Right now, Hulu is pushing a documentary about Greta Thunberg and his "incredible courage" in speaking against political elites to save the world. Not only is this annoying to those of us who try to escape from political dialogue in entertainment, there is literally no one less deserving than Greta in the public sphere of any admiration. And there is nothing "courageous" about her.
If you don't remember Greta, she is the angry, petulant little child who delivered a rambling hateful rant to the UN about climate change:
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"
For this tirade, Greta became a media darling, speaking truth to power. This was baffling as there is literally no one LESS qualified to talk on the subject. Greta was 15, and who had dropped out of high school after she realized that the complete strangers in the government didn't personally care about her. And, yet, here she was speaking on issues of complex enormity to scientists, economists, diplomats and other experts about issues quite clearly beyond her comprehension.
For the entirety of her speech, Greta repeatedly dismisses the potential consequences of her demands. She doesn't want to hear about economics. She doesn't care about technical issues. She doesn't care if the solutions she demands are even possible. Do what she says "or else".
"You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."
While commentators gushed over her "raw honesty" and "blunt-force fear message", Greta's speech, and indeed, her entire life, embodies the raw adolescent impulsiveness and immature anger that otherwise disqualify children from being considered in reasonable discussions. This is what schools are supposed to get our teenagers out of, not encourage. It is ironic that, in an age where everyone who questions government's purely arbitrary covid choices is demanded to show papers proving their scientific credentials, that we would laud the poor life and logical choices this girl has made as proof of her expertise.
Responsible action requires exactly the opposite of what Greta keeps demanding, that our leaders consider the actual real world consequences of the choices we make. Economic development is no unimportant thing, but is directly tired to the healths and welfare of the people in that economy. While it should be beyond obvious, food, medicine, shelter, and more all require money. Removing a person's ability to make money removes their ability to care for themselves.
Her demands are no minor economic hit. 67% reduction in emissions world wide is a severe economic blow, one that would require that the quality of living of every man, woman and child's life dramatically drop. Compared to a supposed avoidance of a degree of warming, this is too much of a price to pay for too little of a benefit. And that's assuming that her uninformed claims have merit, which is debatable at best.
And, while Greta routinely claims to worry about the poorest and most vulnerable, it will primarily be the poor who suffer from her activism. This is especially true in the most economically depressed countries in Africa, South America and the Middle East, where Greta is currently focusing her efforts. Trying to keep poor African villagers from using fossil fuels will lead to widespread starvation and death, as this is the only affordable fuel they have access to. Using such fuels is the only way they have to improve their quality of life to that of the poorest western nations. There is nothing noble about opposing this. It is quite the contrary.
It is no secret why Greta "faces a hard path" as the ads for her film say. Our politicians and scientists have faced these tough choices for decades. Greta, by contrast, has lived in wealth and comfort her whole life. She doesn't understand what difficult choices are, or facing consequences. She faced no consequences for violating Swedish compulsory schooling law due to her parent's wealth and fame. She has never been challenged by family on being a perpetual child. She has never faced responsibility of any kind. Instead, she encourages other kids to shirk responsibility and skip school, damaging their grades and futures, in a pointless symbolic gesture. Nothing could be less responsible.
Greta never should've been given a platform to begin with. Now that she is an adult, she should be encouraged to grow up, not to continue to shout angrily at everyone who disagrees with her and cry that the sky is falling. Creating documentaries to praise her does neither her nor society a favor. In a time when we are told to leave the debate to scientists, holding up an uninformed young girl who can't be bothered to actually deal with the real world is very much so contrary to that demand.