If you haven’t heard of Greta Thunberg, she’s the teenager who sparked an international youth movement after staging a ‘School Strike for Climate’ in front of the Swedish Parliament last year. Thunberg was invited to speak at the British Parliament last week and attended a round-table discussion with party leaders. The bizarre and somewhat creepy nature of this piece of political theatre is perfectly captured in the header photo above. Depending on how charitable you’re feeling, you might say Greta Thunberg is either a pigtailed prophet of doom or a misguided and exploited teenager. She may even be both.
The authority figures in Miss Thunberg’s life have much to answer for. In a BBC interview, she revealed she had suffered from depression from a shockingly early age as a result of being taught that humanity faced an ‘existential crisis’: “When I was 11 I became very depressed. It had a lot to do with the climate and ecological crisis. I thought everything was just so wrong and nothing was happening and there’s no point in anything.”
How sad. Children and teenagers shouldn’t be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. The only thing kids should be thinking about is having fun and teenagers have enough to be depressed about as it is without the thought they’re going to live through the end days of humanity.
Miss Thunberg’s parents and her teachers are responsible for the psychological trauma she’s suffered as a result of believing we’re all doomed in a decade unless we stop enjoying our amazing world of abundance and start living like monks and martyrs. Sadly, there are lots more youngsters like her being terrified out of their wits by the very people who should be inspiring them and teaching them how to think, not what to think. (We won’t fully discuss the reason and evidence against catastrophic man-made climate change here, but it suffices to say the earth’s climate is far too complex to make accurate predictions about how it will respond decades or centuries from now (previous predictions have all been wrong)).
It’s nauseating to watch politicians swarming around Thunberg and applauding her every time she opens her mouth. They’re all jumping on the Thunberg bandwagon to make sure the public sees them listening to the voice of ‘future generations’. It’s a grotesque display even by the snake-belly low standards of politicians.
In the same way that religious parents traumatise their children with the thought of hell and God’s wrath, we now have believers in climate scientism terrifying their children with the idea that humanity is facing an existential crisis and that their lives are going to be shit.
It’s tragic that Greta Thunberg has concluded at such a young age that the only way she can live a good and happy life is by offering herself as a tool to be used by politicians. She’s lost faith in humanity, faith in the future, and all she has left is faith in authoritarian government action of the kind demanded by the Extinction Rebellion group. This is the group that severely vexed millions of Londoners recently by forcibly obstructing them from getting to work by blocking roads and glueing themselves to trains.
Any political group convinced it is the saviour of humanity will see every need to appoint itself master of it, just as the Extinction Rebellion group has done. The group’s Grand Plan for saving humanity (or rather list of demands issued while it held hostage London society) involves granting a few unelected people of its own choosing power over the economy and people’s lives of a degree usually only exercised during a time of national crisis such as war; powers to seize control of the energy industry and powers to dictate various aspects of our everyday lives. Such as how many flights we take, how we heat our homes, and how much meat and dairy we consume. In other words, climate-change activists want the government to direct industry and every individual towards serving the same single political end: reducing the nation’s carbon emissions to zero by any means necessary, whatever the economic and social cost to society.
If the current UK government or a future one rapidly expanded state power in the ways Thunberg and co want them to, then the result would be, in practice, fascism. A new kind of fascism. It wouldn’t be based on race or nationality but on saving mother nature from being raped to death by beastly capitalism. It will be eco-fascism that promises to restore the planet to its former glory, not fascism that promises national or racial glory.
As Mark Twain once mused, history doesn’t repeat itself but it echoes. There’s a disturbing parallel between the right-wing fascism we know from history and the ‘liberal’ fascism emerging from the political left today. The intellectual foundation of Nazism was Eugenics and it was a theory that was supported by many of the world’s leading scientists and intellectuals of the time. Today, the theory of catastrophic man-made climate change is widely accepted as ‘settled science’ by the world’s intellectuals and political leaders. History is echoing.
Greta Thunberg is only sixteen. She and other youngsters can be excused for not realising what they’re campaigning for is fascism, but the adults involved in the Extinction Rebellion group have little excuse. They’re grown-ups with adult brains. Demanding that the government declare a national climate emergency and shrink individual economic liberty down to unprecedented levels is downright antisocial and entirely illiberal.
The irony is that it’s not climate change that poses the greatest threat to the prosperity of Greta Thunberg’s generation, but the authoritarian government today’s green movement is lobbying so vociferously for. The old saying goes you should be careful what you wish for and today’s climate change activists should be careful what they protest for. There is no shortage of politicians willing to become the dictators who will (somehow) save humanity from extinction. Indeed, the UK and the Scottish parliament have already declared national climate emergencies.
Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion group are not only blind to the fascism that would necessarily result from government action such as they demand, but also to the inherent violence of politics in a statist society. They signal their virtue by claiming to be peaceful protestors and to be against violence, but in the same breathe, they demand state violence be used against the whole of society; they demand that the government suddenly and drastically shrinks individual liberty. To do this and simultaneously think of oneself as a humanitarian hero doing social good is a form of moral cognitive dissonance.
Furthermore, despite the reality that the rapid expansion of state power has never in the history of civilisation successfully solved a complex social problem such that the world become a better place for everyone, they possess faith in government action. A blind faith.
Even if humanity was facing an existential crisis, it would be a terrible idea to grant state agencies total authority over society and every citizen because governments do everything badly. They can’t manage roads, schools, hospitals or public transport to a standard that satisfies the masses. They can’t even manage their own budgets (there’s currently about $66 trillion in global government debt). So just imagine how badly they would botch the task of saving all of humanity. Even if, as we often see in disaster movies, all the world’s governments put aside their political differences and came together in a coordinated effort, commanding billions of people with a single voice of authority, the result would still be woefully inadequate. Almost certainly, countless people would starve, die or be impoverished as a result of government action intended to save people from starvation, death or impoverishment resulting from climate catastrophe.
That’s the giant flaw in our current conception of governments as we know them. We see them as a major tool for human progress or even salvation, but they’re actually intruders and imposters in society. As organisations that operate by coercion, they have no right to exist. The State has no right to exist.
If climate-change zealots believe zeroing the UK’s carbon emissions by the brute force of the law can be done in a peaceful and orderly fashion, then they’re much mistaken. People will protest environmental rationing, the construction of massive wind farms, sudden tax hikes, and all the obstacles to living their lives as they wish which the fascistic drive towards carbon neutrality will necessitate. And with a state of national emergency as moral justification, the government response to protests is much more likely to be militarised and thus bloody. You can’t make a collectivist omelette without cracking some skulls. (Look what’s currently happening Venezuela).
The UK and the western world is facing an emergency, but it’s not an environmental one. it’s an intellectual one. It’s an emergency of reason and sanity. Instead of following our reasoning minds into the daylight of truth and social progress, we’re following our blind faith in state power down dark rabbit holes of delusion and social destruction. The western world’s panicked state is obstructing rational thought, and democracy, freedom and prosperity are being eroded as a result. But worst still, we’re losing our faith in freedom, the very thing, the only thing that works. As history shows, solutions to complex social problems emerge from the system of spontaneous order that is free people and free markets. That’s why we must restore our faith in human freedom and abandon our faith in state power.