    Even mainstream environmentalists acknowledge that rising reliance on renewable energy “means a lot of dirty mining” to extract the minerals required for electric batteries and solar cells. This prospect has sparked excitement within the mining industry, with the editor of Mining.com, Frik Els, dubbing Green New Deal spokeswomen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg “mining’s unlikely heroines.”

    “Going all in on the green economy and decarbonisation requires siding with the greens against fossil fuels,” Els informed fellow mining industry insiders. “It means selling global mining as the solution to climate change because mining metals is the only path to green energy and green transport.”

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/07/green-billionaires-planet-of-the-humans/

  3. Chris T 3

    Depends whether you are dumb enough to think we will be dead in 10 years, from her or whoever else is saying it.

    Seems to be jut her

  4. New Zealand must be a leader

    New Zealand emits 0.2% of the world's carbon pollution burden.

    Because of New Zealand's low overall emissions on the global scale….

    Professor Gluckman the chief science adviser to Prime Minister John Key. On the official government climate website, Professor Gluckman wrote, New Zealand's greatest 'contribution' to solving global climate change, New Zealand must be an example to the world. (ie become a leader on climate change)

    “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global greenhouse gases.”

    “…..anything we do as a nation will in itself have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral and political.”

    Sir Peter Gluckman

    https://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

    Famously John Key disagreed with his Chief Science Adviser, and said instead, New Zealand would be a "Fast Follower" on the climate.

    So what will it be?

    Fast follower, or leader?

    To avoid the worst affects of climate change the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC), has set a target for the globe to be carbon neutral by 2050

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-52939325

    If we want to be a leader on climate change, 2050 which is the world target date to be climate neutral, cannot be our target date.

    Any governmentmental body or organisation, (including the newly set up Climate Change Commission), that has 2050 as its target date to achieve carbon neutrality has surrendered to the fast follower doctrine of John Key.

    In going for 2050 as our Target date, we are just following the herd, but worse than this, 2050 is just far enough into the future that we won't have to take any hard or meaningful measures in the present. Leaving up to the next generation to do so.
    By avoiding taking the hard decisions now and making the cuts in our emissions in the present, we will leave the coming generation with a problem which will be too late for them to anything about.
    In the present we will continue business as usual, our emissions will keep going up year by year. We will continue to subsidise major emitters like Air New Zealand.
    In the South Island we will continue to supply Tiwai Aluminium Smetler with cut rate subsidised electricity prices, while we burn coal and gas for electricity in the North Island. We will not rationalise and upgrade the electricity transmission system. We will build more motorways while we continue to underfund public transport. We will issue permits to mine coal on crown land in Huntly, We will continue to convert traditional cropping land in Canterbury to intensive dairying. We will still dig mine and export coal. We will not ban ICE vehicle imports. We will not set one leading example for anyone.

    Greta Thunberg, as she always does, cuts to the chase.

    Thursday, April 01, 2021

    Common Dreams

    Forget 2030 or 2040, Says Greta Thunberg, World Must 'Reduce Our Emissions Right Now'

    The world needs "to stop focusing on dates and numbers" and recognize that taking immediate action is what must be done, says the 18-year-old Swedish climate leader.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/01/forget-2030-or-2040-says-greta-thunberg-world-must-reduce-our-emissions-right-now?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

  5. pukahu road 5

    Greta Thunberg is an extraordinary individual who has undeniable magnetism. She is so unique in that the global community both admires and fears her. Depending on which side of the climate change track you stand on.

    Speaking truth to power is something only the bravest in our community can manage. The consequences for some can be dire and at the very least a challenge to maintaining a healthy standard of mental health.

    Julian Assange is an example of what power can achieve when it is threatened. Justice and truth becomes meaningless when power chooses.

    Greta Thunberg does have a remarkable support team around her and we can only hope that is enough to keep her safe so she can act and speak freely as leader must.

  6. Byd0nz 6

    Yes, Greta is great, if only she could steer the world to one that discards money systems, she may then have her ideals realised.

  7. AB 7

    "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength"

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    To put it simply, Greta is great and inspirational.

    I support direct action for Climate Disaster and all other pro earth initiatives possible.

    If she never does much publicly again, she has done enough. Take that; all you bloated old white bastards, and your younger equivalents!

  9. She is obviously a young visionary and should be burnt at the stake like Joan of Arc

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