What Greta should do next…

Poor Jeremy Clarkson. I’m sure he is very upset this morning – after the barrage of abuse he has received for his very reasonable suggestions to Greta Thunberg as to what she should do next in her campaign to cool us all down. The main outrage is about what he though her parents should be doing about her – because what he proposed is against the law in most of those countries which have converted themselves into interfering nannies.

This is what Jeremy proposed in his Times Newspapers (London) column:

If Greta and her pals really want to get results, they should try protesting in Tiananmen Square Greta Thunberg is now kayaking back to the Swedish port where she left her bicycle, having spent the week outside a conference centre in Glasgow, swearing a lot and being interviewed by BBC journalists who fawned like they were soap stars being introduced to the Queen. They didn’t call the annoying little bucket of ego: “Your majesty”, but you could see they were thinking it.

I simply don’t get the Thunberg phenomenon. She has no knowledge of how the world works, no manners and no letters after her name because instead of going to school, she’s been busy sailing round the world so she can be mardy and abusive to grown-ups. What she needs is a smacked bottom.

Rod Liddle calls her the “Swedish doom goblin” which is, of course, brilliant, but she’s worse than that. She’s a pest. A 4ft maypole around which the deranged and the weak and the unemployable can dance and chant and make a nuisance of themselves. However, she did come up with one idea last week that struck a chord. In essence, she said that there was no point listening to whatever the f*** the Cop26 politicians were saying inside their important meetings because the people outside knew what had to be done and could just get on and do it.

Absolutely. I already know that I should not buy palm oil or products that come with unnecessary plastic packaging, and that I should not use wet logs in my wood-burning stoves. I also know that if my journey’s less than a mile, I should walk rather than use the car and that I should make more of an effort to understand what goes in the recycling part of my bin and what doesn’t. I don’t need Joe Biden to wake up from one of his naps and tell me.

So here’s a tip, Greta: lecturing me on what needs to be done is pointless. It’d be like standing in my bedroom every morning ordering me to wear clothes. I know already. What you should be doing instead is cycling to countries where people are perhaps less well aware of what should be done. China for example. That I’d like to see. Greta standing outside Zhongnanhai with her parka and her Glastonbury backpack and her microphone, lecturing the leaders about their policies on coal and trees and so on.

Maybe she could be joined by those Extinction Rebellion halfwits who go to the middle of London to tell Barnes people in Teslas to be more green, rather than going to the slums of Calcutta where two million people, living in poverty, cook their supper every evening on chulha stoves, which blanket the city in a thick yellow fog. These are the people Tarquin and their sexually ambiguous mates should be targeting. But they’re not.

I saw a map, last week, of where the world’s methane is coming from. And let me tell you that billions of tons of the stuff is pouring into the skies from India and China. And not a single hairy person in Liberal Democrat shoes is over there with a placard complaining about it. Because they’re all here, moaning about how my cows burp too much and how there’s a turd in the River Evenlode.

It’s the same story with the loft insulation protesters. There was a photograph in my newspaper on Friday that showed them blocking the path of a lorry that was actually delivering loft insulation. So again, they’re inconveniencing the lives of people who are already doing their best. They too should be in China because I’d dearly love to see that. Especially the footage of the Chinese police ungluing the hands of a vicar from the tarmac in Tiananmen Square. “Oh no, Reverend. All your skin’s come off.” And now you’ve hit your head on the police car. I’d also like to see them daubing the words “racist” and “murderer” on statues of Chairman Mao, but of course, this would never happen because they know they would not be treated with respect and reverence by China’s news crews. And neither would they be invited with Greta and the Lib Dem vicars round to President Xi’s for some nuclear free vegan peace food.

This is why they’re not protesting in countries where protest might do some good; because they’re timid and wet. Greta turns up in Glasgow so she can bathe in some adulation for a few days, rather than getting sent to a labour camp for a few decades. That’s what these protesters need to get through their knitted hats and into their thick skulls; that if you want to get something done, and I mean really done, you’ve got to be uncomfortable. And you’ve got to be surrounded by people who don’t like you, not those who do. You’ve got to talk to Fox News, not CNN or the BBC. Look at Gandhi and Mandela. They were prepared to undergo unimaginable hardships to further the cause in which they believed.

Thich Quang Duc was prepared to go even further. Had this Buddhist monk stepped out of his Austin A95 and glued himself to the road to protest about the South Vietnamese government, it’s virtually certain that no one would remember his name. And I wouldn’t have been able to recall what sort of car he had. But he didn’t glue himself to the road. Instead, he set himself on fire and sat there, in the middle of a busy intersection, until he was dead. Then you have Emily Davison who, to further women’s rights, leapt under the king’s horse at the Derby and was killed. And the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and William Wallace. I think it’s safe to say that if the blue-faced agitator had fought for Scottish independence by gluing himself to a tree, Mel Gibson would have been less inclined to make that film.”

What comes from a flawed reading of human nature

I feel uneasy about doing this. Greta Thunberg is a child and as someone who worked for a number of years as an educator, I respect both the dignity and the vulnerability of children. However, this child has been weaponised by an unscrupulous cadre of adults who pay lip service to a totally flawed reading of human nature – and therefore, of children. They must be called out for what they are. We can only intercede trough Greta’s Guardian Angel that she may be rescued from their clutches sooner rather than later.

What I give you is something posted on The Spectator (UK) Coffee House newsletter and which might help bring us all to our senses to see what is going on here. It is written by Dominic Green and called The Apotheosis of St. Greta.


What I give you is something posted on The Spectator (UK) Coffee House newsletter and which might help bring us all to our senses to see what is going on here. It is written by Dominic Green and called The Apotheosis of St. Greta.

‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words’ is perhaps the whitest thing anyone has ever said at the UN. What is the correct answer? Is it (a) Go to your room? Or is it (b) Forgive me, to make it up you, Daddy and I are going to set the entire course of human civilisation on a new track?

The correct answer — if you want to see your name in the Times or get a slot on CNN, and if you want to avoid getting mobbed by climate cultists — is of course, to apologise, mortify the flesh, shove tofu plugs into your every orifice, hail Greta Thunberg as the most radical and relevant UN debutante since Yasser Arafat, and then praise the pigtailed prophet of planetary paranoia for ‘staring down’ the dark emperor of pollution, Donald Trump.

The emissions you can smell aren’t carbon, but methane. If you watch the footage, Greta leans forward excitedly at Trump’s approach. It’s almost as if she’s expecting he’ll do the same as every other leader, and seek her blessing, like the MPs who declared a ‘climate emergency’ for her, or Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected president of the EU, who made a show of kissing her hand when she came to pour brimstone on Brussels. But Trump keeps going, completely oblivious, and obviously with more important things to do than to kiss her ring.

How can you stare down someone who doesn’t even know you’re there? Magical powers. The acclamation of Greta Thunberg is as profoundly irrational as the millenarian cult of purgation and redemption that she advocates — puritan in its authoritarian demands, lascivious in its sensitivity to pain. The intrusion of this kind of sub-religious foolishness into politics is always a bad sign. It shows that we are in an environmental crisis, and that the world is coming to an end. But which environment, and which world?

The environment that is dying is the liberal democratic order in which we live. The world that is coming to an end is political: the post-1945 order, led by the United States. The form of Great Thunberg’s protest is familiar to any student of medieval Europe, the civilisation that produced the Children’s Crusade and Joan of Arc. The content of her protest is a deliquescence of Protestantism into narcissistic terror.

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth,’ says Greta. She was five years old when the wheels came off the European economy in 2008, and stole the dreams of a generation. The Swedes, like most other Europeans, have given up on procreation. Their demography is sustained by massive immigration which, their leaders tell them, is necessary in order to maintain the tax base and the welfare system.

Environmentalism is for rich white people, and so is life without religion. ‘The eyes of all future generations are upon you,’ Greta threatens. ‘And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you.’ This is prophetic, and pathetic too, in its faithless Lutheranism and reverse predestination.

The visionary child speaks on behalf of every unborn generation. She knows what the future will say, and who will be saved and who will be damned in memory. If only she could apply it to something useful, like prognosticating the result of the Kentucky Derby and using the proceeds to build a vast geodetic dome so that the elect could survive in a benign microclimate while the sinners wheel their recycling bins to the lip of the burning pit, then climb in and tip themselves into the flames.

‘You come to us young people for hope? How dare you!’ Greta says, as if she’s reading Nietzsche on her boat trip cross the Atlantic. This anger is as close as she gets to the morbid heart of the environmental sub-religion. But the people she cites are explicit that economic growth must be stopped, and population growth too. No air-conditioners for the Indians, no children for the Africans. Hence Bernie Sanders’ semi-senile admission that the ‘saving’ of the planet on terms amenable to wealthy white lefties will require population control — in effect, a global programme for the sterilisation of non-white women. Greta, of course, doesn’t talk about the dirty stuff.

An earlier angry Euroteen, Fred Nietzsche, noticed that there is always something filthy and furtive about a prophet. ‘Whenever on earth the religious neurosis has appeared,’ Nietzsche wrote in Beyond Good and Evil (1886), ‘we find it tied to three dangerous dietary demands: solitude, fasting and sexual abstinence’. Greta came to New York in the ostentatious solitude of a racing yacht. In her auto-hagiography, she describes how she stunted her growth by starving herself. She is a child bride, betrothed to the earth as in some tedious Nordic saga.

‘What was eccentric and sick in his nature,’ Nietzsche wrote of his prophet, ‘with its fusion of spiritual poverty, faulty knowledge, spoilt health and overexcited nerves remained concealed from his own eyes and from the eyes of those who looked at him. He was not an especially good person, even less an especially wise person, but he signified something that exceeded all human measure of goodness and wisdom.’

A culture without purpose seizes on a false prophet because she signifies a faith that it has lost. This is why the cult of St Greta attracts converts in the affluent classes of western Europe and North America. American pollution and carbon emissions have been falling for decades, and the majority of the world’s pollution and carbon emissions come from India and China, but the stations of her martyrdom are in Stockholm, London and New York. Not just because the Chinese police would make short work of her and her PR handlers if they tried any nonsense near the Great Hall of the People, but because this daft circus only means something in the decaying West.

As with all apocalyptic visions, the sure way to turn them from warnings to realities is to follow their prescriptions. If Western governments commit themselves to zero-growth economies and demographic wastage, they’ll quickly collapse beneath the twin challenges of Asian economies and mass migration. Our environments will be ruined and our world ended — just like Greta said. It would take a heart of unmelted ice not to laugh.

Dominic Green is Life & Arts Editor of Spectator USA.