I’ve just been sent another document about Greta Thunberg, arguing against “this teenager who had the audacity to reprimand others!!! – rather hypocritical of her!”
I should probably begin by stating that I do not know why a teenager should not reprimand adults. How many people never complained about adult politics when they were young? Are adults sacred or something? What on earth is hypocritical about criticizing other people, their actions or ideas? Is it hypocritical to criticize a teenage girl for accepting help?
Anyway, the author makes a number of points against Thunberg, but one problem is that, in the version of the post I have seen, they give absolutely no evidence for their assertions at all, so let’s just see if the arguments hang together.
1) “She is backed by a number of Swedish/Swiss venture/vulture capital funds focused to investing in green technologies.“
If true, so what? Denial is sponsored by large companies interested in preserving fossil fuels. There is massive amounts of evidence about this. Would you not expect other corporations to join in the discussions and throw money at it, as well?
2) “She was chosen from a number of young Swedish girls to represent their interests, trained and given information to start espousing.”
Again, no evidence and again, so what? Personally I would not choose someone on the Autistic/aspergers spectrum to train and manipulate because, knowing specialist teachers in this field, I know this is bloody hard and the results are highly unpredictable; she is likely to get annoyed and reveal all, for one. ‘People on the spectrum’ also tend to wind people up and annoy them, which Thunberg does. Lots of people tell me they don’t like her manner, or her tone, (again so what?). Not a good object choice for a conspiracy.
There is also no evidence that she could not find information herself. After all, its not that hard to find real scientific reports, or comments on those reports, no matter how difficult this seems for those commentators who prefer anonymous youtube videos.
3) She got an audience with the UN through a high powered marketing campaign, but “the 500 scientists, from around the world, who sent a letter to the UN did not gain an audience.“
This is perhaps the most significant point. The UN will not listen to scientists. The UN did have a panel of young people, and Thunberg was an obvious choice for that panel as she is well known, people would comment if she was not there. You don’t need a marketing campaign to do this.
4) “She slammed my generation and generations previously. We stole her childhood. A script written for her by the German marketing firm. Her childhood is like it is because of the sacrifice of a previous generation, many of whom lie buried in fields in Europe.“
Most of the generation who lie buried in the fields of Europe would be in their 80s and 90s if they were alive, which I think demonstrates the point here. This person is not reliable even for facts we all know. Most of the people in power are younger than mid sixties, they were not participants in the war. They may not have sacrificed particularly much.
No evidence is given that her speech was written by a marketing firm, and the idea of generational conflict is widely promoted by the media, probably in an effort to diffuse the idea of class conflict, or the conflict between the hyper-wealthy corporate sector and everyone else. So it is not inconceivable that she thought of the generation idea herself, without deliberate help.
Again people often complain about the emotional deadness of her speeches. They do not seem to have been written by marketeers who know more about humans and what is persuasive. Furthermore, she basically never gives ‘solutions’ which you would expect her to do if she was a passive tool of a conspiracy.
5) “She then gets used again by political leaders for photo op’s. Shame on our political leaders. The fact that she got face to face time should be abhorrent to countries.”
Sorry, but how is the fact she gets used for photo ops by some leaders her fault, or evidence of conspiracy? Some politicians abuse her and ignore her, is that similar evidence of something foul?
And why is it abhorrent that a relatively ordinary person gets face time with leaders and talks to them? Is it being claimed a person should be a billionaire, or a massive celebrity before any face to face contact, or that they should do it in secret because they represent some fossil fuel company?
6) “She leads schools protest march another photo op for greedy politicians, take part. Her ability to protest rests solely with the sacrifice of other generations.“
She occasionally participates in or inspires school marches which leads to greedy right wing politicians and media pundits calling her names, and abusing her pretty continually for the publicity it gives them. That is more realistic.
These right wingers, try to discredit the school (and other) protests by saying they are all organised by Thunberg and a few tech billionaires, and implying that there is no anger against their refusal to act on climate change from real people – its all manipulated, and we can keep on nannying fossil fuel companies and miners.
Again, so what if her ability to protest depends upon the sacrifice of previous generations? Isn’t that what the author is implying they sacrificed their lives for? Are we only supposed to protest in support of established power?
The author also berates her for travelling by yacht and for the crew taking planes back. This is a good point, but Thunberg does not control the crewing arrangements of yachts. That is the owner’s responsibility and planning. For what it is worth, Thunberg “has renounced at least one award and numerous speaking invitations to reduce her own carbon footprint” according to wiki. So go easy on the fact she travels.
Not a particularly coherent lot of criticisms, but it does show how threatening she can appear to be to some people.