Talk:Greta Thunberg

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Globalwarming2.svg

This Global warming related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Steelbrain.png
Icon sociology.svg This article contains information about one or more living persons.

Articles about living people must be handled carefully, because they are more open to legal threats.
Reference any contentious allegations solidly; unreferenced allegations should be removed.
If legal threats are raised on this page, please direct the potential litigant to RationalWiki:Legal FAQ; do not interact with them.

If people are known by their enemies then she is my hero.

Any child who can get attacked by both Trump and Putin must be on the right track.Hubert (talk) 12:45, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Very nice[edit]

Great edits guys. I'll try to add a little more tomorrow, about her life and her message. ShabiDOO 21:10, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

Once again, great work everyone. Was fun to get an article collaboratively written with decent content up and running in the mainspace in 24 hours! ShabiDOO 14:01, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Technocrat[edit]

A more legitimate criticism is that she believes climate change is a purely scientific problem that can be solved by experts within the existing political system. But much of climate change is a political matter: who should pollute and who should pay. Issues both about rich v poor and North v South. Many campaigners e.g. George Monbiot believe fighting climate change requires socialism or other political change (although that is itself debatable). --Annanoon (talk) 10:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Read or listen to her UN speech again. She does mention climate justice and equity, and keeps trying to tell the media to not ignore the minority teenagers who are also fighting climate change. Her quote about "fairy tales of eternal economic growth" sounds like a pretty good understanding of the politics to me. In fact, she is good friends with Monbiot and has collaborated with him multiple times. The evidence of her being apolitical is pretty weak, and comes off as a bunch of smartasses trying to gotcha her. Colossal Squid (talk) 17:00, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I don't she think she even needs to, to be honest. she doesn't appear to be proposing any particular solutions - she doesnt need to nor should she be expected to. that is not the point of what it is she, I think, trying to do. as also the quibbling over the 'accuracy' of the numbers and timescales that she presents, even where that might be vaguely fair, misses the point. she is neither a scientist nor a politician. she is a 16 year old girl. the message she is imparting, is that we know the science. we know things will be bad. and we've known for years. her message is that time is running out. that we to need to act now. that it will be her generation to pay the price for our failures. it is a call to arms for those who are able to act, and a j'accuse to those who refuse.
she does this with the sincerity and the passion of youth, untainted by any overt politics and ideology, that makes it difficult for her detractors to able respond in the way they would with other more seasoned campaigners, and theres enough scientific meat that they cannot dismiss her as simply naïve. she has gained through this such exposure and such popularity that they are too fearful of her to ignore her. all they have is vitriol. in some parts of the world they would probably have killed her. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:47, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
my only criticism is not of her or her approach, but recent events tell he difficulties in getting concensus on literally anything and the sheer ease and speed in which it can be ripped a part makes me far from optimistic that anything can be done in the time that we have. and we are probably all to blame for that. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:00, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Quote: "A more legitimate criticism is that she believes climate change is a purely scientific problem that can be solved by experts within the existing political system."

I disagree with this completely.

She is heavily into the idea that individuals must make personal changes to their own lifestyles. The fact that she personally refuses to fly is pretty clear evidence of this. As for not changing the existing political system: a quote from her UN speech:"All you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth." Which doesn't really sound like someone who is happy with the present system.Hubert (talk) 17:19, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

that's all pretty vague and gives no indication of what actions ned to be taken by anyone or anyone government. it isn't a criticism so much as we expect too much her. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:07, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
My criticism of her is not really of her, but of everyone else's promotion of her. She is a teen whose only accomplishment is acquiring a bunch of attention for herself because mommy and daddy had enough money to let her take the yacht out for a spin. The environmentalist movement is not in need of instagram "influencers" and other worthless celebrities, it's in need of politicians willing to do the dirty work, of scientists and engineers redesigning the modern world, etc, which we actually do have. What we need is for everyone else to stop getting in the way, to stop hijacking the environmentalist movement for social justice pet causesWikipedia's W.svg, to stop interfering with the adoption of the one power source that with current technology could displace virtually all coal/gas plants and possibly oil with future tech in automobiles, and perhaps even reindustrialize the US/EU. Countries meeting emissions goals by having all the heavy industry outsourced to China is like having a urine-free section of the swimming pool, only far far worse since not only is China not even trying to hold it in, the transport of goods between countries relies upon Suez-max container ships burning bunker fuel, a fuel so horrific it's the equivalent of China having explosive diarrhea in our swimming pool. It's odd, really, that the "bring the jobs back over here" types aren't more involved in the environmentalist movement, considering that they would have even more legitimate reason to support the environmentalist movement than the watermelons would. CoryUsar (talk) 01:40, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
I take some issue with: "She is a teen whose only accomplishment is acquiring a bunch of attention for herself because mommy and daddy had enough money to let her take the yacht out for a spin"
Taking your second point first, I don't think that her mommy and daddy paid for her to cross the Atlantic. As far as I can tell the owners of the yacht volunteered to take her because they agreed with her position. But if you have investigated further you may show I'm wrong.
Secondly, and more importantly, it's absurd to suggest that her only achievement is gaining attention by crossing the Atlantic. She has kick-started a global youth movement which didn't exist before.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:13, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Greta Thunberg is a mere activist / highlighter, it is not her job to do the technical work. What she has done is pushed back against the bullshit climate change denialist movement, which has been festering for *decades* among conservative activism. (And of which the US oriented sequences is very well known: carbon extraction companies like Exxon and Koch feed stuff they even *know* is bullshit to conservative think tanks like Heritage, which in turn feed bullshit to right wing populists like your Rush Limbaughs and Bill O'Reillys, and next thing you know your racist uncle is all of a sudden convinced that climate change concern is but a "Democrat" globalist conspiracy which is working hard at taking away your incandescent lightbulb due to bullshit conspiracy reasons or something.) Although the IPCC has pretty much been right since the 1990s or earlier, people don't tend to read dry technical shit. So far she also seems to have avoided extremely over-apocalyptic language (an unfortunate tendency among others in the environmentalist movement, hopefully that doesn't change). Nuclear power is probably part of the future, but don't over-fetishize this, nuclear power has disaster oriented problems as well as military / security / geopolitical implications those who overpromote it overlook. I think in general the science community is already moving to adapt to a fossil-fuel-reduced world as best they can, actually China has had their "low-visibility pollution" moments several years ago and have visibly promoted clean energy sources since then. (America's moved more at a local scale, nationally conservatives tend to over-fetishize dirty power like coal still.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:21, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Chernobyl has so far killed less than 100 people, and is expected to kill a few thousand over time. While pro-nuclear folks like to gloss over the problems and handwave Chernobyl as the result of criminal stupidity (which shouldn't be done because, well, people are criminally stupid and mistakes can and will happen), the anti-nuclear folks apparently feel the need to outright lie to make their points. Fukushima is probably a better example of what can go wrong with nuclear, but is more a lesson on three things; the importance of having passive failsafes (diesel generators got knocked out in the flood, coolant couldn't be pumped), the importance of not building in disaster zones (Japan may not be best place for nuclear power, at least not of the "can't be shut down instantly" types), and the importance of not letting major decisions be made by businessmen (the disaster was forseeable but would've cost money to protect against in spite of nuclear plants practically printing money). Oh, and depending on whether you believe the company owning Fukushima, the importance of being able to fix problems without everyone freaking out; they claim they totally wanted to fix the Fukushima plant to prevent this disaster, but fixing the problem would've been admitting there was a problem. CoryUsar (talk) 19:33, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
The problem here is human stupidity is abundant in quantities. :) Chernobyl death count estimates aside (Chernobyl's death count estimates have varied a lot as assessing deaths from radiation is tricky), nuclear is actually safer than any fossil fuel I can think of in the long run considering the ecological and health costs of fossil fuel pollution (and certainly clean power like hydro can produce large scale disasters). However, the psychology of the nuclear large scale disaster potential unfortunately looms larger, particularly since nuclear radiation is "invisible" and therefore foreign to direct human sensory experience. It is possible to mitigate this with failsafes etc., of course, but currently to do a nuclear power plant right does require lots of upfront capital costs and time, which is another disadvantage. There are other advantages and disadvantages, of course, I wasn't trying to be comprehensive, like everything a balance is involved. There's a good chance it will be a part of the picture, particularly if storage technology does not improve significantly, and particularly if some of the disadvantages get mitigated with technological improvement. However, IMHO it is poor psychology to counter fears about large scale disaster with whining about environmentalist ninnies. Soundwave106 (talk) 20:25, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
That is an extremely exaggerated description of Greta, who she is, her background, how she got where she is, the role her parents play and what she embodies. She is not there because she's some random girl. She embodies what millions in her generation feel, she is driven and passionate, a good speaker and she truly expresses the utter incredulity and rage a lot of young people feel. We fucked up, are still fucking up and will continue to fuck up despite needing only making relatively uncostly changes now, which we won't and are setting the planet on fire. Of course she is furious and so are millions in her generation. Of course they should be. And they should have someone representing them. Just looking at the rabid raging criticism of her by politicians, important people and millions of adults around the world tell you everything we need to know. Her message is seriously threatening them and her generation will truly despise us for this and will hold us accountable. Makes a whole lot of sense. ShabiDOO 10:43, 13 December 2019 (UTC)

UN Speech[edit]

Here is a link to a transcript of her UN address. It's really quite short and sets out her ideas very clearly. Is it too long to include in its entirety?

Because it makes it clear that her main point is: "Look at the science and act". Something which it's rather hard to argue against.Hubert (talk) 17:27, 13 October 2019 (UTC)

nuclear power[edit]

Added her exact words on nuclear power and removed the she has been criticized for being "against" nuclear power. Seems it not quite that simple.Hubert (talk) 16:34, 20 October 2019 (UTC)