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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