You’ve probably heard the teenage Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, with her quite good English, addressing the world from the Climate Action Summit 2019, as if she were an expert with something important to say. But it’s just an emotional screed. However, the first several sentences of her speech, surprisingly, I totally agree with. I’ll highlight the sentences I think are spot on:
|Greta Thunberg, screenshot from here|
This is all wrong!
I shouldn’t be up here!
I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean!
Yet, you have come to us young people for hope! How dare you!
You have stolen my dreams, and my childhood, with your empty words!
Yet, I’m one of the lucky ones!
People are suffering! People are dying!
Entire ecosystems are collapsing!
We are in the beginning of a mass extinction! And all you can talk about is money! And fairy tales of eternal economic growth!
How dare you!
For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear!
How dare you continue to look away, and come here, saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?
You say that you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But, no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that, because, if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil! And that I refuse to believe!
The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in ten years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control. Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution, or the aspects of equity climate justice. They also rely on my generation’s sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us—we who have to live with the consequences!
To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees of global temperature rise, the best odds given by the IPCC, the world had 420 gigatons left to emit, back on January 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.
How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions!
With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within 8 ½ years. There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable—and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is!
You are failing us! But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you! And if you choose to fail us, I say, We will never forgive you!
We will not let you get away with this! Right here, right now, is where we draw the line! The world is waking up! And change is coming, whether you like it or not!
That’s her entire speech. I transcribed, so it was my choice to put in the exclamation points, but I think I was fair and only did that when she was exclaiming. It’s 477 words. The speech took just under five minutes. So she spoke at a haltingly slow 100 words per minute. By comparison, average speeches are probably around 135-150 wpm. Ben Shapiro approaches 200 on a daily basis. English is not her native language, so we’ll give her some leeway for that, and also the occasional applause time she had to wait through. But a speech that slow has a particular purpose: drama.
This was about the optics of a girl, all emotion, drumming up sympathy for a particular way of thinking.
Her speech was written. By her? I’ve read a lot of student papers from people her age and up into college, and even in their native language, they’re probably incapable of inciting this much emotion. They are likely to contain about this many “facts,” or data points, not usually discovered themselves, but coming from some source they ought to cite, if they’ve produced something in writing. And one would hope for the majority of the facts to be actually true, if the piece is to be persuasive. But if you don’t have the facts on your side, then a poor child in pain over the existential worry is what you’ve got. What a bonus if you can get her to cry as she delivers the words!
In other words, I think someone wrote it for her. Which brings me to where I agree with her: How dare you! Whoever fed her this propaganda, and incited her to this much painful emotion, depriving her of her childhood, as she has pointed out—you are quite possibly just evil.
There are reasons that someone my age should not take science scolding from a teenager. Take a look at this cartoon—listing actual pronouncements.
|Cartoon by Rick McKee, November 11, 2014|
I remember these. If you’re familiar with George Orwell’s 1984, you remember how they rewrote history, replacing all past references and moving forward with new “truth,” as if the old words had never existed. We have watched this happen in my lifetime related to climate change.
|image found here|
Let me add that, when we were dealing with CO (carbon monoxide) emissions, an actual poison gas, it made sense to try to bring that down. We did. And then, quite suddenly, mention of CO turned into CO2 (carbon dioxide), which is not a poison. It is what we exhale and plants inhale. It’s a natural part of our environment. From the people who suddenly told us we were no longer worried about global cooling, but were supposed to be frantically worried about global warming, we were told to worry about the killing power of the air we and other living things breathe.
I’m experienced enough to be skeptical.
The cultish belief that our earth’s climate is doomed because of human activity, and the only way to preserve the earth is to sacrifice human lives and livelihoods—is NOT my religious belief. And, in a country that guarantees religious freedom, I resent having this pagan religion forced upon me—with scorn, name-calling, blame, shame, and coercion heaped upon any non-adherents.
The climate(s) around the world change. To slip in that term, instead of warming or cooling, which unreliably failed to happen as modeled, is a clever ploy—to anyone not paying attention.
Since I care about my environment, and the beauties of this earth that is my home, of course I want to take care of it. Not so that all creatures except humans can enjoy it; that is antithetical to the way any species should instinctively behave. But so that we humans can enjoy it.
|image found here|
So, cleaning up air pollution is worth doing. But when we do that and it’s never enough, and the only way to get even a tiny incremental improvement is to return to pre-industrial times—that doesn’t seem right. Especially since the evidence shows, the more industrialized a country becomes, the more capable it becomes of eradicating pollution and disease.
The cleanest, safest energy source we have is nuclear. Most of Europe knows this. But climate activists here have fought the building new nuclear plants for decades. (There are, however, two under construction since 2017.) Instead they want more solar and wind—which, at this point both are more costly to the environment than coal and natural gas energy and remain unreliably dependent on wind and sunlight.
I used to live where we had both nuclear and hydroelectric power. We never had a power outage, in the nine years we lived there. Other than the occasional tree falling on a power line, no one else in the vicinity had outages either. But hydroelectric was fought against for the sake of the fish. And nuclear was fought against—because it scares people who don’t understand it. (See this expression of reasoning by presidential candidate Marianne Williamson.)
Young Miss Greta Thunberg, you have been deceived. Someone told you that the science is settled and has been crystal clear for 30 years; it is not, and you do not even have the life experience to know better. Someone told you that humans producing CO2 is an existential threat; it is not. Someone told you all the things you’re upset about, and convinced you that you’re now some kind of expert. You’re not. I could join you, but for this opposite reason, and say to them, “How dare you!”
|Found this in my representative's Facebook|
But, for the sake of your education, and the many others who have been likewise duped into traumatic existential misery, I suggest you educate yourself on what you’ve missed.
A good starting point is Prager University. These five-minute videos, presented by actual scientists, who don’t all agree even with each other, is worthwhile. Take the quiz and look up the study guide attached to each one. There’s even a transcript, if you need it in writing:
· “Climate Change: What's So Alarming?” Bjorn Lomborg
· “Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?” Richard Lindzen
· “Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?” Will Happer
· “Is Climate Change Our Biggest Problem?” Bjorn Lomborg
· “Do 97% of Climate Scientists Really Agree?” Alex Epstein
· “What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change” Patrick Moore
· “What's the Deal with the Green New Deal?” Alex Epstein
There’s more. Just this month, probably because of the Climate Action Summit 2019, my newsfeed filled up with pieces by others, like me, with a little more perspective to safeguard us from yet another wolf cry of existential threat within a decade unless we turn over all power to the government—which, you might suppose is the purpose of those cries. Here are a few pieces worth reading:
· “Canada’s global warming models threw out actual historical data and substituted models of what the temperature should have been,” Thomas Lifson, for American Thinker, September 22, 2019. He asks, “If global warming is not a fraud, why do the promoters of it so often do the sorts of things that fraudsters do?”
· “Doomsdays that didn’t happen: Think tank compiles decades’ worth of dire climate predictions,” Sam Dorman, for Fox News, September 18, 2019.
· “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions,” Myron Ebell and Steven J. Milloy, for Competitive Enterprise Institute blog, September 18, 2019
· “NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice SheetGreater than Losses," last updated August 6, 2017, by NASA Official Brian Dunbar, edited by Rob Garner. The report is a few years old, but updates continue.
· “Socialism, Not Climate Change, Is the Real Threat,” Emma Roberts, for RealClear Politics, September 24, 2019.
That last one is by a 17-year-old homeschooler from Liberty, Texas. A lot less emotion, a lot more data. Good to see in someone so young. While I don’t, as Thunberg accuses, “go to young people for hope,” not even sure what she means. But this Texas teen inspires hope.
There’s a book a came upon a year or two ago, when the author spoke at a local gathering. It makes no attempt to be politically correct, but it contains a wealth of data—all from known sources. The list of further reading in the back, plus the notes documenting every chapter, could keep you reading on up through college. It’s The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, by Steve Goreham, © 2012, New Lenox Books, available at www.climatism.net.
I could probably dig up a few more very good pieces I’ve accumulated over the years. But I think this is enough to get a person started on the path to freedom from the cultish indoctrination.
I don’t really know what the climate will do. No one else does either. But being in abject fear over people driving cars or using plastic straws—that’s not a good way to live a life. No young person should be deprived of their childhood just because they’re an easy emotional target due to their lack of knowledge and perspective. Education—and time—are a cure for that condition.