Greta Morozov

Last week a bunch of posh kids held a demonstration in London under the banner of an organisation calling itself Extinction Rebellion. Their aims are drearily predictable: obtaining political power for themselves to enact sweeping, authoritarian economic and social policies under the pretence of environmental concern. In other words they’re just another unit off an ageing production line, about as unique as a Michelin tyre but not half as interesting.

The demonstration and other stunts caused severe disruption to people trying to go about their daily lives, which the participants justified by saying everyone needs to be made aware of climate change. Several people complained the police just stood idly by and allowed public roads to be blocked, and asked whether Brexit demonstrators would be afforded the same courtesy. The answer of course is no, because Extinction Rebellion demonstrates in support of the establishment viewpoint whereas a Brexit protest would run in precisely the opposite direction. The police are hardly going to be ordered to beat up a bunch of floppy-haired teenagers who want the government to have more power, no matter how annoying they are. Extinction Rebellion’s actions are about as subversive as the May Day parades in the former Soviet Union.

In case we hadn’t been patronised by spoiled teenagers quite enough, British parliamentarians invited an odd-looking sixteen year old Swedish schoolgirl dressed up to look about ten to lecture us on how bad we are:

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg has described the UK’s response to climate change as “beyond absurd”.

In a speech to MPs, the Swedish 16-year-old criticised the UK for supporting new exploitation of fossil fuels and exaggerating cuts to carbon emissions.

She was invited to Westminster after inspiring the school climate strikes movement.

There’s a lot to say here, and I’ll say it.

Firstly, there’s a good reason why political campaigners have chosen an autistic child as their front: it makes people reluctant to criticise her. As the past couple of days have shown, anyone challenging her scripted nonsense is shouted down for being mean to a child with mental problems. Whoever put her up to this – and it seems to be her parents – ought to be ashamed of themselves. It is bordering on child abuse.

Secondly, any adult who takes their political lead from a sixteen year old ought to quit whatever they’re doing and seek help. Similarly, adults who find a teenager manipulated into regurgitating boilerplate climate hysteria “inspiring” are probably those who think their own brat’s spelling test results are newsworthy. Politicians are a little different in that they like her for the same reason they support Extinction Rebellion: she is arguing in favour of their being given more powers. Just as young Pavel Morozov‘s narcissism served the interests of Soviet politicians, so this child’s serves the interests of ours.

Thirdly, what she’s actually saying is emotive, irrational nonsense. The UK, and the west in general, has not “done nothing” about climate change, and her predictions for the future ought to have interested a child psychologist long before now. Not a single person has challenged her on this. And if leaving a ticking time bomb for children is a concern, how come her focus is not on the national debt? Realistically, what is likely to be the larger handicap we’re passing down to future generations: a one and a half degree temperature rise or tens of thousands of dollars in debt hung around the neck of every newborn baby? We’re stealing children’s futures all right, but not by driving cars.

Fourthly, her supporters say she is doing valuable work in raising awareness of climate change. They’ve offered the same excuse on behalf of Extinction Rebellion, only I can’t think of a single issue given more prominence in my lifetime. Every aspect of our society and culture, every corporation, every government, every event and every activity comes with some reference or other to climate change. It even has its own UN agency. It’s as ubiquitous as a state religion, and we are constantly lectured on the subject from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, seven days a week with no break even for Christmas. Saying British people need more awareness of climate change is like saying North Koreans need more awareness of the Kim family. We are plenty aware, we just don’t agree sweeping authoritarian socialism is the answer, and sticking teenagers in front of us who look as though they wandered off the set of Deliverance and got lost isn’t going to persuade us any.

Finally, this whole circus is merely a symptom of the political malaise which infests the UK and wider developed world. As with the treachery and incompetence over Brexit, I am reluctant to place the blame for Greta Thunberg’s being permitted to address parliament wholly on the politicians responsible for it; they are merely the representatives of a ruling class who are as incompetent as they are corrupt as they are immoral, backed by a section of the population born into circumstances which never required them to acquire self-awareness or make difficult decisions. This Swedish brat demanding we pay her attention and organise our nation’s affairs in a way which meets her approval is one thing. That our politicians, media, and substantial numbers of adults at large in our society see fit to accommodate her is something else. Serious countries would not involve teenagers in the setting of public policy, especially foreign ones. Serious countries would never find themselves even being asked to.


25 thoughts on “Greta Morozov

  1. As the father of a teenager with Asperger’s, I can only see this ending badly for her personally. The realisation that people lie to you to get what they want out of you comes down harder on people with ASD than it does on ‘normal’ people.

    Once she realises that there is another side to the story that her entire public persona has been built around, and she begins to ‘sperg out in the opposite direction, she is going to have to deal with the cognitive dissonance and either choose hypocrisy or choose changing sides. Either way, that sort of thing is harder for Aspies than it is for normies, as Truth tends to be more existential for them.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a massive breakdown or a suicide attempt in her future all because cynical power brokers have chosen her as a mascot.

  2. She reminds me of Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or perhaps that statue ‘Fearless Girl’ in front of the Wall Street Bull, a girl without serious education about to be steam rolled by reality.

  3. Bravo Tim.

    My half written open letter to Greta can go in the bin now.

    I agree with AGR. She’s being played by cynical scum and it’s unlikely to end well for her. I feel sorry for her.

  4. Keeping clear of this odd little girl is probably the smartest move that Theresa May has ever made.

  5. It never ends well when privileged adolescents are pushed into the limelight by cynical manipulators and trained to mouth platitudes they don’t understand.

    Look at what happened to that Clegg boy.

  6. The ultimate irony of the whole farago being that the UK is the number 2 country in the world for CO2 emissions reductions, after the Great Satan itself, the US of A.

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised if…

    Yeah, I thought exactly the same thing. The latter. But wasn’t brave enough to post it anywhere. Speculation can be so easily labelled as advocacy, which it is absolutely not.

    “Truth tends to be more existential for them.”

    Intelligent asps also tend to be extremely so, and I pitch her somewhere on the “not remotely dumb” end of the spectrum. At some point she will realise that the choices are between reversion to a late-antiquity standard of living and mass murder on a scale the Nazis never dared contemplate. Unless she is happy to be the latter and herself to be a member of The Party in the new One World Government (and asps have a hard time with hypocrisy) that leads to:

    “I just can’t help thinking of John Smith’s son in “man in the high castle”

  8. Well this is what 75 years of peace and prosperity gets you.

    It seems that we humans don’t really cope very well without an existential threat; whether that be political, national, biological, meteorological or cultural.

    The abiding vice in our ruling class is cowardice. And, since none of the virtues are worth a damn without first having courage, the consequence is the vacillating incompetence we see all around us.

    No wonder China seems to believe that this is their moment to go for it.

  9. I’m trying valiantly to avoid all news for a while and when I do take a peak nonsense like this turns up, I need to disappear again.

  10. Agreed. There can’t possibly be more “awareness”. It’s insufferable. Excellent post!

  11. In the meantime the President of the United States of America is banned from addressing our Parliament. Are we going mad, or are we there already?

  12. Tim, you’re no doubt aware that this ER nonsense is getting shredded in a number of sensible places. Perry de Havilland at Samizdata also made a trenchant comment about Greta Thunberg, or more particularly the vapid fools who fall at her feet:

    Miss Thunberg has also come up on Climate Scepticism in the context of the recent BBC documentary on climate change:

    I left this comment at Cliscep:
    ht bobby b, a commenter at Samizdata, who provides this link to a sobering piece by Paulina Neuding in Quillette on Ms Thunberg . It’s written with no little understanding of the mental afflictions from which Ms Thunberg suffers, but makes it clear that serious adults would have nothing to do with her, her abysmally irresponsible family or the other puppeteers. Where are the serious adults, though?

  13. Glad someone has said it!
    The look of fawning reverence that work leaders and politicians have while listening to such basic utopian boiler plate is perplexing! She is a precocious 16 yr old no doubt, but she is not saying anything new, nor anything that could not be countered by anyone with any reasonable knowledge of economics, history, or elementary critical thinking… srsly, I bet even 20% of the extinction protesters could put together similarly robust material. So why all the focus and obsequiousness toward her, it just looks so ridiculous! I’m not completely naive, I know she is essentially being used as a ‘human shield’ for people who want to promote weak, inflated ideas. It’s just embarrassing that it is so obvious.

  14. Reminds me of that African tribe that went out and killed all their cattle because some young girl was having visions. That didn’t end well and neither will this.

  15. Didn’t stop the equally odd William Hague from leading the Conservative party.

  16. “Realistically, what is likely to be the larger handicap we’re passing down to future generations: a one and a half degree temperature rise or tens of thousands of dollars in debt hung around the neck of every newborn baby?”

    So true, and so obvious, and so ignored. Last time I checked, the figures for the US were that each taxpayer was responsible for $170,000 in National Debt, and for $1,700,000 when under-funded obligations like Social Security were included. Most other Western countries have analogous problems. Since one person’s debt is another person’s asset … the future looks very bleak for everyone in the Western world.

    The difference between the real problem of government indebtedness and the imaginary problem of human-caused “Climate Change”is clear — dealing with the real problem would require our Political Class to learn humility; dealing with the imaginary problem gives them even more power.

    From the long term perspective of the human race — thank God for the Chinese and the Russians, who are much more realistic about the world.

  17. Didn’t stop the equally odd William Hague from leading the Conservative party.

    To quote JerryC:

    That didn’t end well and neither will this.

  18. Climate change is not only not about science, it isn’t even about politics, it’s about religion. Greta Thunberg is St Bernardette for Guardian readers.

  19. Religions need martyrs.
    And you cannot have a living martyr.

    I wonder if Greta’s parents have read the next chapter yet….

  20. St Greta and another nail in the Tory coffin

    “…How often does one engage on social media with a Social Scientist or NiV who, when you are foolish enough to disagree with him, merely directs you to the correct research paper on the right shelf in his particular Library of Truth as though that is the last axiomatic word on the matter and he can go home for his dinner

    Regrettably, we now see Gove, in his role as Environment Secretary, servilely apologising in public to the affectless, 16-year-old climate scold, Greta Thunberg, and her whole generation. On the surface it seems that he has swallowed her apocalyptic Kool Aid and that the ‘experts’ have got to him at last…”

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