Talk:Greta Thunberg

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I sometimes see conspiracy-style opinions expressed to the effect that she is somehow a pawn in some great conspiracy. That she is being somehow being manipulated by "someone".

But - in this case, the unstated objective of this "conspiracy" is to save the ecology of the planet and human life on it. So who are these hidden evil people with their nefarious plan to save all of us? When will they come out of the shadows and declare that they want to put an end to humans god-given right to terminate civilization?

Mmmm. Perhaps there is some cognitive dissonance required to believe this.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:53, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

I usually see this sort of shit on boards like 4Chan / 8Chan or other primary conspiracy oriented areas where the primary fuel is stupidity, racism, and machismo. EG: If known figureheads get together -- by gosh, Bill and Melinda Gates, Greta Thunberg, and other climate activists such as Luisa-Marie Neubauer actually agree on an issue and might attend the same climate change oriented events -- it's an INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY!!! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!! (Let's throw a nod to (((Soros))) in this Infowars article as well because reasons). These folks are CONSPIRING to... make the world a better place, I guess? Indeed, the subtext becomes *much* less clear on *why* the climate change crowd is problematic unless this crowd has some sort of weird thing to rally for, like plastic straws or incandescent lightbulbs (for the former, learn to drink from a fucking glass without *any* straw, you toddler, and for the later, incandescent bulbs honestly suck compared to LED lightbulbs IMHO, unless you enjoy changing a bulb every few months). Honestly, if it wasn't for the Koch / Exxon folks pumping disinformation to the racist idiots via the populist right channels, I'm not sure why they'd care (other than some of the machismo right not liking the fluffiest of the environmentalist left for attitude reasons alone, historically, but that's never been the most rational argument, the environmentalist left is why we have national parks and forests instead of large private exclusive ranches where only rich dudes can engage in outdoor recreation, as has often been the historic norm). Certainly 4Chan shows their colors by asking the most important climate change question of all time, "Is Greta Thunberg Jewish?" Soundwave106 (talk) 14:07, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
The 4Chan question is really hilarious. But I'm guessing they aren't serious. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:26, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
It's a shitpost I'm sure. Not serious, but you are who you pretend to be. Soundwave106 (talk) 16:02, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
A Russian troll might suggest such a thing. Who would guess that? Why would a Russian FSK officer troll on this subject? They may want the ice cap to disappear considering the valuable resources that are presumed to exist there. Take a look at the part of Russian territory near or above the Arctic Circle. Countries close to the AC might be quite opposed to stopping climate change. I have been concerned about that possibility for some time now.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:04, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
There are a lot of claims that climate change is just a scam to allow the government to raise taxes and enable big government to control our lives. James Delingpole has advanced various versions.[1][2] Sometimes people are said to be campaigning on global warming because they hate industry or capitalism or cars or whatever, and want to destroy them and all Americans hold dear. More pettily, it's sometimes said to have been made up by scientists purely to get research funding (which ignores the fact that a far better strategy for research funding would be to prove, then debunk, then prove again, rather than consistently say global warming is real). Global warming conspiracy theoryWikipedia has a little, but any time spent on Breitbart etc will provide some "arguments". --Annanoon (talk) 11:55, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Circle jerk[edit]

I used to be a voracious reader of RationalWiki. I was interested in your articles about Creationism and other pseudo-scientific garbage. But I've grown to realize that you guys are just progressives trying to push your viewpoint under the deceptively neutral name "Rational". Say what you want about Conservapedia, but they're at least upfront about their biases. Not you guys. This article is embarassing to read. Its not an article, its an encomium about the silly girl. — Unsigned, by: / talk

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! Bongolian (talk) 08:01, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

Quoting an essay is not a reply. The essay carries the same snarky leftist prejudice found in the rest of your site so it was hardly informative. It literally opens with a strawman claiming that right-wingers are racist, sexist and the rest. — Unsigned, by: / talk 10:07, 28 January 2020 (UTC)‎

Your response is rather um... unnecesarily vitriolic. Also, please sign (four tildes) your comments. You'll find people are much more responsive if you raise your concerns in a polite fashion rather than accusing groups of people of being biased while pretending to be neutral (the edit header above the talk page says as much, perhaps you missed it?). Either way, while this page is rather unabashedly positive of Thunberg, that does not automatically mean that this entire wiki is. There are for example concerns on whether her advocacy for a school strike could ultimately be seen as an example of Sunday school environmentalism (see the talk page) rather than serious action. That said, I do think there is value to mention that Thunbergs' statements are somewhat overreliant on the Appeal to shame ("you stole my future" and "how dare you") and I feel that the article could mention her use of this fallacy.
Furthermore, whilst not directly related to Thunberg's own statements, most environmentalists that I have seen on various media sites in her wake seem to put a hand above her head when the question on what can realistically be done as a direct measure to limit the effects of climate change (that can be executed in our current socioeconomic situation, so not any Hard green takes or takes that outright involve overthrowing the state in a revolution, which I did see plenty of from her supporters during the climate strikes as "the only possible answer", although I can already tell you that is patently false even without doing a deep reading into the issues that climate change will cause) that we aren't already doing is raised. The argument that consistently gets asserted that those questions shouldn't be asked of her since she's a child, which is avoiding the answer and in my opinion a rather weak defense to use for someone who has spoken in front of the UN.
I would agree that the article on a whole seems too insistent on asserting that she can't be wrong on anything and that the opening paragraph on the criticism is a little too eager to insinuate any that disagree with her viewpoints are always arguing from a fallacious position ("without exception" is a very sweeping statement for example) and the lack of real criticism of any of her arguments in the criticism section is a tad suspect, but those are sections that could be expanded upon. The Crow (talk) 10:07, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
Given that her main message is "listen to the science" I'm not sure what there is to criticize. But if you have difficulty getting the point in the article - which of her positions would the posters above like to criticize?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:36, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
It's reasonable to question the amount of attention she gets in comparison to other campaigners, and the way even pro-environmentalists seem to focus on her as a personality (messianic figure) rather than discussing the actual ideas she mentions. And arguably her presence has allowed the debate about climate change to get sidetracked into "is Greta the optimum advocate?" rather than "what do we actually do?" but that seems to be the way the media works on almost every topic (e.g. discussing political candidates as personalities rather than their policies). But none of this invalidates the fact that she is right about climate change. --Annanoon (talk) 11:58, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
We do not hide our biases. We don't pretend to be objective when it comes to political articles. You're ranting about something we never claimed wasn't the case. It's an extremely irrational thing to do. Might I direct you to our list of fallacies? In the mean time, if it upsets you to read such might consider sticking to the ones you do like? And if that is asking too much...I believe there are millions of other websites you can happily enjoy. I can offer you a list of websites that are 100% rational per critical thinking or political analysis that is as dry and unbiased as possible. If you have a specific criticism with a specific paragraph of the text, you might quote it and tell us exactly what you object to. ShabiDOO 12:26, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
@Shabi Nowhere in your website have you declared that your political viewpoints are left-leaning. I can read what I want, thank you. I don't mind reading stuff I disagree with. If someone disagrees with you, it is "ranting". This pattern of denigrating your opponents while never actually arguing with them is typical for RationalWiki editors. (talk) 04:28, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Is it? Is your position really rational? From where I'm sitting you seem to be throwing a fit because we aren't taking your side. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:49, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
"Ranting","Throwing a fit".. you don't have any arguments to come back at me, do you? I couldn't be bothered about you taking my side. In this same talk section, I could see people arguing well, and then people like you using expressions like "throwing a fit". You're not my mom dude, why would I be "throwing a fit" with you? I get the distinct impression you guys are not accustomed to debate at all. You're like Bill Maher's audience who would laugh like hyenas at his every low blow, safe in the knowledge that they are inside an echo chamber. (talk) 07:42, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't believe I have ranted at you at all. Could you calmly and politely state which of her stated positions is factually wrong. Thanks.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:12, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
The Crow], for starters. Not everyone is rich enough or connected enough to afford travel by yachts. Also, lets not forget in our enthusiasm that after all, she is just a child. (talk) 08:32, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
OK. Air travel is a big contributor to climate change. She has stated that it's her personal decision not to fly. But it is my understanding that she does not directly criticise those who do, and I do not believe she advocates for the immediate stopping of all air travel. If you have a link where she makes this suggestion I think it should be in the article. Nobody is arguing she is not a child and our article does not make this claim. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:40, 29 January 2020 (UTCS)
So what if she's "just a kid"? That's patronizing as all hell, and teenagers aren't toddlers, they're definitely able to debate and consider so-called "adult" issues. One 16 year old was even a federal judge in Pennsylvania, your "argument" is ageist and an example of poisoning the well. And her criticisms are from a systematic viewpoint, not an individual one, how about you actually try listening to what she actually says for once? Oxyaena Harass 09:15, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
BoN, if you actually have a good article that has legitimate criticism, we'd be happy to add it. The problem (when I actually was taking a look at articles) is that literally I could not find much about her that was both critical and actually using good solid logic. Arguments that "she is just a child" is shit, that's basically a form of the appeal to tradition debate fallacy. So far, I couldn't really find anything directly attributable to her in Google News regarding either her views on air travel or even "flygskam" (aka flight shaming) which seems more movement oriented. We aren't above adding criticisms for environmental movements where warranted (see the article on Extinction Rebellion for proof of that) but we are also happy to point out instances where grown men freak out over what so far seems to have been an activist recitation of the IPCC consensus. (I mean, look at the Heartland Institute, they essentially had to draw up an article on Greta Thunberg by shitting on the IPCC itself. Who ya gonna believe, the advocate that, from what I see, essentially repeats what the scientists say in activism/advocacy tones, or the group of "conservative" grown men that are known climate change denialists, and actually were previously known as denialists on the problems of secondhand smoke to boot? That's been typical of the typical "criticism" I find of her.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:42, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
(The Crow made a good point, however, she does heavily rely on appeal to shame and this style is arguably contentious, although one could also argue she has justifiable reason to do so.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:51, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@ Of course not. You hadn't actually made any arguments for me to counter. "I used to be a voracious reader of RationalWiki. I was interested in your articles about Creationism and other pseudo-scientific garbage. But I've grown to realize that you guys are just progressives trying to push your viewpoint under the deceptively neutral name "Rational"." "How dare you have an ideology I disagree with, when I failed to read a large chunk of your site!" Not our problem if you were willfully ignorant.
"Say what you want about Conservapedia, but they're at least upfront about their biases." Actually, no they aren't. Conservapedia actively promotes itself as unbiased, whereas RationalWiki openly states that it is not neutral.
"Not you guys. This article is embarassing to read. Its not an article, its an encomium about the silly girl." Unproven assertion. Disproven assertion.
In conclusion, you make several false claims and as I stated before "[throw] a fit because we aren't taking your side." That isn't a coherent argument, outside of "I don't like this" (which to be honest, I personally don't give a fuck what you like or dislike, I want to know why you like or dislike it) so there is nothing to counter. In short, you made no argument, simply made a declaration of dislike, therefor I made no counter-argument. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:06, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
(EC) @Bob M To quickly answer, I already covered my assertions and issues, but to give a repetition: Her argument is indeed, "listen to the science", which y'know, I don't disagree with. My criticism of Thunberg lies in the way the media and the environmentalist movement in general have propped her up. On the environmentalist movement's end, nearly every single one seems to hail her as a near messianic archetype of what the movement's goal and direction is (and that's not her fault, I'm sure she's very smart and does know what she's talking about and any assertions that she was manipulated are unfounded, I'm not here to argue that), and if you're remotely critical of whether she should be in that position, they browbeat you with "she's just a child, you can't expect that much of her" or "you're ignoring the important words of those who will have to live with climate change in doing so", which is in both cases essentially placing her above criticism. In my opinion, nobody is above criticism and the way she is being treated by both activists and the RW article does suggest there's no relevant criticism to be leveled against her.
One of these (and the biggest) critcism I hold is that, for someone who gets the attention of places like the UN, when it comes to actively suggesting change, her arguments that it's a systemic problem are... well, they're kinda hollow. Yeah, the current system sucks for slowing down and mitigating climate change. Luckily, we have methods in place that allow changing it to be better equipped to handle it. But rather than trying to bring up plans and point to methods that could fix the system, all Thunberg's arguments amount to are... well, complaining (and Hard greens will gladly seize on this lack of answers to suggest the most extreme available options). Anyone can complain. Given enough time, I'm sure I could dig up every single grievance I have and blame it on a nebulous "system" that encourages the behavior that results in my grievances. What ultimately would be more helpful however is to point to solutions, rather than problems. And that's where her words seem to ring awfully empty. There is a lot of complaining and trying to shove the blame on governments and corporations for ignoring the science. Are they the ones to blame? Yes, they are the actors that perpetuated the screwed up system, I don't disagree with that.
But here's the thing, a positive feedback loop works better than a negative one. Thunberg on the other hand seems insistend on perpetuating a negative feedback loop (which isn't an uncommon thread when we look at other climate activists and climate activist groups, which for clarity I am just as critical of for creating and perpetuating it), where no change that anyone attempts is ever going to be enough unless it automatically fixes the entire system. Fixing a broken system is a gradual process, you can't just snap your fingers and do it. I wish we could, but from a realistic perspective, it's going to take time and many gradual steps to account for edge cases and details. Deriding any of the actors who attempt to make a positive change for not doing enough is very much counterproductive and the answer "well, she's complaining about the system, not about the individual" ignores that a system is made up of individuals (because yes, the actors that made climate change an issue are also very much individuals. Corporations aren't people, but individuals are part of corporations. Governments are elected by individuals and ran by individuals) and by deriding those, you are actively discouraging them from even bothering to attempt to fix the system or to advocate for trying to fix the system.
This turned into a small ramble and I realize I also responded to Oxy in doing so, but this is one (and my biggest) criticism I hold of Thunberg. As it should be clear, this argument is not even remotely falling into the category of the stuff that climate change denialists complain about, but the article in question dismisses this kind of criticism as being a part of the stuff that they complain about. The Crow (talk) 14:20, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
OK, so it looks like you have backed off your two initial specific criticisms: Her unspecified views on air travel and the fact she's a teenage girl, and you are now going with: "My criticism of Thunberg lies in the way the media and the environmentalist movement in general have propped her up".
But that makes zero sends as a criticism of her. It's a criticism of other people. If that`s your third shot at her then it's another clear miss.
In fact nothing in your long "quick answer" post says anything about her or what she says. Could you please explicitly say where she is factually mistaken. I am sure we will add it if it can be verified. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:36, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Bob MIf I may be so bold, it seems @The Crow is saying that he doesn't think Thunberg's methods are as effective as they could be given her media influence. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:56, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Pretty much this as well, yeah. The Crow (talk) 16:24, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
@Bob M I'm not the BoN, don't confuse me for it. This has been my argument from the start about my personal criticism of her methods and actions (hell, I repeatedly say that she's not factually wrong in both of my earlier comments in this thread). It doesn't have to do with her facts, but rather with her style of reasoning and negativity on any attempted change for the better because it doesn't immediately "fix" the problem. (Putting aside that we can't fix climate change, only mitigate it's effects). The Crow (talk) 16:22, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry. When you pinged me in response to my response to the BON I assumed you were it(?)
OK. I posted a response to a similar question in the saloon bar this morning. Which I steal I will steal a little from here. Greta's message is inevitably a bit general. She is not a scientist or economist - but rather the very informal "leader" a group of similar concerned people who have seen where the science is pointing and are saying "This can't be right. We are angry. You (somebody) must do something to change it."
So she, and they, know what result they would like to see but they cannot express the exact mechanisms to achieve this result. They would argue, I'm sure, that action is required at a personal level, a business level, a governmental level and at global levels. But, pretty, obviously, they are not going to be producing a detailed step-by-step plan for all of these entities and institutions. It is down to these entities and institutions to produce the plans necessary to reach the professed zero carbon goal.
In which case I'm not sure how you would expect her to do things differently.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:44, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Some of this gave me some good keywords to search for so I went in details on some of the less ad hominem criticisms. Some of the criticism (eg media over-focus on her and lionization) is stuff Thunberg actually agrees with. Tone oriented arguments (eg the appeal to shame) and paradigm-oriented arguments seemed to be both criticized and praised depending on the commentator so hopefully that is reflected. Soundwave106 (talk) 17:38, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

That looks better to me. Also, @Bob M, no worries, I can see the confusion. Since you said "you two", I thought you were also referring to me. Perhaps that was not the case, but I took it as such. As for the fact that they cannot express the exact mechanisms, sure that's fine. The problem I have with her is mostly her extremely negative attitude, but I'm willing to write that one off as a character flaw. After all, nobody is perfect. The Crow (talk) 20:34, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
Dear BON: the torrent of ad hominem attacks at Greta are themselves indications that her presentations might have been expected to evoke mixed reactions. What has she said that is wrong? I hear some ask. Nothing that I know of. But I think to myself, does this all imply I may be personally responsible for an immanent catastrophe? Do I feel guilty because of her histrionic accusations? No. Because I am as helpless as anyone to fix the problem, and I have long since regarded collective guilt to be an ineffective moral construct and therefore I reject possible implications of my complicity. In other words, while I support the basic points of discussion, I don't consent to hold the bag. But some people, perhaps many people, would feel guilty as an affect of her presentations, and I don't think that should surprise anyone who took the time to think about it. Guilty feelings can be funny things. Harsh words are a reminder for all of us of the failures we have experienced, and of the bad things we believe we have done. Resentment is a common byproduct of guilt.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:09, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

This website is just a left wing version of Conservapedia now. (talk) 03:45, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

Sure. Elaborate. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 03:48, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

We really need an automated response to "Wah, it's just a left wing Consevapedia/Encyclopedia Dramatica". It feels like it's supposed to be an original complaint but it's as crappy as the "MSNBC is just left-wing Fox News" meme. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 03:51, 14 March 2020 (UTC)

It's a shame the BON failed to give actual examples which would demonstrate his claim. Presumably there something in this article which has raised his ire - but what? If he told us we could look at it, but such a general vague criticism of (apparently) the whole site is not very helpful. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

A German, astroturf “anti Thunberg”?[edit]

Apparently, the usual suspects (e.g. the Heartland Institute) are trying to fabricate their own, climate change denialist, “anti Thunberg” in the guise of Naomi Seibt,Wikipedia a young German YouTuber, who lists Stefan Molyneux and Jordan Peterson among her key inspirations (this just gets better and better). If there are other instances of similar attempts at creating “anti Thunberg”, that might merit a section on this page, insofar as they aren’t important enough to merit their own, separate articles. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:36, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I saw that too. My personal inclination would be not give them the publicity they are after - but it's a fine line. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:02, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
True, but then again, as Oscar Wilde famously remarked: ”Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” (with the very apt continuation ”that mediocrity can pay to greatness”). That deniers feel the necessity to create their own “astroturf Greta” is a testament to the impact of the “original”. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:38, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

the wingnut stuff about her family[edit]

I'm not entirely convinced the paragraph about Greta's family should remain here. I think it's distracting and a bit off topic. Also, the extremes of the wingnut reaction is super obvious just from their reaction to her. So, I say it should go. It is a little relevant in that it documents the nutcase world, but not enough for me to be persuaded. I won't delete it (again), but I'll be happy to support it's deletion if someone else is on board. DerFluchtPlan (talk) 21:21, 17 December 2020 (UTC)

Is Greta becoming hard green?[edit]

In one of her last speeches, Greta Thumberg said that "you were responsible of environmental destruction and pollution just for paying taxes", as she now saws our society beyond any possiblity of change or redemption. It seems that we don´t need public investment in climate science, "green technologies" or adaptation measures anymore... (not even in healthcare or social services). Nitrato de Chile (talk) 14:22, 10 July 2021 (UTC) Nitrato de Chile

without any context i wouldnt like to jump to any conclusions. do you have a link for this speech? AMassiveGay (talk) 16:56, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
Capitalism won't solve climate change. You can't rely on something that is responsible for this to also be the solution to this. Oxyaena Harass 17:30, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
i dont think thats ever been in question. the real question is are governments doing enough curb the excesses of capitalism, specifically where industry is continuing to contribute to climate change? tax breaks for coal and petrol industries say no they are not, which by the way, greta complaining of such tax breaks is all i can find that might be come close to the statement mentioned above, without a link to the speech was made in. is that her exact wording or is it the OP summarising? AMassiveGay (talk) 18:23, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
That's my best guess: the OP is confusing the wording of this blurb where she says, "Just by, basically, paying taxes you are contributing to environmental destruction". Which basically is a complaint that government themselves contribute plenty to climate change, and that they bear a lot of the responsibility for ensuring that change happens to help mitigate climate change. I don't see that statement as problematic or hard-green for that matter. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 21:24, 10 July 2021 (UTC)
The OP has made a number of claims on the talkpages of environmental issues where he just claims stuff without backup.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:49, 11 July 2021 (UTC)