The Columbo moment - the telling detail - was when she said “Thank you.” Greta Thunberg had just finished telling the UN that they were useless hypocrites set on killing her generation with their greed and complacency; and then she thanked them - and got applause and cheers.
What a performance!
Nothing like a young girl for melting the hearts of us crocodiles. Think of cute little Olga Korbut.
Still - why “thank you”?
Because it WAS a performance. I’m not sure what if any help she got with writing the speech, but her delivery came within a whisker of earning that political Oscar, the Nobel Peace Prize - even though she hasn’t had anyone killed, unlike some previous winners.
Yet how many of us realised that her first line, “we'll be watching you” wasn’t just juvenile rhetoric?
Who, in fact, are “we”? And how could Greta be propelled in such a short time from a lonely vigil outside the Swedish Parliament in August last year, to world prominence?
Turns out, it’s a corporate thing. There’s not just money BEHIND greenery, there’s money IN it. Less than six months after Greta’s first one-girl school strike, Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar was exploring the business nexus that has been using this child as the tip of its spear. Morningstar’s objection? It’s not nearly green enough.
The Left are happy to discount Richard-Littlejohn-ish bottle-throwing at look-at-me SJWs, labelling common-sensical sceptics “far right”; but it must be very disconcerting for them to hear the whizz of bullets from behind: from the real Left, not from the sort that used to stencil Ho Chi Minh images on Oxford college walls in the 1970s before easing themselves into soft jobs in the arts, broadcasting and politics.
Try this “deep green” statement for size:
“The environmental heroes in the West are NOT the Richard Bransons or Leonardo DiCaprios of the world. The real heroes for the environment, due to their almost non-existent environmental footprint, are the homeless – despite the scorn they receive from society as a whole.”
Well, up to a point, Cory. If you want all humanity to be nomadic, you’ll want the world’s population to shrink to prehistoric levels, though the high murder rate in those times might put you off the idea. But San Francisco’s homeless aren’t nomads, except in the sense that many of them have been attracted to the area by free food, a thriving drug market and deliberately lax policing, a hospitality they have rewarded with toxic litter, faeces and communicable diseases, all of which is very costly to deal with.
Not for Greta’s handlers, such grungy right-on-ness. “Work is of two kinds,” said Bertrand Russell. “First, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first one is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.” The Thunberg crew put a big tick in Box B. For Morningstar alleges that their goal is to set themselves up as Olympian judges – prizegivers, examination markers - of corporate greenwashing:
“The main sources of revenue come from commercial players who have received high climate rating and confidence in the We Don’t Have Time’s member base. … The revenue model will resemble the social platform of TripAdvisor.com’s business model, which with its 390 million users annually generates over $ 1 billion in good profitability…We will work with strategic partners such as Climate Reality leaders, climate organizations, bloggers, influencers and leading experts in the field.”
Doubtless their fundamental agenda – and Greta’s – is well-meaning; but it’s going to be a very good life up there among the Gods. When you become the Standard & Poor’s of eco-ness, the schmoozing will be epic.
And, argues the Canadian journalist, fundamentally the project is conservative: it is there to sustain our current rapacious big-business model, to give the machinery a coat of green paint as it roars around the world ripping out whatever it needs to maintain shareholder returns.
“Little Sister will be watching you.” So don’t forget to take us out to lunch.