The Shameless Exploitation of Greta Thunberg

By Mark Hendrickson Published on April 27, 2019

In case you haven’t heard of her yet, Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish girl who has been manufactured into the new face of climate change. Credited with being the founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement (a publicity-seeking strategy whereby students skip school to urge governments to do more about climate change), Greta was recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and has her own TED Talk video.

Let me emphasize at the outset that I have zero criticism of Greta herself. I believe her to be a sincere, well-intentioned young person who has much broader horizons than the typical teenager. She obviously cares about the world, which is admirable. What is not admirable is how adults are exploiting this innocent child.

The Right Side of History

Adults are using Greta as a puppet and mouthpiece to advance their own agenda. Here is a sample of Greta’s rhetoric: “Some people — some companies and some decision-makers in particular — have known exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. I want to challenge them into real and bold climate action, to set their economic goals aside and to safeguard the future living conditions for humankind. I ask you to stand on the right side of history.”

Clearly, there’s little original thought here. This sounds like a robotic recitation of typical anti-capitalist boilerplate. “The right side of history” is well-known Marxist dogma and rhetoric, as any student of Marx knows. Whatever adults got their hooks into Greta Thunberg have indoctrinated her with stale leftist clichés.

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If there is one compliment I can pay to the climate change cabal, it is how well it coordinates public relations tactics. The Nobel Committee and the TED Talk organization wasted no time in lending their prestige to amplify Greta’s message. These organizations have disgraced themselves by such cynical opportunism. TED Talks advertises itself as offering “videos from expert speakers.”

With all due respect to Greta, who may well be a brilliant young student, she is no “expert” on the complicated science, politics and economics of climate change. But, oh, how emotionally affecting is the sight of this petite teenager standing alone on stage — she seems so fragile, so vulnerable, that we must help her! And it is more than a little ironic that a “peace” prize might go to someone representing an agenda of waging economic warfare against both the poor people of the world, whose escape from poverty depends on access to affordable energy, and the American middle class who are expected to pay tens of trillions of dollars to pay for a Green New Deal.

I’ve rebutted the impassioned assertions of the climate change narrative of the global political elite repeatedly (see here, herehere, herehere, and here if you are viewing this online).

The Climate Disaster Propaganda

The idea that CO2 is the regulator of Earth’s temperature is counterfactual, yet the narrative that human emissions of CO2 will produce a climate disaster is routinely drummed into our children.

Greta Thunberg has been indoctrinated with climate alarmism, and so have American students. The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 mandated that our public schools’ environmental curriculum be cleared through the Office for Environmental Education at the EPA. This means that warnings of global warming have been pounded into our kids for many years. There is even a famous recording of Al Gore telling children a decade ago to pay attention to what their schools teach them about climate change, because schools have the latest “scientific” information and their parents don’t.

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What we know with certainty is this: 1) It is impossible to predict the climate (the U.N.’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change correctly stated this) and 2) Natural disasters and horrific weather events are unavoidable. But the more prosperous human societies become, the better able we are to cope with and survive nature’s fury, and that is good news indeed.

The climate-change cabal has succeeded in making Greta Thunberg a poster child for their movement. Inadvertently, they also have made her a poster child for the cynical exploitation of innocent children. Shame on them.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with the Institute for Faith & Freedom at Grove City College.


Copyright 2019 The Institute for Faith & Freedom. Republished with permission.

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