Greta Timberg, Fox News, UN discussed on Today, Explained
This was a real banner week for President Donald Trump he spent most of it denying buying any wrongdoing then released a White House record of himself doing something that looked quite wrong then he casually praised how in another time the people who complained about his wrongdoing might have been executed with all the whistleblowing and impeachment talk. It's easy to forget that the president also Oh made fun of a sixteen year old girl this week we are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and of each economic growth. How dare you responding to a tweet that contained a long clip clip of that speech. President trump seemingly locked tune burke. He tweeted the following. He said she seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful for future so nice to see the president did and it wasn't just him. Laura Ingraham at Fox News compared Greta Timberg two children of the corn. I can't wait for Stephen King. Sequel children of the climate and guests on another Fox News show just well but none none of that matters because the climate hysteria movement is not about science. If it were about science it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and the mentally ill Swedish this child who is being exploited by parents and by the international so if you a person who doesn't make fun of children find yourself wondering what could make all of these grown people want to dunk on a kid David Wallace Wells has a theory. She is the most powerful teenager living on the planet today. David wrote about Glenda for a New York magazine where he's an editor. She's a Swedish teenager. She's sixteen years old last August. When she was is just fifteen. She decided to start a climate strike outside the Swedish parliament. I sit here every Friday. I am not a scientist. I don't have the proper education I'm only a messenger and in relatively short order became one of the the faces of a kind of exploding global movement of teens specifically but sort of young people more generally protesting in various sways the inaction of the global community of business people and Policy Leaders in combating what this generation Asian I think rightly sees as the existential challenge of climate change. How does this become her mission in life so early in life. Basically Greta came home from school having learned about climate change at the age the eight or nine they showed us films and pictures and I just I just thought it was very worrying. I was very scared of it. I I saw that it was very strange that there was such an existential threat that would send our existence and I'll civilization and yet that wasn't awesome first priority and starting at about age eleven. Greta fell into a deep depression. I stopped talking and I stopped eating in two months. I lost about ten kilos weight later on. I was diagnosed with aspects of syndrome mm-hmm. OCD selective news and a family friend who I spoke to a few weeks ago told me that her father who is a sort of close. The presence in her life nursed her back to health the person said one Yuki at a time so that was just a few years ago I mean but it was a period of time that was was protracted enough that it actually at least according to Greta had a meaningful impact on her physical health. I mean one of the things that really makes her. Stand out is that while she is sixteen she actually looks quite a bit younger than that and I think that's one of the keys to her power a rhetorical powers that she's speaking with the wisdom of an informed teenager but sort of through the figure of a wise child that makes him different that makes you think differently and especially in such a big crisis like this when we need to think outside the folks we need to think outside our current system they we need people who think outside the box and who aren't like everyone else she basically wasn't an real activist until last August when she started school strike in in Stockholm and at the time you know she was fifteen. She basically didn't have any friends. She was unhappy. She felt socially isolated uncomfortable around other people and it really was a kind kind of crusade that she was launching the kind of thing that you know occasionally you see on social media somebody making a kind of noble protests but you don't necessarily assume that it's going going to amount to much and this really took off in. December she was giving a speech at a UN climate climate conference that sort of went especially viral the year two thousand and seventy eight. I will celebrate my seventy fifth birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend the day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn't do anything while there still was time to act you say you love your children above all else and yet you're stealing their their future in front of their very is until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically logistically possible there is no hope and by March she had led a global climate strike in which about one and a half million people marched in the streets around the world everywhere from Africa to Asia to the US and all throughout Europe. She just turned sixteen of course she wasn't done. She continued attended speaking. She gave a series of speeches she gave one notable one at Davos but her profile seem to like move up an additional notch beyond just the a person who had inspired a global school strike numbering in the millions when she announced that she would be coming to this. UN Summit in New York and that she would be doing so by boat. I might feel seasick and it's not going to be comfortable but that I can live with and if it's really hard I just have to think thank me for two weeks. Then I can go back to as usual showed people on the left that some of these choices that we thought were impossible to make where or at least for some people like her possible to make that one could travel across the Atlantic without imposing a carbon footprint on the world it also really irritated people on the right who who took it as a kind of trolling and took that as the opportunity to really cut into her none of the other moments in her trajectory really produced much pushback and the boat trip really changed that and made her kind of lightning rod for both sides of the of the issue and I think that's ultimately only elevated her stature more. I think she is being manipulated. I think she's been exploited. I think she's being pushed to the forefront of a very misanthropic depressing form of the politics of fear. I think that's bad for her because we know that she is rather mentally franchise a child y'all go and I think it's bad for political debate because the end result is that anyone raises any criticisms of this campaign is shouted routed down as someone who hates children and who hates Greta them book. It's become one of the themes of this conversation that she is being stage managed by people around her in general my experience with those people has been there just protective over her because she's quite fragile. She's uncomfortable in crowds. She is not really happy being the center of attention in general and and while she feels that there's sort of an urgent need to continue speaking. It's not easy for her and again. She's just a teenager. I think it's easy to look at a teenager who struck a chord it and like the march for our lives comes to mind as well and say like Oh these kids are smart and he speaks truth to power and they're good social media and they built an audience but it sounds sounds like that's not quite the case with Greta is it is it just her words and her image that so struck a chord with the entire planet in it or is it some sort of greater social media savvy and media prowess or something like that well. She actually was inspired by the Parkland kids. That's why she went out on strike for the first time so there is a kind of a continuity there it started with a couple of us in the United States and Hughes to go to school because fiscal shootings and then someone I knew said what if silver did that before. I also do think that she is pretty savvy. On Social Media I think almost anyone as a teenager now is but she wrote a series of posts about her own disabilities and the way that they were being used to target her among right wing critics that was also. I think quite powerful but in general I think that those factors are less central to understanding exactly what's happening here. Then the simple fact that at the science of climate change is terrifying and there are those people who are sort of activists and advocates who take that science nine seriously and talk about it in urgent honest terms but they're also they're activists and so to the world. They seem like you know maybe a little hysterical Americal. Maybe a little alarmist. Greta is so cool. Why are we not reducing our emissions. Why are they in fact still increasing our we knowingly causing mass extension. Are We evil. No of course not people keep doing what they do because the vast majority doesn't have a clue about the actual the consequences of our everyday life her affect is always so flat and direct that it really does seem like she's just presenting doing the incredibly harrowing facts of the matter to the public and I think there's something powerful about that. I think that that is the scale of the the crisis that we're facing and just being direct about. It is incredibly eye. Opening does Greta any policy proposals. Did she endorse any particular ideas that the UN this week I think for the most part she's done incredibly savvy. Job Of avoiding making particular policy asks you know in the climate world once you get into particular agendas or particular programs. They're always going to be some people who have objections. Do you think you're being unreasonable. I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. At the moment you know two big areas of disagreement on the climate world are about the fate of nuclear power and of of what's called carbon capture technology which could allow us to take carbon out of the atmosphere but which activists see as sort of moral hazard because it'll encourage fossil fuel businesses to keep operating you know she hasn't taken a position on those things exactly. She's made some gestures about them but in general just saying very clearly I read the the science. The science says.