From Return to Order
By Edwin Benson
The world is abuzz with the seventeen-year-old “climate activist,” Greta Thunberg. Within the last year, she has addressed the United Nations, become Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” spoken to world leaders at Davos for the second year in a row, and may receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Greta phenomenon is puzzling. Why her? How can a lapsed high school student be accorded the status of an internationally recognized expert on a topic so complicated as the global climate? Is there a shortage of opinionated teenagers? Hardly, there are tens of thousands of high school debaters that could be just as effective. One of them could live in many reader’s homes.
This article will examine those four “achievements” as a way of exploring the path that this young woman took to become a media sensation.
The United Nations – September 23, 2019
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and 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 fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
For many, their first exposure to Miss Thunberg came with these words, spoken at a “summit” hosted by the United Nations. With all of the indignation of a teenager whose parents confiscated her cell phone, she indicted the entire world. The film of her speech displays the defiance that shoots from her eyes. The global media brought her rage into our homes.
The globalists signaled their approval. Typical was The Guardian. “As the summit spooled through about 60 speeches from national representatives, it became clear that Thunberg’s forecast was prescient. Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, told delegates that ‘the time for talking is over’ in announcing a plan to ramp up renewable energy but didn’t announce any phase-out of coal – a key goal set by António Guterres, the UN secretary-general who convened the summit.”
Perhaps the key term in The Guardian’s assessment is the word “prescient.” Webster’s defines that as possessing either “divine omniscience” or “human anticipation of the course of events.” Can Miss Thunberg legitimately claim either? So far, ecosystems have not collapsed, nor have the world seen mass extinction. The world population is growing, and food sources are more plentiful. If she is predicting the future, there is little hard evidence for it. There is no prescience in convincing people of what they want to believe.
Person of the Year – December 23, 2019
“Greta Thunberg sits in silence in the cabin of the boat that will take her across the Atlantic Ocean. … For a moment, it’s as if Thunberg were the eye of a hurricane, a pool of resolve at the center of swirling chaos. In here, she speaks quietly. Out there, the entire natural world seems to amplify her small voice, screaming along with her.”
So began the article with which Time anointed Greta Thunberg as “Person of the Year.” It then gives her qualification for their accolades, “transforming millions of vague, middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for urgent change.”
Nowhere does the article prove its contention. It never mentions those whose minds she changed. It does list the groups to whom she addressed her shrill and shallow opinions. It takes no courage to confirm a widespread bias.
Time paints her metamorphosis from an “ordinary teenage girl” to a globetrotting activist. Curiously, the childhood that the article describes was hardly ordinary. Her mother is an opera star. Her father is related to the chemist who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The relative’s (Svante Arrhenius) Nobel Prize biography lists among his work, “his theory of the importance of the CO2-content of the atmosphere for the climate.” Particularly poignant is the story about how her father tried to convince her that her fears were unfounded – and ended up converting himself.
Davos – January 21, 2020
Miss Thunberg played a return engagement to this conclave of world leaders in Switzerland, having spoken there in 2019. Her second Davos address scolded the participants for not paying sufficient attention. Like many teenagers scolding their parents, she resorted to sarcasm.
“I’ve been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do, but don’t worry, it’s fine. Trust me, I’ve done this before and I can assure you it doesn’t lead to anything.”
Then she spelled out her plan.
“And let’s be clear, we don’t need a low carbon economy, we don’t need to lower emissions. Our emissions have to stop… until we have the technologies… we must forget about net zero we need real zero.”
“Real zero” means no carbon production at all. The electric generating plants shut down. Trains, cars, airplanes, and ships stop running. Furnaces no longer heat homes. Even the plants that produce windmills and solar power cells cease operation. Nothing else will allay Greta’s righteous wrath.
Noble Prize Nomination – February 3, 2020
“Jens Holm and Hakan Svenneling, who are both members of Sweden’s Left Party, said Monday that Thunberg “has worked hard to make politicians open their eyes to the climate crisis” and “action for reducing our emissions and complying with the Paris Agreement is therefore also an act of making peace.”
This sentence opens an Associated Press article about the young climate warrior. Indeed, the Nobel Peace Prize grants the world’s prestige. First given in 1901, previous recipients include four U.S. presidents, Martin Luther King, and George Marshall, the U.S. general whose plan rebuilt Europe after World War II. It has always had a globalist slant. The 1904 winner, for instance, was the “Institute of International Law.” Its leftward inclination was perhaps best shown when President Obama won the Prize on October 9, 2009 – less than ten months after he had assumed the presidency – for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is not especially difficult. The list of “qualified nominators” is long, ranging from “members of national assemblies” to “University professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion.”
So the nomination of the current darling of the globalist environmental movement surprises no one. Nor will it be surprising if the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee – members nominated by the Norwegian parliament – select her. Leftists and globalists have gone to great lengths to make teenage petulance sound like wisdom. There is no reason to think that the Committee will act differently.
The world will see more of the “prescient” Miss Thunberg. British government-owned BBC has announced that its “award winning Science Unit announces a brand new series with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.”
In one respect, Great Thunberg is typical of many of her contemporaries. Her many thousands of photos feature the same cold, unblinking stare. Perhaps it is a device of the photographers, who may think that it makes her appear more resolute. However, that look is full of cold emptiness. Any life of faith has gone unmentioned from her life. Without faith, all she has is a worldview that grows progressively bleaker.
Updated February 24, 2020.