Greta Thunberg is a smart, brave, young woman who, at 16 years old, has offered herself as a spokesperson for her generation on climate change. It’s a noble undertaking and she should certainly be commended for her activism.
She is also, if you listen to her adult supporters, above reproach and criticism. She must only be encouraged, coddled, and praised. Any criticism is “bullying.” If you point out that she’s hardly an expert on the extraordinarily complex issues of climate change — issues that involve a half-dozen scientific disciplines — you must be scolded for hurting the poor little girl’s feelings.
It doesn’t get any lower than using children as a shield against criticism. And Greta Thunberg needs to be criticized. The notoriety appears to have gone to her head and unless some adult intervenes, she will become another used-up, tragic victim of leftist political activism, a late-night comedian’s one-liner.
Greta Thunberg told cheering protesters today ‘we will make sure we put world leaders against the wall’ if they fail to take urgent action on climate change.
The Swedish teen activist was addressing the crowd at a Fridays for Future protest in Turin, Italy.
She arrived there from Madrid where she had been attending the UN climate summit but said she feared the event would not lead to change.
She was speaking metaphorically, of course. No one believes she’s going to want to storm the White House and line Trump and other leaders against the wall and shoot them. I might say, “string them up from the highest yardarm” but that doesn’t mean I’m threatening to hang anyone from the spar of a sailing ship.
Except if it had been a climate skeptic saying those words, the left would have been apoplectic and accused them of plotting the mass murder of world leaders. Such is the Twitter world we live in.
Of course, Ms. Thunberg can be criticized. She has shouldered her way into the arena and is using her notoriety to hysterically denounce politicians — freely elected and carrying responsibilities that she cannot possibly understand.
If she understood those responsibilities, she’d know that the world she is asking for — even if everyone agreed with her — will take decades to achieve at an unimaginable cost. That’s real money coming out of real people’s pockets — the fruits of their labor. She has a child’s view of how the world works. This puts her on par with other hysterical activists who have a similar worldview. They apparently don’t understand that simply throwing a tantrum about predicting the end of the world changes no minds nor moves anyone toward their position.
There are ways to criticize the child without being mean or bullying about it. Trump’s tweet that sent the left into orbit was actually not a bad way to go about criticizing her.
Trump is patting her on the head and telling her to be a good girl. Is that bullying? Condescension and mockery are not bullying. It may be unseemly and gauche for a president to go out of his way to mock a 16-year-old, but Ms. Thunberg has made herself a target. And if she’s not old enough to understand that, she’s not old enough to be listened to.