One phenomenon coming out of the climate protests in London and elsewhere is that of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old has committed herself to spreading the word on the dangers of climate change, and was yesterday given a rapturous reception by an audience at Friends House on London’s Euston Road, the scene of daily and persistent vehicular pollution. Ms Thunberg is popular. So she is also feared.
Barrels scraped for money - no reasonable offer refused
Those who fear her, moreover, may not have scientific reality on their side, but they have money. With this, they have perpetuated climate change denialism, even to this day. One proponent of this denialism is the crew at Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago. So it was that Brendan O’Neill went after Ms Thunberg yesterday.
“Anyone who doubts that the green movement is morphing into a millenarian cult should take a close look at Greta Thunberg. This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes. The explicit talk of the coming great ‘fire’ that will punish us for our eco-sins. There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms Thunberg” he droned.
Greta Thunberg - now the target of smears
There was more. “It actually makes sense that Ms Thunberg - a wildly celebrated 16-year-old Swede who founded the climate-strike movement for schoolkids - should sound cultish. Because climate-change alarmism is becoming ever stranger, borderline religious, obsessed with doomsday prophecies.” And what about Extinction Rebellion?
“It struck me that this was a march against people … Banners and placards made no disguise of the marchers’ contempt for how the masses live … It wants … green taxes on meat … these things would severely hit the pockets of ordinary people”. Bullshit. The truly poor can’t afford to eat meat regularly already. But Bren is too rich to realise that.
But it’s not Ms Thunberg’s fault. “And now the green cult has pushed Ms Thunberg into the position of its global leader, its child-like saviour, the messiah of their miserabilist political creed. What they have done to Ms Thunberg is unforgivable. They have pumped her - and millions of other children - with the politics of fear”. Which is also bullshit.
Ms Thunberg, and hundreds of thousands around the world, are quite capable of making their own minds up, taking their own decisions. There is no green cult. But there is something missing from Brendan O’Neill’s dreary rant, and it is called the Koch Brothers.
As Zelo Street regulars will recall, it was revealed last December that Spiked had been gifted $300,000 by the Charles Koch Foundation. Two days later, O’Neill was given a platform by the Murdoch Sun to rail against what looked like the French Government, but in reality his rant was against anything designed to mitigate climate change.
Brendan O’Neill and his pals at Spiked are the finest climate change denialism money can buy. And the Koch Brothers, the last word in climate change denialism, have bought them. In singing for their suppers, there is no barrel they are unwilling to scrape in order to return the very best value for all that dirty hard-right money.
The Spiked smear of Greta Thunberg is disgusting. It marks another leap from gutter to sewer for Brendan O’Neill. But it is exactly what his paymasters demand of him.
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Truly vile. Greta Thunberg is an inspiring young woman of great courage and commitment. Spiked are cretins who will write anything for payment.
It was inevitable that the dirty money would go after Ms Thunberg, and her very effective and uncomplicated message. They're right to be scared of her, she's talking for her generation, and from her perspective it's not hard to see the lies and corruption that her elders and 'betters' perpetuate. I suspect they realise it's too late for them now, but they're just going to shit in the sandpit anyway, because that's what they do.
I'm not funded by the Koch's, believe in climate change but believe the green movement IS turning into a pro-austerity apocalyptic cult. I also think the relationship of environmentalists/politicians/media/etc with Thunberg comes across like a Monty Python satire playing out in real life.
What paper do you read, because my otherwise-quite-balanced friend Alan comes out with the same ideas expressed in the same terms? Wouldn't be The Times would it?
Come on, you can admit it.
benb - the right have been saying the same thing for years, except that they think the apocalyptic cult is designed to force socialism on us all (if only).
The truth for environmentalists, including Greta Thunberg, is that they have to work within capitalism; if we wait until the World Socialist Revolution comes along it will be too late.
"This poor young woman increasingly looks and sounds like a cult member. The monotone voice. The look of apocalyptic dread in her eyes."
Fucking idiot. She has Asperger's, that's why her voice is flat and she has a different gaze to others. What an ignorant, offensive cockwomble.
@Concerned of Weybridge
Nope you're wrong - I'd read the Times if I could afford to though, aswell as the FT
Media Shitness ft. Amber A’Lee Frost - Aufhebunga Bunga #62
Why eco-austerity won't save us from climate change - Leigh Phillips, Guardian
Planning the Good Anthropocene - Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski, Jacobin
I find it deeply uncomfortable how young girls are made into these symbols and icons and makes the movement look like a propaganda, just like Malala....when can we let go of picking one person and making them heroes? It is so unnecessary - we could all be heroes if we bothered to think and do something instead of praising people who talk about doing something. This really winds me up...nothing against her in person...just the way we latch on to this kind of worshipping shit.
You dont have to be The Times reader to find propaganda distasteful...and this is just highly published propaganda with no substance, which robs validity from the cause...what has she actually done other than protest and talk? All well and good, but the attention should be on what we need to do on a really practical and pragmatic level, not writing wish lists to santa clause that seems to be the modus operandi for Extinction Rebellion etc. What do we want to achieve? What direct action is most targeted and helpful? Talk is cheap, even if it comes from a cute girl with braids.
I see the climate deniers have come out of the woodwork.
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