Wednesday, November 3, 2021

On Greta Thunberg and the fawning media

The media love affair with Greta Thunberg continues unabated. If anything it has become even more frenzied. COP-26 has given the diminutive, garrulous Swede a platform where she commands as much attention as presidents and prime ministers.

And it seems she has an understudy from New Zealand: a young woman named India Logan-Riley, who claims to speak for indigenous communities.

Logan-Riley, who is described as Maori, is part of the official programme in Glasgow. In her address at the opening ceremony she used highly emotive rhetoric reminiscent of Thunberg. “Six years ago I spoke these stories into this space and every year since I have repeated the same words – wildfires, sea level rise, wildfires, suffering, sea level rise, biodiversity loss, sea level rise.

“This is an invitation to you, this COP: learn our histories, listen to our stories, honour our knowledge and get in line or get out of the way.”

Setting aside the fact that she borrowed her punchline from Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’ – “Your old road is rapidly agein’/Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand” (though without the old-fashioned courtesy of Dylan’s “please”) – her speech was notable for its overweening sense of entitlement and self-importance. Logan-Riley is certain she knows the answers and assumes the right to be heard, although where and how she got her mandate isn’t clear.

This is something she has in common with the disturbingly manic Thunberg, who makes no attempt to conceal her contempt for the politicians in Glasgow. “They have led us nowhere,” she told her besotted followers. “Change is not going to come from inside there. That is not leadership – this is leadership.

“We’re sick and tired of it and we’re going to make the change whether they like it or not,” she raged, before leading her disciples in a chant of “No more blah blah blah.”

Later, looking immensely pleased with herself and bathing in the uncritical admiration of her fans, she sang “You can shove your climate crisis up your arse” to the tune of Coming ‘Round the Mountain.

But here’s the thing about people like Thunberg and Logan-Riley. They can afford to be contemptuous and disdainful of those in power, safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to come up with practicable solutions to the challenge of climate change.

Thunberg and Logan-Riley can posture, moralise, ridicule and pontificate for all they’re worth, knowing they don’t have to bear any personal consequences for decisions made (or not made, as the case may be).

No one elected them and they’re not accountable to anyone. At the end of COP-26 they can walk away and start planning their next attention-seeking stunts. This is the crucial defining difference between the noisy, know-it-all activists and the politicians, who have countries to worry about and voters to answer to.  

I doubt that the thought of collapsing economies and massive social dislocation keeps Thunberg awake at night, assuming that it even occurs to her. But these are factors politicians must weigh in deciding how far to go in countering climate change. Thunberg, on the other hand, just wants action, regardless of the human cost.

For all their glib talk and showboating, the politicians she disparages have to live with the consequences of whatever they decide. In that vital respect they are the moral superiors of Thunberg and her moronic followers. It’s a shame the fawning media coverage doesn’t reflect that.


Russell Parkinson said...

The unfortunate thing about all this climate change nonsense is the waste of Trillions of dollars that could be spent actually achieving something useful, whether reducing poverty or cleaning up pollution.

Regardless of whether the climate scientists are correct or not (and who is silly enough to believe modelers these days?) controlling the earths climate is something well outside of our control. Making ourselves poorer wont fix it. After all does anyone actually believe you can change the earths temperature by giving more money to governments? Anyway the earth wont care, its always looking for ways to kill us and will just adjust when we are gone.

Unfortunately it wont be until we hit another mini ice age and start dying in our droves from cold that anyone in power will acknowledge that previous leaders might have got it wrong.

Zoroforever said...

As always Karl, well said. As Douglas Murray's book title states..The Madness of Crowds..and don't we all know it.

Orinoco Jones said...

Logan-Riley also said climate change was caused by colonisation and pointed the finger at Boris Johnson. I fear we are fast losing our right to be taken seriously on the world stage.

Unknown said...

~60% of worldwide electricity generation is from fossil fuels.

~80% of worldwide energy comes from fossil fuels.

With the best will in the world, you can't simply turn that off overnight, or even over 10, 20 or 50 years. We need a dose of reality, and a plan. Not feel-good and completely impractical "announcements".

Steve Taylor said...

Brilliant piece,nobody seems to address the real problem humanity has and that is unbridled growth and overpopulation.

Colin said...

Your comments re them being un-elected are even more appropriately directed at the United Nations - a completely un-elected organisation that is now telling elected governments all around the world what they should be doing.

Andy Espersen said...

Karl, we cannot blame the media for sending fanatic, teenage ignoramuses with fixed, irrational ideas to conferences that are supposed to deal with climate change. Government is to blame for that. To my mind we should send only the cream of our paleo-climatological scientists. These academics belong to a sub-group of geology. Together with those should go a couple of representatives from our government and from the industries that are affected by decisions made (who should pay their own way). Our delegation does not need to be large.

It is our governments, and exclusively our western governments, that have the absurd idea to include every Tom, Dick and Harry, anybody with a vague connection to any science who claims to be a climate scientist. Other folks who absurdly make us trust their qualifications to speak about climate change include politicians (the more famous and well-known, the better), famous film stars and personalities, little nobodies like Thunberg and Logan-Riley – we even have a crown prince in our midst!

The Russians, the Chinese, the Muslim world, India, South America and Africa do not share our absurd ways, it seems. They are realists who know that politics is the art of the possible. This climate conference will be a flop like all the previous ones. We in the West are about to ruin our future economy. Our next generation will suffer grievously.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Could Greta sit down and debate with the likes of Willie Soon?

If she gave it a go I'd respect her.

If she lost I'd still respect her.

But as it stands she's just another social-media 'strumpet'.

Trev1 said...

FLOP 26 is a turning point and perhaps the last high pitched hysterical shriek from the extreme Left who seek to use climate catastrophism as a means of imposing their dystopian new world order. China and India have made it plain they have no intention of meeting the fatuous net zero by 2050 goal. Game over.

The UN bears the blame for much of the damage caused by the catastrophists. Having failed in its main duty to maintain international peace and security it has shamelessly promoted this nonsense to give itself a faux appearance of relevance.

We are now facing a real potential climate crisis. As the effects of the Grand Solar Minimum (2020-2053) take hold there is a greater probability of the failure of staple crops leading to food shortages, from 2030 onwards. Now is NOT the time to be cutting back food production to placate narcissistic adolescents promoted by groups with hidden agendas.

Andy Espersen said...

Steve Taylor - You insist that humanity "has" a real problem with unbridled growth and overpopulation. Please either substitute your "has" with a "may have" - or tell us where on the globe your problem exists.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

Sad but very true. These young ladies are just puppets in the hands of powerful influencers and politicians and they enjoy their sunbathing in the lights of popularity. The shame, but very predictabla under this government and PM, is that New Zealand has such a representative.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova

Richard said...

The best lack all conviction,
While the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Don Franks said...

Greta and the like are a gift to mainstream media. They present an apparent clash of idealistic youth with supposedly inept politicians. Because the kids are not involved in a serious movement against capitalism, their rhetoric is harmless. Was this situation to change, so would the media's fawning ,in a blink.

Richard Arlidge said...

Great column, as always Karl, much appreciated. I, like many I’ve have spoken to, was utterly appalled at what Ms Logan-Riley had to say, on a world stage, about climate change and colonisation. She should be censured and told to go study some real rather than revisionist history. And I believe, Steve Taylor is right in suggesting we address the elephant in the room. Humanity is consuming the Earth’s resources at an alarming rate and that will only increase as the population continues to grow. We need to start addressing that issue now, and if you can’t see that (Andy Esperson), then perhaps a trip to Specsavers might assist? Just because it’s not in our own backyard (yet), doesn’t mean to say the world hasn’t got a problem.

Doug Longmire said...

Probably the most outrageous part of this circus is the crazy, racist rant by Logan-Riley. Her diatribe was a pack of racist lies.
Her presence at this forum of clowns on behalf of New Zealand is completely inappropriate. Which would be entirely in keeping with the current socialist, anti-democracy government that are currently inflicted with.

hughvane said...

Oh dear, GT has been caught lampooning The Glasgow Gabfest. The Excusers and Apologists are racing to defend her.
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." [Shakespeare]

Andy Espersen said...

Unknown - We are not "consuming Earth's resources at an alarming rate" - and we are not like rats. Populations will not "continue to grow" - as you will see if you soberly look at factual statistics from all developed countries over the last 30 years. The curve of global population rise will probably flatten out about the 9 billion mark (unless we invent a cure against death from old age!).

Hilary Taylor said...

Remember primary school speech comps? I don't from my time but I do from the time of my now 20-something kids...the best ones were usually the ones who strove, endearingly, to be funny, with the boring ones striving earnestly over some 'iss-ewe' or other. The winner depended on the sympathies of the guest judge and we applauded loudly anyway. I haven't bothered listening to either of the predictable 'strumpets, nor anyone else. Snigger over 'James Offshore' 'n' Co with their junk timing & Neil Oliver provided more sense & sensibility than the pollies there. Sigh...then yawn. Thanks Karl & et al commenters.

Doug Longmire said...

These tired words that Climate change panic merchants use:-

"wildfires, sea level rise, wildfires, suffering, sea level rise, biodiversity loss, sea level rise."

Check out the facts India:- Sea level rise has been stable for centuries; there is NO increase in wildfires.

Unknown said...
The number of fires in the US hasn't increased much but their extent has. Which would seem to matter more.