Greta Thunberg was right when she derided world leaders recently with ‘How Dare You’.
How dare they, in fact, how dare we?
How dare we not take immediate action to ensure a future for up-and-coming generations; the future generations we gave birth to, because we wanted hot mum pics to post on Instagram, or because we needed someone to love us and give our lives meaning, or someone to carry our family name into the environmental apocalypse.
The backlash against a 16-year-old girl is astounding. Can’t teenage girls go back to twerking videos? Doing make-up tutorials on youtube? Watching the Kardashians?
It’s clear many adults around the world have a serious case of ‘Ephebiphobia’. That’s a fear of youth, and it is characterised by ‘inaccurate, exaggerated and sensational characterisation of young people’. She’s a puppet! They proclaimed. She’s an actor!
The whole thing looked rehearsed. Well der – if I had 4 minutes to pitch my case to the UN I’d be rehearsing too. As for her anger – that which adults are permitted to call passion – well, that’s what happens when you are enraged. And if you’re not enraged by our imminent mass extinction, then you’re a robot. No matter what her name-calling detractors say, Greta has had a massive impact.
This is what happens when you educate girls! We were comfortable with Malala. We celebrated her because as a Pakistani activist for female education she spoke out against the Taliban. We don’t perceive them as us. They’re the Taliban. They’re fundamentalists. They operate with a corrupted and controlling mindset. They won’t change their dangerous ideology. Sound familiar?
So, to governments and corporate leaders around the world – here’s a heads up; to young people, you are the Taliban. It’s your regime of self-interest that they’re raging against. It takes a 16-year-old girl with Aspergers and anxiety to reveal who you really are.
It’s clear the world is not ready for outspoken and articulate young women. We are however comfortable trivialising young women’s interests as being shallow and fickle. We love to accuse them of being the ‘Me’ generation. The narcissists obsessed with taking selfies. We deride them for their lack of resilience, their high incidence of anxiety, their inability to leave home, to be like us. And when they speak out… we tell them that they should ask politely. Like good children. We attempt to discredit them, like the right-wing climate change deniers and media commentators around the world have done to Greta. If you’re a climate change denier… then how the F did you get into the media in the first place?
There’s clearly been a sharp decline in critical thinking and an upsurge in ultra right-wing memes and dodgy graphs, resulting in a nasty social rash of people who mobilise around belief not fact. Like ex-footballer turned Australian TV ‘personality’ (and I use that term lightly) Sam Newman lashing out with tweets like: ‘That annoying little brat addressed the UN on the so-called climate crisis. WHO lets this shit have a platform? Mendacious, inbred sycophants, that who. #ClimateChangeHoax.’ Hey Sam, who let you have a platform? You’re a footballer FFS. Happy for you to talk about AFL. You must know something about that. But step away from science.
And what exactly is the Climate Change Hoax? Who does it serve? No-one can really explain the big conspiracy in their own words, just with Facebook links and memes to photoshopped images of Greta eating lunch in front of some Ethiopian children. Scientists are clearly in the employ of… wind farmers, hemp producers and Farmers Markets? It’s obvious!
There’s no reason for those corporations heavily invested in coal and fossil fuels to be pushing this agenda – those who fund government, who hold most of the world’s wealth, to be behind efforts to discredit climate science. I mean there’s no obvious reason they’d be the architects of this supposed ‘Climate Change Hoax.’
Hoax? Tut tut.
Attacking the character of a 16-year-old girl and her parents to shift the conversation away from climate action? How dare you.