Thoughts on this controversial human.
I think she should consider this song as an anthem. Bjork would be proud.
Ever since Thunberg had inspired thousands of climate protests at schools around the world, people have started expressing their opinions on her. If they just talked about what she was trying to raise awareness about, that would have been fine, but many comments discuss her personality, her parents, her education, her intelligence and her motivations. These vile comments targeted at Thunberg disgust me. They have only amplified after she has been named Time's Person of the Year. I'd like to pitch in.
To start with, I'd like to state that Thunberg is correct is almost everything she has said. That is the stance I'm taking. Our climate is deteriorating beyond the point of no return, and this finding has a level of consensus that is almost never seen in science. I trust the experts who have spent their entire lives researching ecosystems, oceans, and the climate. I will not claim that I fully understand the science behind climate change, but I understand the gist of it. I will leave it to the experts to resolve the details. They all agree on things that we need to take action on, which is all the average citizen of the world cares about.
If people do not believe in climate change, they will obviously dislike Thunberg. I cannot combat that level of cognitive dissonance with a blog post. Instead I'd like to address the people who do believe in climate change.
At age 15, Thunberg skipped school every Friday to stand outside the Swedish parliament to call for action on climate change. People have criticized this method of protest. I think it's brilliant. Why? Look who's talking about Thunberg's protests. I think skipping school is fine. You can always learn about things later. Thunberg doesn't seem like a person who dislikes education.
Thunberg's parents are often the target of abuse. They have been called bad parents for letting the life of their 15 year old daughter become what it has become. I think they are great, and I commend them for their efforts. Sure, every parent has this sense of pride when their child becomes famous, but few parents would say the impact of the fame that Thunberg has acquired is desirable. What I see is two privileged parents actually using their privilege to make a better world for their child and the children of the world. The romanticization of a "normal" childhood for Thunberg just seems like criticism for criticism's sake to me. Her parents have gone vegan and changed the structure of their careers that depend on lots of air travel to be more consistent with the views of their daughter. I appreciate the amount of respect they show their daughter and the environment they have developed to allow her to become who she is.
An often critiqued opinion of Thunberg's is that air travel should be extremely limited, and that people should use more eco friendly methods of travel, such as boat. People often dismiss this suggestion as ridiculous. Maybe there is a valid argument against that. But many of those people are those who believe in many social causes, but do nothing to act on them and actually change their lives for them. People expect stuff to just fix itself, and then blame politicians for the consequences. Who's gonna vote for a politician who'll make it harder, or essentially impossible for you to go home for Thanksgiving. Nobody. So nothing will be done unless people themselves change. Yet, people laugh at this suggestion. How they want change to occur, I do not know. But behind those laughs lies a large amount of selfishness and lack of self-reflection.
Finally, Thunberg's rhetoric is deemed unnecessary. Her knowledge is declared incomplete. Thunberg provides a voice for the generations to come. You think they'll be nice and happy about what we've done to this world? In fact, I don't think Thunberg is angry enough. The people in power, and the people with privilege, myself included, deserve much worse. I think her rhetoric is justified given the extent of the problems we face right now. Her knowledge might not complete, sure, but who's is? Mine certainly isnt. Some crazy people even call me "educated". Given the scope of her arguments, she does not need to be a climate expert to make them.
If it isn't clear already, I think Greta Thunberg is a wonderful human being. Us humans, we're a tough bunch. However, there's beauty in humanity. We have the capability to love, to hate, to feel sad, and to ponder about the meaning of existence. She's just trying to preserve it. Let's help out.