The Greta Backlash Begins

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

As I write this, famed climate-change waif Greta Thunberg is still somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, riding a racing-yacht on her way to various engagements in the US of A. You can track her journey here, and from that it seems the boat, “Malizia II,” is encountering no greater problems than having had to sail rather to the south (basically, off the coast of Spain) in order to catch the right easterly winds to send them off in the right direction.

Back on land, however, a storm is brewing. Voices are arising that cast doubt upon Greta and what she represents, or is alleged to represent. After all, in just about a year she has mobilized quite a bit of the world (including some public figures she confronted directly, such as at Davos) to start to feel guilt and exhibit considerably more concern about what is happening to our Earth. Doesn’t it beggar belief that this could be the accomplishment of nothing more than a 16-year-old autistic Swedish schoolgirl? (One of whose given names is even “Tintin,” according to Wikipedia.)

The philosopher Julian Baggini has a good treatment in The Guardian of some of the earlier attacks on her (i.e. those more than a week old) and how to react to them. However, he was too late for “Greta Thunberg and the plot to forge a climate warrior, which was published last Sunday (18 AUG) in no less than The (Sunday) Times – the same Times with a paywall in place which displays only the first two paragraphs of any piece to lesser mortals who do not subscribe.

Now wait: They want to tear down the “myth” of Greta Thunberg as “climate warrior” – but only if you happen to be among the small subset of on-line readers who subscribe to The Times?! Fortunately(?), a bit of Twitter-intervention resulted in a link to the original and whole version of the piece, published back at the end of May in an on-line monthly UK magazine said to be center-right in orientation, which gave the article the title “Greta’s very corporate children’s crusade”.

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