There are two kinds of climate deniers: 1) those who do not really believe in climate change and 2) those who pretend not to believe but know that it exists. I believe that the latter are the most dangerous, and their lack of sincerity in the fight against climate change generates many fears and questions. The novelty is that climate change deniers are now also Greta Thunberg’s deniers.
Greta has the merit that in a matter of minutes he has done more to capture the world’s attention to the planet’s problems than we environmentalists for decades. The irony is that he is making his detractors talk about her, engaging them in his words, thereby increasing the amount of impressions on his messages, one of the most appreciated assets in advertising.
In this work I have proposed to dismantle, through argumentation and evidence, the rain of disqualifications, falsehoods and insults that both groups have launched on Greta.
A clarification before starting. I am not interested in the names of the people who have thrown their insults and slander against the girl, nor from what media they did it.
“Apocalyptic guru”. Guru is 1) a spiritual master of Hinduism or 2) a spiritual master who directs a religious group inspired by some Eastern philosophy. Apocalyptic, in one of its meanings it refers to a person who prophesies of a considerable catastrophe. We do not believe that Greta is a spiritual teacher of Hinduism or directs a religious group. If we transfigure the word Guru to a current concept that could correspond to “influencer”. Then of course Greta is an influencer, and of the powerful, and her message, of course, is about the catastrophe that can come if we don’t deal.
“Prophet in shorts”. And if it’s in long or short pants it doesn’t matter. Already Greta showed that the clothes she wears have no influence on her message. If the issuer of the phrase used “shorts” as a pleonasm for a girl or young girl, in a pejorative way, then by transitive law, he is insulted millions of children and young people everywhere in the world are demonstrating their concern for their future for our wrong management of planet
“Nobel Prize for fear”. Well, if that prize existed, I would like to win it. Who said fear is something negative? Nature gave us fear to protect us from imminent danger. We dare not even cross a street without looking at both sides. There is enough evidence to be afraid of climate change if we do not act quickly.
“As if I had lessons to learn from this girl from the universal flood that augurs us the end of the world at 16”. It is noted that whoever wrote this phrase definitely needs to receive lessons in ecology. There are many places for it. Before the flood surprises you, I recommend that you start studying the Rio-1992 Summit, the mother of all the agreements, protocols and conventions in force today. Then compare it with your results more than a quarter of a century later. We will be alarmed to learn that instead of reaching the goals set in Brazil, we have moved back to practically irreversible levels. We are talking about measurable phenomena, no subjective opinions. After he does this, he will check that Greta knows what he is talking about. I am sure he will treat her with more respect.
“Pathetic”. In the context in which this word was issued, without a doubt, “we associate it with what we find grotesque, out of all logic, horrible and exaggerated …”. The person who issued that word perhaps unconsciously thought of himself and projected it on Greta or granting him the benefit of the doubt he does not know what he is talking about. I would like the person who wrote the insult to be so “pathetic” as to have millions of followers around the world, through social networks.
“Recyclable plastic”. This is an absurd metonymy that is not worth commenting on. In any case it could be taken as praise, because I wish all the bottles and plastic bags were recyclable. The oceans would not be full of polyethylene islands and many whales, fish, turtles, walruses, penguins and pelicans would have been saved from dying. Many others would no longer be sentenced to death by Homo sapiens.
“Puppet girl”. It refers to a girl of weak character and little will that is manipulated by someone. Further from reality is impossible. What characterizes Greta the least is weakness. With its tiny structure it is stronger and braver than many robust men and women. He showed it on his journey through the Atlantic Ocean in a very fragile single-seater sailboat, in which very few would dare to embark. As for the strength of his character, it has stand up in the highest scenarios of the world and without the slightest fear he has told the whole truths to his audience, they have been formed by deputies, businessmen, politicians, heads of state or general public.
“Imposter”. It is someone who pretends to be someone else or for what he is not. I don’t know how someone could express themselves in this way of Greta. This qualification is not logical. The other meaning of impostor is a person who slanders, that is, makes a false accusation against someone with the intention of causing harm or harm. Without a doubt, nothing to do with Greta.
“A rich girl”. If her is rich or poor it does not matter. If I had money and invested in expenses to mobilize people across the planet, we should applaud them standing up. Isn’t this better than investing money in deforesting forests or extracting large quantities of fossil fuels using fracking o traditional methods, or destroying ecosystems to practice livestock or open pit mining?
“The ship was lent by Pierre Casiraghi, son of Princess Carolina of Monaco”. The links with Rainier and the jet set do not detract from the work they do with these innovative sailboats, autonomous and independent of fossil fuels. The competitions they carry out are in order to show the world that they can go around the planet without emitting greenhouse gases. In addition, these sailboats use them in the “Malizia Ocean Challenge” program, for monitoring CO2 and oceanic climate education, affiliated with the Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco. In these programs more than 4300 children have participated.
“Even her blond hair and braids have been associated by some with the Nazi aesthetic”. Those who devised this campaign, please, do this test: enter in “images” of a search engine “girls with braids” and in seconds you will see photos of dozens of girls and young women with that hairstyle. Are they for this Nazi? Oh my God! Be serious. Get another argument. Do not manipulate. Apologize to the parents of these girls and themselves.
“What Greta says is not new”. Of course, it is not. Scientists have been warning for more than half a century with their research, data and discoveries about the dangers that loom over the Earth. It is precisely one of the most important and unobjectionable Greta’s allegations: “Listen to science,” “Pay attention to scientists.” What is new is the irreverent way it does, an innovative way that has given it unprecedented success and catapulted it as a world leader of the fight for climate change.
“Greta is a manufactured product”. What is manufactured, and very badly, is the planet we have built. Greta is a teenager worried since the age of eleven about the bad news on Earth. Since then it begins to have contact with the damages to the environment, the extinction of species, the fires caused, the deforestation of the forests and other disasters made by humans. He also learns the low effectiveness of climatic summits. On August 2018 he sits with his white sign next to the Stockholm Parliament and stops attending classes on Fridays. In the images of those first days she is seen completely alone, nor her friends accompany her. Passersby pass by and don’t even look at her. One day someone looks at her and asks the UN to invite her to COP24, held in Katowice, Poland, December 2018. There she has her first media appearance and her words make a deep impression and an immediate global impact. The rest is known history.
“Is Greta Thunberg a representative of the green lobby?” We have seen this accusation frequently. Greta, like any sensible person, wants the planet to go in the direction of the Paris Agreement. That is, to reduce fossil fuels, which cause greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. The Paris Agreement stipulates that they must be replaced by green energy, such as wind energy, solar energy, electric cars and other non-polluting technologies. Of course, this requires that many factories devote themselves to producing them. It is the desire of every conscious individual, and of course Greta’s, that all the capital necessary to achieve the transition to a green economy is invested. But from there to be called “representative of the green lobby”, there is a serious accusation and those who say so should bring the evidence that supports their words.
Shouldn’t the little ones be in their schools instead of attending weather strikes? If a teen like Greta takes a sabbatical year, it is only one among billions of children still in school. Only one is stopping to attend. Greta is sacrificing a year of her studies to carry out a worldwide campaign to secure the future of those billions of school-age children. If you take Fridays as a way to put pressure, they can recover the matter between Monday and Thursday, and thus their studies will not be affected.
“When we examine what Thunberg says and compare it with what science says, we have to conclude that she exaggerates”. Those who make these kinds of statements should be better informed before issuing them. After they do, they will appreciate that Greta not only does not exaggerates but falls short. For them this goes:
Brief summary of what happened in the last three decades
In 1992, the Rio-1992 Summit, Second Earth Summit, was held, from which the following documents came out, with beautiful statements but which in practice are far from being fulfilled.
The creation of COPs, annual climate conferences
These summits have been a compendium of good purposes, ideas, promises, protocols and agreements, but that have mostly stayed in the way. During COP15, Copenhagen 2009, the great failure of the Kyoto Protocol occurred, a hopeful document that had created enormous expectations for humanity, unique binding, was killed, causing the stupor of the world.
Declaration of principles relating to forests
The facts show that after Rio-1992 the objectives related to forests have not been met. Deforestation took on greater intensity, not only in Borneo, where hostile deforestation began in the 1970s, but in the Amazon and other forests and forests of the world.
Convention to combat desertification
This document supported a new integrated approach to desertification, which entered into force on December 26, 1996. It is a detailed instrument that covers most aspects related to desertification and drought. However, in almost a quarter of a century not only that progress has not been made on the subject, but that it has receded in an important way. Land degradation has increased, and droughts are now more prolonged, growing deserts, as a result of global warming, climate change, urbanization, destruction of ecosystems, global overpopulation and forest deforestation.
The Convention on Biological Diversity
Its principles include the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components. It is a legally binding international treaty, which has not been complied with either. According to the discouraging “Living Planet” report from the World Wide Foundation (WWF), vertebrate populations (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians) have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014. For the most part this impressive decline is “directly related to human activities, including the loss and degradation of habitats and the overexploitation of wild fisheries”.
Agenda 21 to promote sustainable development
Sustainable development or sustainability is one of the key programs to stop global warming and its consequence climate change. Agenda 21, born within the Rio-1992 Summit, is an exhaustive plan of action, which according to the UN definition says: “it must be adopted universally, nationally and locally by organizations of the System of United Nations, Governments and Main Groups of each zone in which the human being influences the environment”. Agenda 21 contains more than 2,500 practical recommendations. It addressed the most urgent problems.
His goal, in fact, was to prepare the world for the 21st century. It includes concrete proposals on social and economic issues, such as “the fight against poverty, the evolution of production and consumption models, demographic dynamics, conservation and management of our natural resources, the protection of the atmosphere, the oceans and the biological diversity, the prevention of deforestation and the promotion of sustainable agriculture.” As we have seen in the previous paragraphs, most of these laudable purposes have not been fulfilled and now we are worse than in 1992. Although we must recognize the progress made in the transition to green energies.
Conclusion: Greta Thunberg’s complaints are not exaggerated, they are valid and rather they fall short of reality, as we have shown and commented on throughout this work and many others that we have been writing for over a decade. It would be great if those who criticize Greta, instead join the legion of young people who want to save their future, that of their children and grandchildren.
Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss