By: Chris Warren.
It’s easy to be sympathetic to the concerns of children. They don’t have the maturity and experience to address problems the way older people do. But what about when children are forced (or coerced) into an adult world? How much blame, if any, should we then assign to them when they find themselves in over their head? The case of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg stretches the question of who to blame to an extreme, and the fault lies in places no one is talking about.
For those who have been living in a cave for the last few months, sixteen year old Greta Thunberg became a celebrity by starting “climate strikes” at her school. These protests have spread worldwide, and Ms. Thunberg is the face of the movement…for now. I say “for now” because she is being exploited by the climate change alarmist industry. Thunberg doesn’t know it yet, but the day will come when she is no longer useful, at which time she will be kicked to the curb.
Although I hardly ever agree with liberals, this time they got it right: It is wrong to trash talk children.
I don’t intend any of the following as an insult or a put-down. I’m just stating some plain truths: Greta Thunberg is not a scientist or engineer. She has no advanced training or professional expertise in any field. She has not invented, discovered, or researched anything, nor solved any major problem. She’s an authority on nothing. On the issue of climate change, she has yet to utter even one single original thought. Everything she says has been said before, which leads any honest person to conclude that she’s just an actress, memorizing and reciting a script prepared by others. This is fitting since both her parents are in show business.
So why are the climate change disciples gushing over this literal know-nothing? Quite simply, Greta Thunberg is the latest shiny object. And that’s where I defend her. Here in the United States, the Democrats and the left are livid with the Republicans and the right for, among many things, conservatives’ verbal abuse of this child. Although I hardly ever agree with liberals, this time they got it right: It is wrong to trash talk children. Kids have enough problems with bullying in their own peer group; adults should know better.
But liberals are not the heroes in this story. Actually they’re more at fault than the conservatives. Greta Thunberg’s defenders are quick to point out that she has Aspergers Syndrome and is on the autism spectrum and is therefore deserving of special treatment. Ok, I’m on board with that. But here comes the obvious question no one is asking: Why is a person with a neurological/cognitive disability in addition the the usual immaturity and lack of judgement that goes with teenagerhood being thrust into this role in the first place? Couldn’t they find a more stable patron saint?
If Greta Thunberg is an innocent special needs child who should be protected, then her adult handlers should not be placing her in highly stressful public situations where she’s not anywhere near prepared to cope.
Conversely, if she’s a fearless visionary with a wisdom & maturity far beyond her years, then she and her followers should toughen up and learn a very adult lesson: If you put yourself out there for controversial causes, it’s expected that people are going to tear you apart. Big kids play by big kid rules, and the rules are not always fair.
She can’t have it both ways. Thunberg either needs to drop out of public life and return home to get the kind of help and attention that people like her need, or forge ahead and take the knocks as they come knowing that the real world does not cut any breaks. I do not believe she is capable of making that decision right now. That’s why there is an asterisk * in the title of this article. I’ll defend her, but it’s conditional.
While I’m not thrilled with the conservatives who are harassing her, I’m far more disgusted with the liberals who, knowing full well of her neurological issues, are exploiting her as a throwaway pawn and don’t concern themselves with how this experience will effect her long term well being. The climate change movement is guilty of a high form of child abuse.
To the left: Stop brainwashing her! To the right: Stop picking on her! To her parents: What the hell were you thinking!? Until it’s decided whether Greta Thunberg is a delicate flower or lionhearted heroine, can we just think about what’s best for her, not what’s best for our respective causes, and call a truce?