Greta wants an oompa loompa now
When Veruca Salt threw a hissy fit, she at least jazzed it up with a catchy song.
No such luck with Greta Thunberg, the teenage Swedish climate activist and sometimes student. Greta is all frowns, all crossed arms, and she's not here to play. Having sailed by an emissions-free yacht to New York, she delivered her now-infamous sermon for the repentant Luddites at the U.N. Climate Action Summit (available here). "How dare you?" she thundered repeatedly, while meandering through a sloppy mess of pseudo-statistics meant to convince us that she is as capable of a quick Google search as the rest of us.
Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (YouTube screen grab).
Some doozies include:
- "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."
- "People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing."
- "We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is the money and fairytales of eternal economic growth."
- "How dare you pretend that this can be sold with just business as usual and some technical solutions?"
- "You are failing us."
If immediate and competent action is what Greta wants, she couldn't have chosen a worse forum. Did she realize that it was a subgroup of the United Nations she was addressing? This is the organization on whose Human Rights Council sit illustrious examples such as Somalia, Afghanistan, China, and Cuba. On its Economic and Social Council sit Venezuela, Iran, and Belarus. On its Women's Rights Commission sit Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and...well, you get the point.
Still, even sclerotic dictatorships are nominally subject to public pressure, if for no other reason than to maintain their power. China is currently the world's biggest polluter and shows no signs of slowing. Greta could have foregone her yacht to New York for a double-oared sampan to Beijing to press her case. But one suspects she, having quaffed the progressive elixir of self-contempt mixed with self-righteousness and found it addictive, had enough sense to realize she'd be better humored in the Big Apple. President Xi would have told her to pound sand.
But to the extent that at least a fraction of those U.N. attendees represents democratically elected governments, she is speaking to all of us. We are failing her. We have stolen her dreams.
You'll forgive us, Greta, for assuming that a half-century of our military protection balanced the scales somewhat. But if you're upset that your dreams were "stolen" by modern technology and energy efficiency, take solace in the fact that the dreams of the destitute masses across the globe are being realized via increased standards of living. This is the direct result of "money and fairytales of eternal economic growth." These "fairytales" takes corporeal form in the Third World as electrical grids, vaccination programs, heating systems, food refrigeration and preservation, improved roads, functioning hospitals, floodwalls, and mosquito netting. It is real-life improvement, and even survival, for untold millions who don't get private yacht rides and armed security.
In the First World, the "fairytales" exist in the microphone into which you whimpered, in the air-conditioned building in which you stayed, in the padded sofa-chair on which you sat, in the digital sound system that carried your words, and in the vast internet and cable communications networks that broadcast your repugnant self-pity. In the First World, our "poor" own cell phones, drive SUVs, and have every social safety net imaginable.
Greta lambasts the crowd for assuming that climate change can be solved with "technical solutions." I'm curious as to what non-technical solutions she has in mind. Genocide would certainly qualify as an immediate long-term fix. So would eugenics, forced sterilization, mandatory abortion, and mass evacuation of cities. By these standards, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler stand as history's most "woke" environmentalists. One wonders if the moral arithmetic of someone as irrationally hysterical as Greta concludes that murdering half the world's population is better than "mass extinction" of its entirety. If so, her calculations are shared by Western politicians such as Bernie Sanders, who recently advocated for funding abortions in the Third World to fight climate change. No doubt, Greta, Bernie, and their ilk assume they won't be on the receiving end of such benevolence.
As for all the people currently "suffering" and "dying"? Not nearly as much as they used to. Per the World Bank, the number of people in 1990 living in extreme poverty was 1.85 million. By 2013, that number had dropped by over a billion to 767 million people. This is the greatest economic miracle in the history of mankind. Windmills didn't bring this about. Free market capitalism, modern technology, and representative democracy did. For Greta to damn billions of people back into burying their children on less than $1.90 a day to resuscitate her "dreams" requires a sense of nihilistic selfishness almost too reprehensible to imagine.
Watching Greta's performance, one concludes one of two possibilities. Either she is adeptly manipulative and is milking this "farting cow" (props to AOC) for all its worth. If that's the case, hey, good for you, kiddo. Work the circuit, collect your Nobel prize, and laugh with Al Gore all the way to the bank.
Alternatively, she is so thoroughly brainwashed that she really believes her words. If that's the case, no amount of logic or reason will penetrate her façade, and her only hope is years of de-programming therapy usually reserved for kids who grow up captive in desert cults.
Regardless, whatever Greta considers her problems to be, they are First World problems. First World problems are much different than Third World problems and are, for the most part, luxuries. We get to worry about climate change. We get to worry about whether to eat meat or not. We get to worry whether to take a plane or a yacht. Les Misérables the world over pray, toil, bleed, run, climb, paddle, and kill to be able to have our worries.
If Greta, or any other climate activist, believe the last 500 years of "settled science" and its improvements in human welfare are cancers to be eradicated, they can set the example and live within the means they expect the rest of us to.
And by "set by example", I don't mean travelling in emissions-free yachts, or by going vegan. Those aren't sacrifices. They're publicity stunts. Sacrifices on the scale you're demanding would be to dispense with electricity and indoor plumbing. It would forgo any standard of living that requires fossil fuels to function. It means living by candlelight, traveling by barefoot, farming by pack animal, and washing your clothes down by the river. So, show us how it's done, Greta. Because if it's too much of a sacrifice for you, how dare you insist that others make it in your stead?
And after you, your home country of Sweden can show us how an entire nation does it. True, Sweden couldn't rouse itself to oppose Nazi Germany. But this is climate change we're talking about. An actual threat. And Sweden's transition back to the Stone Age shouldn't be too difficult. They have already implemented a de-civilization program of sorts, with its mass importation of unskilled, pissed-off males from the Islamic world. Therein lies a mutually beneficial agreement. The immigrants do the jobs that the Swedes won't do, the Swedes do the assimilation that the immigrants won't do, and the Swedish patrons of this Faustian bargain assume they'll be long gone when the sharia dam breaks.
But if Sweden's reenactment of Lord of the Flies is to match pace with Greta's impatient foot tapping, more drastic steps are needed. Grinding a nation to zero-emissions isn't cheap, and water wheels and hunting spears don't pay for themselves. Swedes would have to dip into their sacrosanct cradle-to-grave welfare coffers. In other words, it ain't gonna happen.
Greta ends her speech by threatening to never forgive us. Um, I'm sorry, is that supposed to keep us awake at night? We don't ask your forgiveness. We want nothing to do with you, and we'd prefer you leave us alone. You are this news cycle's flash in the pan. You're a photo op, a Wikipedia obscurity, a temporary flurry of "Like" clicks. You're a tool the UN types use to signal their virtue to one another. And next time the elites gather to remind each other how indispensable they are, another very dispensable pawn will be positioned onto the board to help them.
On that day, it will take more than a shiny new Oompa Loompa for Daddy Thunberg to prevent the next tantrum.